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Inclusive development READ MORE

Network description

The inclusive innovation movement (also known as frugal innovation) is relatively widespread in developing and some middle income countries, e.g. known as Jugaad innovation in India where it is closely related to the 'bottom of the pyramid' approach. The movement aims to innovate from the bottom to create greater social value for the poorest and most excluded, whilst minimising the use of scarce materials and financial resources. The focus is as much on affordable and good quality products and services, and are in many countries seen as becoming key vehicles for advancing national and local development, especially in the context of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) due to be universally adopted during 2015 also by European countries. These inclusive/frugal approaches to innovation are also now starting to impact more developed countries including Europe, given their close similarity to social innovation and because of their special relevance to poor, marginalised or socially excluded communities, for example as recently documented in Barcelona. Indeed most European countries have experienced a three-fold increase of relative poverty since the 1980s and even more rapidly since the 2008 financial crisis as recognised and documented by the European platform against poverty and social exclusion.

Social innovation relevance

The main differences between inclusive and social innovation is the former's specific focus on the poor and on developing products and services tailored for them which are affordable but still of good quality, and that it originates outside Europe. In this sense, inclusive innovation is a subset of social innovation and generally seeks very similar objectives and typically uses corresponding methods to achieve its impacts. It will be important to bring the inclusive innovation movement into the social innovation mainstream both internationally as well as now in Europe given its renewed focus on poverty and social exclusion at national and European levels.