18 Apr 2011

All posts from 18 Apr 2011

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Reverse Innovation: A Two-Way Street to Global Tech Solutions

“More than 90 percent of the population lives within reach of a cell phone tower,” Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami pointed out during Thursday’s Four Peak Salon “Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Markets: What’s Good for Them, Is Good for Us.” And it is exactly the reach of coverage that makes simple mobile technology a feasible avenue for development. For comparison, only 2 billion people have access to broadband and with more than 6 billion people on the planet, most of the developing world has limited or no access to data.

Rothenberg-Aalami is a coauthor of “Technology at the Margins: How IT Meets the Needs of Emerging Markets,” and was invited to the April edition of the MCDM Four Peaks Salon to discuss the changing nature of the global technology business and the influence of emerging markets on technology providers.

Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami (left) with moderator Anita Verna Crofts, MCDM Associate Director.

The salon, moderated by associate director Anita Verna Crofts, discussed the concept of technology and innovation in emerging markets. The idea Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami brings up is that when emerging markets gain access to technology, they create and innovate solutions that are relevant to their needs. But the application and relevance of these solutions and innovations are not limited to the emerging markets where they originated. Increasingly, their ideas and technologies can find niches and fill needs in the developed markets as well.

“I’m excited by “reverse innovation” because it recognizes parallels that countries share – populations that have limited access to services – and in doing so, promotes a more equitable vision of world, as opposed to the categorization that terms such as ‘emerging markets’ underscore,” Crofts said to Flip The Media after the Four Peaks conversation. Crofts teaches several courses in the MCDM that deal with the global opportunities and challenges regarding technology and communications.

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Reverse Innovation: A Two-Way Street to Global Tech Solutions