Grassroots innovations for inclusive economic growth

Date: January 29, 2020

Lecturer: Professor Ester Barinaga, School of economics and management, Lund University, and associate professor María José Zapata Campos, School of business, economics and law, University of Gothenburg

About the lecture: As a response to economic and financial hardship, a variety of citizen groups are experimenting with a wealth of grassroots financial innovations. These innovations build on the idea that vulnerable people hold the key to their own solutions. The initiatives focus on mobilizing local resources, designing governance structures, and developing local investment that empowers the community.

Table-banks and community currencies are two examples of grassroots financial innovations that are advancing inclusive economic growth. Building on their research on the Kenyan table-banks and community currencies, Barinaga and Zapata Campos will present how these grassroots financial innovations contribute to expand local markets, create networks to provide critical services, and build bridges between the community and local government. While local, these grassroots innovations build on global networks of knowledge.

The lecturers will highlight the extent to which grassroots innovations in Kenya build on knowledges from parallel experiences in Europe. They will also discuss what Europe could now learn from the Kenyan development of these financial grassroots knowledges.

Please note that the lecture is held in English.

In conjunction with the lecture, we will also reveal who won Nytt&Nyttigt 2018–2019, a national student thesis competition on innovation (organized by ESBRI and Vinnova). Darja Isaksson, Director general at Vinnova, will present the winners.

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