Organizing and innovating in poor places

29 Mar 2018

Poor places across the globe have pressing needs, not least because the social, economic, and environmental issues that challenge us all have a disproportionate impact upon them. Innovation to address these needs is challenging and distinctive. It also thrives in many poor places, albeit to varying degrees. Yet, and despite recent advances, innovation in the context of poverty remains an overlooked area of research. In this essay, we seek to address this lack of attention and to shed light on the prospects and possibilities for the study and practice of innovation in poor places. We first provide an overview of current thinking on the topic. We go on to offer suggestions for research, taking account of the distinct roles played by the social, public, and corporate sectors. Finally, we suggest that addressing the most intractable social problems requires collaboration across sectors, and point to the crucial role of social extrapreneurship as a way of conceptualizing such cross-sector relationships.