The First (or Second) of a Thousand Steps: Car Manufacture in Kenya

Kenya is building cars! For a student of innovation, that’s exciting news. And given my interest in social, inclusive and frugal innovation, news of a low-cost car coming to market, developed for rural and off-road use, using locally-sourced materials, is even more exciting. OK, let me clarify: Kenya has been building (assembling) cars for a while now, but only […]

The Study of Innovation and Sustainability… What about Politics, Economics and Culture?

“Sustainability” is a notion that is hotly debated across academic and non-academic arenas. What does this term mean? The term has its origins within environmental movements, thus the common layman understanding that sustainability is synonymous with ‘green’. Over time however, the connotations of the term have evolved to incorporate economic and political overtones. Many conceptualisations of sustainability exist now across […]

Making Head or Tail of Academic Conferences

For any doctoral student or senior professor, conferences are an important part of academic life. They give you an opportunity to market your work and carve out a niche for yourself among your peers, get feedback on work in progress, build networks with potential employers or collaborators – basically put your name and profile out […]

Musings on Kenya’s GDP Statistical Revision

Several African countries have been revising the numbers they use to calculate their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Ghana led the pack in 2010 with a 60% upward GDP revision, and now Nigeria boasts a revised GDP of 510 billion dollars, almost double her previously reported GDP—a staggering number compared to other African countries. This makes Nigeria the […]

Latest book acquisitions

I now own a personal copy of Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter’s book “An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change”. I feel like I have officially recruited myself into the world of evolutionary economics, or at least, an evolutionary perspective on technological change. Hopefully their ‘appreciative theorising’ gives me clearer insight on the economic and sociological aspects […]

Inclusive innovation

Two truths about innovation: it directly contributes to economic development positively. However, innovation can also inhibit equitable development, at least in the short term. How does innovation lead to development? We create better products, put them on the market, and if they appeal to consumers, they will adopt them to substitute older, inefficient products. Competition […]

China, the new idol for Africa?

There’s been a lot of debate on the new China-Africa economic relations. The Chinese say that aid and investment in Africa, which has doubled in the last few years, is about co-operation and mutual benefit. Many in the West, however, are suspicious. They’re concerned about the Chinese self-interested pursuit of Africa’s vast natural resources, and […]