Technology and New Business Models for Developing Countries


Date Thursday March 31st 2005
Time 3:00 PM
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Virtually all of the defining technologies of the information age developed in Silicon Valley — computing, information storage, networking, software — have had little beneficial impact in the developing world.

Kofi Annan recently issued a challenge to Silicon Valley to consider ways of applying its innovative genius to address the Millennium Development Goals, including the goal of reducing world poverty by half by the year 2015. Altruism aside, many technology companies are maturing and facing relatively saturated markets in developed countries.

How can technologies invented in wealthy nations representing less than fifteen percent of the world’s population, with stable or declining populations, be made more relevant and useful to people in developing nations where populations are growing seven to eight times faster than in developed nations? How will business models need to change if the tools of our information age are to be deployable and commercialized in less developed and more rapidly growing parts of the world? Do the untapped markets represent a great opportunity? Are they potential test beads for the development of “disruptive technologies?” This seminar will focus on what can be learned from the entrepreneurial efforts of Tech Museum Award winners and others who see both compelling human needs and market opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid.


Jim Koch is Professor of Management and Founder of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University.

He coordinates all of the judging for the Tech Awards and is former Dean of the Leavey School of Business and Administration.

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