To successfully navigate the challenges of the 21st century and beyond, communities of all sizes need to be able to innovate—to develop and bring into use new and more effective ways of doing things compared to existing practices.

The Local Innovation Group conducts interdisciplinary social science research on processes of local innovation and local systems change in communities facing development challenges around the world.

Our research produces actionable findings, methodological advances, and analytical tools that enable global development actors to deepen their  understanding of  how local innovation and sociotechnical change processes work, how they contribute to  sustainable  and equitable  development, and how they can be effectively catalyzed, facilitated, and evaluated.

Featured Projects

An image with a blue social network map against a white background. The map depicts the relationships of collaboration between key actors in an entrepreneurial ecosystem studied by the Local Innovation Group in collaboration with GED.
Participatory Innovation Ecosystem Mapping

This project is developing an approach to analyzing the dynamics of collaboration within innovation-oriented entrepreneurial more

Image showing a large group of people from diverse backgrounds sitting in a circle on blue and white mats laid out on the rooftop of a building in Lahore, Pakistan.
Inclusive Systems Innovation

Examining processes of inclusive, multi-stakeholder local systems innovation…read more

An image showing a printout of a colorful framework (the Local Innovation Ecosystem Framework) developed by the MIT Local Innovation Group. The framework, which depicts the key actors, resources, and enabling environment elements of a local innovation ecosystem, is sitting on a table with a laptop next to it, and has been covered with post-it notes. Some pens and worksheets are lying next to it. This image is from a workshop conducted in 2019 with a group of actors in the innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem of Madrid, Spain.
Innovation Ecosystem Analysis and Strengthening

Identifying opportunities and effective strategies for strengthening local innovation ecosystems…read more


Recent Papers

Krystalli, R., Hoffecker, E., Leith, K., and Wilson, K., (2021). “Taking the research experience seriously: A framework for reflexive applied research in development”. Global Studies Quarterly 1(3): ksab022.  

Hoffecker, E. (2021) “Understanding inclusive innovation processes in agricultural systems: a middle-range conceptual model.” World Development. 140.