Constant innovation and invention is a vital part of progressing towards the future. But in the Western world, a large
portion of high-tech items’ and innovative tools’ main function is to make our own lives quicker, easier or more fun. In the developing world, however much of the technology and innovation is created because it is vital to solving an overall community’s real and serious problems.

Innovation out of necessity has become a game changer for the developing world. The incentive is no longer profit, but rather for much dire reasons like survival or ethical treatment. A great example of innovating for necessity is found in the work of our client, Freedom From Hunger. This social enterprise has helped millions of women in rural regions where poverty and hunger are at their worst. The initiative, which is under the auspices of the HealthKeeper micro franchise network in Ghana, trains women health keepers who sell basic health protection products, such as treated mosquito nets, water treatment tablets, oral rehydration salts, condoms, reading glasses and iodized salts. Working with the real women who are the HealthKeepers, Worldways co-designed the brand identity and brand experience.

This observation shouldn’t be too puzzling to most, either. While in the West there’s a need to create the shiniest, newest or biggest screened tech gadget in order to compete in the highly competitive Western market, the developing world isn’t thinking about market opportunities or patent issues. These innovators are thinking about the lives they might lose if they fail to act fast and use their innovations to solve an issue as soon as possible.

What do you think about this comparison? Do you believe Western innovators differ from the ones who live or work in the developing world? Let us know your thoughts!