May 09, 2014
Venture capitalist Victor Hwang, CEO of T2 Venture Creation and author of The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, called for a new paradigm to promote development innovation at a May 7 meeting of the Society for International Development Private Sector Working Group in Washington, D.C.
Hwang, whose company produces the annual Global Innovation Summit, most recently held February 17-21 in San Jose, California, said that to foster innovation, international development leaders should consider new ideas from wherever they are generated, tolerate quick failures, encourage experimentation, and emphasize human connectivity. Hwang likened the model he envisages to a rainforest ecosystem, where new plants continually sprout and the strongest thrive, versus a production farm where predetermined inputs (seed, fertilizer) produce predictable results.
About 50 SID members, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists attended the event, which was held at the WeWork co-working office space and organized by Seema Patel, co-chair of the working group and a senior development specialist in DAI’s Economic Growth team. Patel is currently serving as Innovation and Partnership Advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Center for Development Innovation at the U.S. Global Development Lab, which includes support to the Grand Challenges for Development, LAUNCH, and Higher Education Solutions Network.
Technology and innovation ought to shape the work being done in developing countries but are not being sourced or scaled in ways that meet key development challenges, according to DAI’s Kristi Ragan, Chief of Party for USAID’s Grand Challenges for Development.Read More