The Politics of Innovation for the Poor
My new project has two dimensions. The first aims to develop a better understanding of efforts to use science and technology to alleviate poverty and inequality, with a focus on India. India is a particularly interesting site for this analysis because it suffers from significant inequality, has a robust science and technology workforce, and has also developed a variety of creative ways of thinking about the intersection of technology and poverty from leveraging traditional knowledge to grassroots innovation and entrepreneurship. The second dimension of this project explores the global politics of knowledge regarding these efforts, in an effort to understand why and how certain approaches to technology and poverty tend to dominate discussions and recommendations by international institutions. I have received grants from University of Michigan's Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Poverty Solutions, and Office of Research to support development of this project.
Brooklyn Law Review recently published my first research-based reflections on the topic. Shobita Parthasarathy (2017). “Grassroots Innovation Systems for a Post-Carbon World: Promoting Economic Democracy, Environmental Sustainability, and the Public Interest.” Brooklyn Law Review, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp. 761-787.
RELATED OPINION ARTICLE
Shobita Parthasarathy (May 9, 2016). “Fostering Grassroots Innovation: Lessons India Can Teach Michigan.” The Next Idea, Stateside, Michigan Radio. Op-ed and radio interview.