Lately I' been listening and reading about stories of 'innovation from within' emerging markets. The role of women was always key to those innovations. Women have a crucial role in homework, buying food and household items. Especially in one project in Africa, women were key figures to implementing an innovation of a solar cooker and spreading the word of how to cook with it.
The fascinating issue is that not the 'design' alone is the innovation here, but the way it is disseminated among potential users through key stakeholders. Women meet up and informally exchange the way the cooker works among each other. Some are evangelize the use others learn from them in 'workshops'. The cooker itself is a departure form the old wood fire, which is more expensive and contributes to really bad air quality and health problems in many areas in Africa. The difficulty to promote this cooker is the different cooking method. The food cooks much slower, traditional practices of cooking are undermined. Therefore, identifying key-evangelists' to promote the benefits of this cooking method was key for this innovation.
I think this is a great case study for Block 4.
In addition, Tim Brown from IDEO mentioned in his blog a book that just came out. Its about bridging the world of rich and poor. Its currently out of stock, but surely an interesting topic for global design thinking.