Global Innovation and the Poor

The World Bank Group is this week hosting the fourth global forum on innovation in Helsinki.   It is attended by over 600 people from 90 countries.   The discussion at the donor meeting was around the successes and challenges of using ICT to facilitate innovation.   The climate innovation centres were recounted as a key to promoting local innovation.   Practical Action in Kenya has participated in workshops with the first climate innovation centre in Nairobi.  

Such linkages to local groups is essential to a sustainable approach without which we often have seen a failure of appropriate technology to reach poor people.   Indeed one of the key challenges of innovating with ICTs is to ensure that we don’t increase poverty by creating yet another technology elite.  So it is vital to have inclusive dialogues and to capture the innate innovative capability of local people to solve their own problems.

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