Sustainable Innovations at BoP

The Sustainable Innovations at the Base of the Pyramid conference, sponsored by the Helsinki School of Economics, concluded last week in Helsinki, Finland. The primary focus of the conference was on sustainable solutions – whether addressing the issues of climate change, the environment, waste, recycling or resources or whether business models meant to serve the poor profitably could be designed to be self supporting over time.  Many of the presentations touch upon concepts that we’ve discussed in our Market-based Approaches to Poverty speaker series, especially the design session from two weeks ago.

I’d like to share with you some of the highlights from the many presentations, as well as share links to download.

1. How Base of the Pyramid is evolving to a Diamond as the working poor move up the economic ladder (Brabhu Kandachar of Delft University of Technology)

2. Philip Design’s approach to addressing Indoor Air Polluion, through design of an indoor cooking stove. What is especially interesting to me is the “Stakeholder” cards which identify the needs, requirements, socio-economic constraints, technology relations, etc for each of their identified constituent.  It seems like an easy way to always keep customers in mind, especially when looking across regions or countries for the same product design.  (Philips Design)

3. Nokia’s realization that 800 million people (in both developed and developing world) are illiterate and how they address this challenge through the design of their mobile devices (Nokia)

There are many many more presentations; check them all out here.


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