The South Asia Initiative is sponsoring a workshop on “inclusive innovation” along with the World Bank. The ‘inclusion’ refers the need to embrace the 4 or 4.5 billion (out of the world’s 7 billion) people who are poor, lack representation and therefore are traditionally excluded from accessing elementary goods and services. Either conventional products or services are not designed with their needs in mind, or they are physically (or informationally) inaccessible or completely unaffordable. The innovation refers to finding a way to rectify this. We sponsored this with the World Bank Institute.
It occurs to me that this is the function of a University to bring together interested people who can focus attention on some large social issues. I’m glad to see representation from China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and other places, and to see politicians, bureaucrats, academics, entrepreneurs and activists. Happily there are also people from many, if not most, of Harvard’s academic silos. I hope something comes of this effort!