As I was listening to a conversation with a Cisco exec this morning on BBC, an additional take on why the lower reaches of the pyramid are becoming fertile ground for innovation around technology and new business models emerged that is counterintuitive to the way business have thought about low-income consumers before. Cisco's Chris Dedicote, who I wrote about last year for Worldchanging, talked about how the fact that consumers have little extra money to spend is precisely what is making them potential early adopters of new technologies and models like smart energy meters and new forms of mobile banking (and one could add things like low-emission city cars, upcycled materials, and on and on the list goes). 

Five years ago, that idea would have seemed strange when there were plenty of higher income consumers to be tapped with this sort of innovation. Dedicote was articulating (thankfully) a systems view which has been missing—there won't be resources or new consumers to tap unless we find ways to do more with less collectively, and help individual consumers do the same individually. 

 
(Republished from Some Observers)

Comment