Innovation is a powerful force that can drive social and economic development, especially in the Global South. Unfortunately, the distorted image portrayed by media often obscures the potential of digital innovations in countries in the Global South. As a result, Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) took on the challenge of highlighting the developmental potential of digital innovations from countries in the Global South.

Fab Lab Nepal – Picture by Pradita Pradham

The GIG’s Innovation Global Project is now in its last month, culminating in online and offline exhibitions showcasing Global South innovations. The project addressed the problem of the distorted image of the Global South in the media and the need for more information about inventions from the Global South. Changing this perception is essential to promote collaboration and partnerships to drive social and economic development.

The project targeted three groups: development cooperation organizations, innovators and hubs, and digitally interested public members. Development cooperation organizations are already aware of the potential of bottom-up approaches to international development. Still, they need to gain knowledge of the South’s ability to innovate and its specific challenges. Furthermore, innovators and hubs can benefit economically from the exchange by learning and adapting business models and innovations from countries with similar contexts. However, digitally interested public members generally need access to innovations from the Global South only if they make big headlines.

San3a Tech, in Egypt – Picture by Omar Elsafty

The exhibition highlighted innovations that affect all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mainly targeted SDG 10, Reduced Inequalities. SDG 17 Partnerships to achieve the goals, and SDG 9, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. The project created insights into the range of digital innovations from developing countries, from frugal to high-tech innovation. Furthermore, it showed how local actors from countries in the Global South contribute to solving local and global development challenges and what innovations from everywhere could be helpful to learn from.

The project’s offline exhibitions enabled new partnerships and forms of cooperation. CityLab, in Berlin, hosted the first Innovation Global Posters Exhibition, which already took place at FabCity Hamburg and is currently ongoing at Junge Tüftler*innen. Amerika Gedenk-Bibliothek – AGB; Zentral- und Landes-Bibliothek – ZLB will host the next one. Furthermore, the project contributed to networking between German actors and actors from countries in the Global South. The project promoted innovation through matchmaking and networking by identifying relevant actors from Berlin, Brandenburg, Germany, and Europe.

Exhibition at CityLab. Picture by Sandra

And the Innovation Global online exhibition at is another tool to help change the distorted perception of what is the Global South. The project has enabled a differentiated, modern image of the Global South that highlights the potential of digital innovations to solve local and global development challenges. It has promoted partnerships and forms of cooperation and created insights into the range of digital innovations from developing countries. The project is another step toward reducing inequalities and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken funded the Innovation Global project in a lovely partnership. Thank you, people. You are just amazing!


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