Inclusive Innovation

The projects conducted under this research theme investigate how innovation happens at the grassroots level, focusing particular attention on inclusive, multi-stakeholder innovation processes in under-studied contexts such as rural farming communities and smaller cities and towns. What characterizes processes of innovation in these contexts, and how do these processes differ from the models of innovation used by industry, policymakers, and large development actors?

We explore these questions through studies of inclusive innovation processes across a wide range of geographic and cultural contexts. The findings and insights from this research informed the core content of an MIT Professional Education course on Inclusive Innovation.  


Investigating Inclusive Systems Innovation 

A multi-stakeholder team co-designing innovations for coffee processing in Tanzania

This two-year project examines processes of inclusive, multi-stakeholder innovation at the local systems level, with a particular focus on innovation within agricultural systems and local systems of production and consumption. The project is funded by the USAID Center for Development Research and forms part of the MIT CITE research portfolio. Read more.

Learning from Local Innovators

An community member in Guatemala explains local food resources informing her innovation project

This ongoing project involves interview-based case studies with local innovators and their collaborators in order to gain insights into how grassroots innovation processes unfold across a variety of sectors and contexts. 




Elizabeth Hoffecker, Research Scientist