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Kick-off: ‘Introduction to the Minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development’


Admission requirements



In this short ‘kick-off’ course for the LDE Minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global attention will be paid to 1) the emergence of the concept of Frugal Innovation, the underlying concept of frugality and historical predecessors, such as the appropriate technology movement, 2) the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and 3) the debate on how Frugal Innovation could contribute to achieving these goals and which actors are involved. The introduction forms the basis needed to study the concept of Frugal Innovation from the perspectives of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Development and to understand whether and how it can affect the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In interactive sessions students will also get acquainted with each other and the teaching team. Detailed information about the minor programme will be provided during this introductory course, including the internships for which students have to choose in an early stage to allow for proper preparation.

Course objectives

After this course students are able to:

  • Describe what frugal innovation as a distinct manifestation of innovation entails and how it differs from and relates to other innovation manifestations;

  • Describe the history and rationale behind the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Identify and describe the basics of three perspectives (technology, entrepreneurship, development) in the academic debate surrounding frugal innovation;

  • Identify and describe the roles of the various actors involved in frugal innovation

  • Develop debating skills and critical reading skills.

  • To understand what the internships in the minor are about and what is needed in terms of practical preparations



Mode of instruction

Expert lecturers, hands-on group work and in-class assignments

Course Load

28 total hours of study:

  • Time spent on attending lectures and in-class assignment: 18 hours

  • Time spent for studying the compulsory literature: 10 hours

Assessment method


During our course, we will do a step-wise in-class assignment. At the end of the course you will need to hand in this assignment. In addition, your participation in the course will be part of the assessment.


Final grade: 80% in-class assignment + 20% participation.
The final grades for the in-class assignment and participation should be 6,0 or higher. Together they should be a 6,0 or higher to pass the course


The students are allowed one re-sit for the in-class assignment. It is not allowed to re-sit an examination or assignment for which they have received a pass (6,0 or higher). It is not allowed to re-sit the in-class assignment which they haven't done during the first occasion in class. The re-sit format needs to be discussed with the teachers of the course in line with examination regulations.

Exam Review



All students have to be present in all sessions. The teachers and the minor coordinator have to be notified in advance for the absences. The students who are absent more than twice will not pass the module.


In this course, Blackboard is used to present course information, notify you of changes to the course and to make course materials available.

Reading list

Scientific and professional papers and teaching cases, to be provided or indicated via Blackboard.


You register for the whole minor and for each individual course in uSis.


If you have questions, please contact the minor coordinators (André Leliveld, Emma Hesselink and Maaike Westra) at