ETHICAL DEVELOPMENT REVERSE INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Global Health and International Development are complex, multifaceted fields with rich histories coloured both by massive successes and ethical conundrums. Innovators and organizations from high-income countries (HICs) have achieved substantial improvements in sustainable development indicators in low-to-middle-income countries, but this has created an implicit power dynamic in these globally scoped fields.
Traditionally, knowledge and resources flow unidirectionally from HICs to LMICs. This leads to two issues:
Social impact innovation entities becomes hyper-focused on the developing world and neglect to recognize poverty and stunted development issues in their own backyards.
Innovation and progress in sustainable development originating in LMICs go overshadowed and undervalued by HIC equivalents with greater financial resources and marketing capital.
EDRIC participants hail from academic institutions across Canada with further expansion planned increase capacity for American learners to participate.
There is no shortage of young people in HICs with valuable technical skills and unique knowledge bases who are passionate about having a global impact. However, the opportunities available for their participation are focused on the wrong areas. There exist too many global health opportunities that involve direct fieldwork (especially in clinical healthcare settings), which results in an opportunity gap for HIC students and trainees:
Direct fieldwork in LMICs, present often-ignored ethical ramifications such as a focus on short-term, unstainable resource transfer, diverting learning resources and opportunities away from host-country trainees, and the up-scaling of clinical responsibility past what would be allowed in one’s home country, for those trainees on clinical healthcare experiences.
There is a shortage of opportunities for up-and-coming changemakers in HICs to learn how to apply their education and experience to create innovative, systems-level solutions to global health and sustainable development challenges, such that the privilege and resources associated with education and training in a HIC go underutilized and underleveraged for the sake of global public good.
Global health and international development education needs a fundamental overhaul to meet the ethical standards of today and the efficacy needs of tomorrow.
The Ethical Development Reverse Innovation Challenge (EDRIC) is an annual pitch competition hosted by ICChange and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta for North American students to challenge traditional paradigms of global health education and learn new ways to apply their skills, knowledge, privilege and resources to global health and international development issues.
EDRIC competitors in multidisciplinary teams undergo a design sprint in which they must innovate a solution to a sustainable development issue in a HIC that incorporates some aspect or feature of a sustainable development success in a LMIC.
Reverse Innovation Format
Problem statement on an issue of sustainable development in a HIC
Positioning information on LMIC successes in this issue to kickstart creativity
Pitching and ideation coaching
Rigorous research by competitors
Solution to HIC issue reverse-innovated from work of LMIC contemporaries
4 years of EDRIC hosted both at the University of Alberta campus and virtually.
Partnerships created to offer competition themes in food insecurity healthcare-driven carbon emissions, and urban design.
200 students from diverse degree streams across Canada and the USA have competed in EDRIC
Double per annum competitor count by 2024.
Expand the network of entrepreneurs and innovators to provide detailed, longitudinal mentorship supports to EDRIC competitors.
Increase capacity for more groups across the USA and Mexico to participate and intermingle with Canadian students.