The Frugal Innovator: Creating Change on a Shoestring Budget

The Frugal Innovator: Creating Change on a Shoestring Budget

Charles Leadbeater

Language: English

Pages: 218


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Frugal innovation is a distinctive, powerful new model for a world struggling with overpopulation, exploding demand among consumers on modest incomes and global pressure to minimise environmental damage. This new wave of innovation started in the developing world and is based on the principles of 'simplify, reuse, share and distribute' and will be markedly different from previous long waves of change.

This insightful book looks at the phenomenon of low-cost innovation and explores what we can learn from the entrepreneurs and innovators in developing nations who are making amazing technical and social advances with scarce capital and resources. By unpicking the principles, drivers and methods for frugal innovation, the author shows how these can be applied and used wherever you are and whatever your capital.

















desalination systems that use solar power. A team of Canadian-Indians, financed in the UK, are making the world’s lowest-cost tablet computer, which performs as well as an original iPad but costs less than £40. Many frugal innovators create their own organisations to make their innovations. But others work at established companies such as Tata and Unilever, Procter and Gamble and General Electric, which are now producing a string of frugal innovations. The Indian conglomerate Tata has produced

adapting the mobile phones and the networks they run on to become, for example, banking infrastructures in Kenya and Pakistan or a test for anaemia or HIV. Meanwhile, a resurgent do-ittogether movement of makers, hobbyists and craft producers is emerging, powered by the spread of low-cost digital technologies such as the Arduino motherboard, the Raspberry Pi computer and 3D printers. Advocates of this movement argue that it presages a new industrial revolution based on sustainable, local

be lucky to see a nurse once during her pregnancy, invariably early on. At that meeting the woman could be given an oxytocin spray to keep with her until it is needed. The Monash oxytocin aerosol is as simple to use as a deodorant and yet is not more expensive, dose for dose, than the traditional delivery system which requires nurses, fridges, syringes and electricity. In late 2012 Monash was awarded $1 million in funding from a group of funders orchestrated by the Gates Foundation to take their

culture and feel. Yet it is highly cosmopolitan, with large populations with cultural and family ties to Europe and only an hour’s flight from São Paulo. If you want to find the frugal innovators of the future, go to cities like Curitiba, places which are inventive and ingenious, rooted and cosmopolitan. How Innovation cannot be delivered the way that Domino’s delivers a pizza. There is little point in instructing people to have new ideas, just in time, according to a detailed production

form of energy: waste disposal has been cut sixfold in the last two decades. The average Freiburg resident generates just 114kg a year.) Much of the rest of the city is heated by 15 mediumto large-scale district heating plants which are like German versions of the Husk Power System of India. In Freiburg that idea has been taken 17 1 In Reverse to industrial scale across an entire city: half the city is heated that way. (Freiburg still has a long way to go to match Flensburg, a German town on

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