Friday, June 18, 2010

Street-level Retail Innovation In Mexico City

Innovation. The mere word conjures up images of serious-looking scientists clad in crisp, all-white jumpsuits working in an impossibly sterile lab, tinkering with the latest gene-splicing method that promises the cancer cure. Engineers putting the final touches on a clay model of the latest hybrid vehicle, and programmers brainstorming on software platform and apps for the latest touch screen tablet gadget, in response to Apple's iPad.

This is how we commonly view innovation, correlating it directly with R&D, often overlooking the fact that innovation is not the exclusive domain of the developed economies and can come from any corner of the planet.


"Necessity is the mother of all innovations" and the trigger point to innovate is fundamentally human. This can be equally found in the high-tech labs of Tel Aviv and Tallinn, Seoul or Silicon Valley, as well as on the streets of a mega-metropolis like Mexico City, in the mud villages of sub-Saharan Africa, or deep in the tropical rainforest of Borneo. The latter category is best described as street-level innovation.


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