Bottom of Pyramid 4.0: modularising and assimilating industrial revolution cognition into a 4-tiered social entrepreneurship upliftment model for previously disconnected communities
Van Dyk, L.
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Developing a sociopreneurial (social-entrepreneurship) ecosystem is a substantial long-term investment. Much like natural ecosystems, there are a multitude of support systems needed to maintain balance and diversity in sociopreneurial ecosystems and their interactions are complex in nature. Yet, the various benefits that arise from such ecosystems make them a worthwhile investment. Examples of this come from global universities and private companies who have succeeded in creating hubs of innovation and creativity in different cities around the world. These hubs have achieved commendable results and produced quality initiatives. Yet, there is little success beyond the walls of cities, especially in low income communities. Typically, Bottom of Pyramid (BoP) Entrepreneurs must either move to cities to make their entrepreneurial ambitions come true or settle for small business status. This is especially troubling given that their communities are often the ones that need their skills most. The article begins by discussing the concept of Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) society. It argues that in the context of the knowledge era and the rise of the network society, the BoP is better named “the outer network society”. Using Industrial Engineering principles and systems thinking, the researcher designed a product range and upliftment model (collectively known as the ModulaRISE) that helps resolve most of the structural issues with developing a sustainable sociopreneurial ecosystem. The ModulaRISE model provides three core support structures that can assist in reversing this unfortunate brain drain: Education, Operation and Finance. Moreover, an overarching concern resolved with the model is the tiered system that helps bridge cognitive challenges of being exposed to Industry 4.0 futuristic technologies without the proper incentivized build up. The model has already been launched on a small scale with preliminary case studies showing significant promise. The vision is to develop a fully turn-key upliftment in a box model for BoP communities which connects them to the world and allows them to collaborate to mutually enrich their society and the global society. In concluding, it is discussed that since the majority of society (80%) lives in the outer network, it is fundamental for Industrial Engineers to help design new systems that connect these societies to resources (in the broadest sense) that can help them develop socio-economically and cognitively to be able integrate to the global network society
- Faculty of Engineering