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Innovating for the Global South: New book by University of Toronto faculty offers practical insights to address global poverty

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite the vast wealth generated in the last half century, in today's world inequality is worsening and poverty is becoming increasingly chronic. Hundreds of millions of people continue to live on less than $2 per day and lack basic human necessities such as nutritious food, shelter, clean water, primary health care, and education.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140212/DC64370)

Innovating for the Global South: Towards an Inclusive Innovation Agenda, the latest book from Rotman-UTP Publishing and the first volume in the Munk Series on Global Affairs, offers fresh solutions for reducing poverty in the developing world. Highlighting the multidisciplinary expertise of the University of Toronto's Global Innovation Group, leading experts from the fields of engineering, public health, medicine, management, and public policy examine the causes and consequences of endemic poverty and the challenges of mitigating its effects from the perspective of the world's poorest of the poor.

Can we imagine ways to generate solar energy to run essential medical equipment in the countryside? Can we adapt information and communication technologies to provide up-to-the-minute agricultural market prices for remote farming villages? How do we create more inclusive innovation processes to hear the voices of those living in urban slums? Is it possible to reinvent a low-cost toilet that operates beyond the water and electricity grids?

Motivated by the imperatives of developing, delivering, and harnessing innovation in the developing world, Innovating for the Global South is essential reading for managers, practitioners, and scholars of development, business, and policy.

"As we see it, Innovating for the Global South is fundamentally about innovating scalable solutions that mitigate the effects of poverty and underdevelopment in the Global South. It is not about inventing some new gizmo for some untapped market in the developing world," say Profs. Dilip Soman and Joseph Wong of the UofT, who are two of the editors of the volume.

The book is edited and also features contributions by three leading UofT thinkers who are tackling innovation in the global south from three different academic perspectives.

  • Dilip Soman is Corus Chair in Communication Strategy and a professor of Marketing at the Rotman School of Management.
  • Janice Gross Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs.
  • Joseph Wong is Ralph and Roz Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Canada Research Chair in Democratization, Health, and Development in the Department of Political Science.

The chapters in the book address the process of innovation from a number of vantage points.

Introduction: Rethinking Innovation – Joseph Wong and Dilip Soman

Chapter 1: Poverty, Invisibility, and Innovation – Joseph Wong

Chapter 2: Behaviourally Informed Innovation – Dilip Soman

Chapter 3: Appropriate Technologies for the Global South – Yu-Ling Cheng (University of Toronto, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry) and Beverly Bradley (University of Toronto, Centre for Global Engineering)

Chapter 4: Globalization of Biopharmaceutical Innovation: Implications for Poor-Market Diseases – Rahim Rezaie (University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, Research Fellow)

Chapter 5: Embedded Innovation in Health – Anita M. McGahan (University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, Associate Dean of Research), Rahim Rezaie and Donald C. Cole (University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health)

Chapter 6: Scaling Up: The Case of Nutritional Interventions in the Global South – Ashley Aimone Phillips (Registered Dietitian), Nandita Perumal (University of Toronto, Doctoral Fellow, Epidemiology), Carmen Ho (University of Toronto, Doctoral Fellow, Political Science), and Stanley Zlotkin (University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children, Paediatrics, Public Health Sciences and Nutritional Sciences)

Chapter 7: New Models for Financing Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurial Organizations in the Global South – Murray R. Metcalfe (University of Toronto, Centre for Global Engineering, Globalization)

Chapter 8: Innovation and Foreign Policy – Janice Gross Stein

Conclusion: Inclusive Innovation – Will Mitchell (University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, Strategic Management), Anita M. McGahan

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR Innovating for the Global South

"Innovating for the Global South engages a very important and interesting set of global challenges and presents potential solutions involving many important constituencies: governments, businesses and consumers. The authors represent many different disciplines and viewpoints, and the examples used throughout are of excellent quality, very current and highly diverse."

Jaideep Prabhu, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise and Director of the Centre for India and Global Business, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge; co-author of Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth

"Innovating for the Global South is a strong, coherent, and much-needed book. Its vision is fresh and forward thinking, and entirely in keeping with where the field on innovating for the poor must go. All students interested in the topic, whether from economics, public health, management, or government, should read this book.

Thomas Burke, Director of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights, Massachusetts General Hospital

"An extraordinary contribution by an extraordinary group of authors who write about the most extraordinary challenges of our time." 

Peter Singer, CEO, Grand Challenges Canada

Rotman-UTP Publishing is an imprint of University of Toronto Press. Founded in 1901, University of Toronto Press (UTP) is Canada's oldest scholarly press and one of the largest university presses in North America, releasing over 200 new scholarly, reference, and general-interest books each year, as well as maintaining a backlist of over 3500 titles in print. For more information, visit www.utppublishing.com.

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world's most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions.  For more information, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca.

Follow Rotman on Twitter @rotmanschool
Watch Rotman on You Tube www.youtube.com/rotmanschool

SOURCE Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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