Knut J. Ims, & Laszlo Zsolnai ‘Social Innovation and Social Development in Latin America, Egypt and India.’ , in Ethical Innovation in Business and the Economy, eds. Georges Enderle, and Patrick E. Murphy, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA, 2015. (This book may be available at: Edward Elgar)
Exemplary cases of social innovation do not involve profit as the primary goal but emphasize social, spiritual and humanitarian goals such as minimizing suffering and empowering people and communities. The business models of the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) approach receive worldwide recognition today. BoP means developing innovative businesses to serve the largest, but poorest socio-economic group in the world. In global terms, about four billion people live on less than USD 2.50 per day. However, we can predict that the success of BoP businesses will finally be limited because they do not transcend the logic of mainstream, materialistic business. The paper analyses the cases of the Economy of Communion in Latin America and Europe, SEKEM in Egypt and Aravind Eye Care System in India as alternative social innovation models, which show that an ethos for serving the common good appears to be a precondition of successful social innovation.