Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development


About this minor

This joint minor is offered in collaboration with Leiden University, Erasmus University and TU Delft. Education will take place at all three locations

During the past decade, frugality has emerged as a new discourse on innovation. It challenges mainstream growth and innovation practices by which (1) the majority of people live without access to affordable basic services and necessities such as health, housing, energy, water or food, and (2) current production and consumptions patterns -notably in the Global North, lead to resource overexploitation and environmental degradation that increase climate change worldwide. Among both academics and policy makers, frugal innovation is ascribed with the potential to sustainably tackle global societal challenges such as inequality, exclusion, and poverty.

The minor critically explores and investigate frugal innovation discourses and its ascribed potentials. It provides for a multidisciplinary learning environment, bringing together students from Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The first block consists of three courses offered by lecturers from each participating university, and a Bootcamp to prepare students for their practical assignment. In the second block the Frugal Innovation in Practice field assignment takes place, either in the Netherlands or abroad.

In the second block the Frugal Innovation in Practice field assignment takes place, either in the Netherlands or abroad. There are limited scholarships available, but bear in mind that students are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and living costs during the field assignment.

Frugal Innovation applicants have to complete a Background and Commitment Form as well as submit their CV to the

Good to know

This minor requires full-time study from September 2024 until the last week of January in 2025. Experiences of students in previous editions of the minor show that it is difficult to combine participation in this minor with other studies or retake exams. The minor forms a continuous program with its own assignment rhythm including the field assignment, in which for reasons of group cohesion and collaboration, a partial stay either in the Netherlands or abroad is not allowed.

The minor has a layered first come first serve admission procedure. A maximum of 40 students (equally distributed among the three LDE universities) will be admitted and an equal distribution among disciplines will be aimed for.

Link to more information

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For guests, registration for this minor is handled by Leiden University