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Out of Africa innovation workshop at Innovation in Action 2012

Key takeaways:

- Participants were divided in four “working groups”, each with a theme that participants could choose from: CleanTech, IT/mobile, Design and Fashion.

- Three of the groups included a invited participant from Africa. One group included a representative from Sida.

- Groups had to focus on a topic or business idea within their theme to work on in three stages.

- An introductory presentation from the workshop facilitator walked the participants through potentials of innovation in an African context.

- The results of the workshops showed how collaboration even during a short amount of time could show substantial outcomes within a certain business area. 

Examples of outcomes:

  • A suggested mobile platform to both crowd fund and evaluate innovations by consumers and users in a developing context. 
  • How rural relocation could help keep knowledge within a fashion manufacturing business and improve rural conditions and livelihood due to investments.
  • How IP-rights and IP-management can be developed to work in a developing context.
  • How CleanTech collaboration could evolve between an IP-member company and local start-up in Ghana. (Detailed process).
  • How crowd funding could be expanded and introduced in ways that helps small companies and start-ups.
  • Collaboration was a common factor in most outcomes.

The three main stages presented as challenges during the workshop:

  1. Gather your challenges, needs and potentials – in order to drive business and innovation in Africa. (choose focus area and viewpoints)
  2. List actions to overcome challenges, fulfill needs and realize potentials.
  3. How to collaborate? Map the ecosystem of collaboration and more.

Finally all the work groups were to present each outcome from their theme.                    

The workshop was intense with high levels of energy. As facilitator it was very hard to break in and bring each group to the next stage!  This was a workshop with a tight time frame and challenging hard work, but that was what we wanted to happen. Also, by creating collaboration around real challenges, tied to the practicalities of doing business in Ghana, every participant connected instantly and the participants’ professional diversity became an asset.

Article by Anders Bjers, Googol


  • Vuxenutbildning


  • iia
  • innovation
  • innovation in action
  • innovation pioneers
  • ip
  • ipi
  • symposium
  • workshop
  • out of africa innovation
  • africa innovation
  • africa
  • ghana


  • Stockholm

For more information:

Innovation Pioneers International



Activity: Innovation in Action 2012
Date: 23th - 24th October
Place: Summit Solna Gate
Participants: 190
Profil of participants: Innovation practitioners
Hosting Company: Innovation Pioneers 

Partners of IIA 2011: Logica, Vinnova, Baker & McKenzie, AV-Huset, Enhancer, SIDA, InnovationsUpphandling.EU and Innovation Academy

The initiating companies of Innovation Pioneers:
Alfa Laval, Atira, Veryday, Ericsson, Googol, Hjälpmedelsinstitutet, IKEA, Innventia, Tetra Pak, Uponor, Logica, The Absolut Company, AstraZeneca and Volvo IT