Creating infrastructure for the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) : Refuting objections to a Global Rural Network (GRNet) for developing nations. This is an example of how infrastructure directly aimed at the BoP may look like. I think there is a huge potential for disruptive ideas in addressing the BoP.
I think CKP has only discovered the demand side of the equation, and explained how to create strategy around meeting it. However, I think the economics of the BoP can go much farther. There's an entire eco-system of government, infrastructure, platforms, markets and applications waiting to be built here. I think we need to use technology and policy as key drivers to bring the BoP into a value-chain intermediated by strong market mechanisms. The BoP can hugely benefit from the efficiency gains brought about by this.
These market mechanisms will need strong infrastructures and regulatory environments to operate in. This makes me think that scope for innovation in creating these environments is much more than what CKP has alluded to. We need to think of creative ways of building, funding and operating such infrastructure. Above all, we need to fundamentally re-think the designing of the infrastructure, policy-making and regulatory apparatus to make it specifically suit the unique needs of the BoP.
I recently came across a pretty cool example of what some of this may look like. The Rural Infrastructure and Services Common (RISC), addresses "The problem of the economic development of large underdeveloped economies present unique challenges that require innovative solutions.
" Here's their concept paper (sorry, it's in MS-Word .doc format).