Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development
This minor has specific application procedures, click the tab ‘Target Group’ for more information.
Be aware that you can only apply for this Minor between 3 April 13:00 hrs. and 16 April 2023. Although the minor description is synchronised between the LEI, TUD and EUR prospectuses it may take some time. For all purposes the description in this Leiden e-prospectus is leading.
Leiden-Delft-Rotterdam (LDE) Minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development, 2023-2024
Are you interested to learn more about frontier innovation thinking and practices? Do you want to explore the societal relevance of frugal innovation? Are you up for a multidisciplinary challenge? Do you want to combine theory and practice? If you are answering these questions affirmatively, you are the ideal candidate for this Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE) minor on frugal innovation!
Frugal innovations are informed and inspired by the principle of frugality. In many philosophical and religious traditions across the globe frugality is considered an important virtue, which implies low material consumption and a simple lifestyle to open the mind for spiritual goods such as inner freedom, social peace, and justice. In today’s colloquial meaning frugality also refers to the quality of being economical with (scarce) resources and materials, being sparing. In mainstream innovation thinking and practices, that mainly build upon experiences in high-income countries, the widespread availability of material and non-material resources has always been more or less assumed. This often leads to over-engineering of products, services and systems, whereby a solution to a problem is provided in an elaborate or complicated and expensive manner, overexploiting resources, while a simpler, more affordable solution can be demonstrated to exist with (almost) the same functionality and effectiveness, and by using less resources. This simpler solution can be called ‘frugal innovation’.
During the past decade, frugal innovation has emerged as a new discourse on innovation, challenging mainstream innovation thinking and practices in a global context in which (1) a majority of the people continues to live in contexts in which they do not have access to affordable, basic necessities when it comes to health, housing, energy, water or food, and (2) current production and consumptions patterns, notably in the Global North, have led to overexploitation of resources, causing environmental degradation and climate change worldwide. Among both academics and policy makers, frugal innovation is ascribed potential to contribute to today’s societal challenges such as sustainability, inequality, exclusion, and poverty, across the globe.
In this minor we critically explore and investigate frugal innovation discourses and its ascribed potentials. You will not only discover the various narratives on frugal innovation, you will also apply your knowledge in practice through a field assignment during which you will be work with a multidisciplinary team on a real life frugal innovation challenge. This assignment allows you to combine (part of) your own study background with the knowledge and skills you acquired during the first part of the minor. Underpinning both the theoretical and practical portions of the minor is a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) lens. This involves an exploration into the intersectionality between academia, practice, and the various contexts involved. Similarly, the minor will equip you with further skills for the world after university in terms of navigating uncertainty, the art of asking and questioning, negotiating, building trust, and interviewing. It will also help nurture team working capacities, for transformative change is the sum of the efforts of individuals working and leveraging within collectives.
Maximum number of students: 40
Prospectus number: 5000MFRINN