Frugal Innovation

Being frugal can no longer be reduced to a necessity for some and not others. It is a conscious choice — an approach that is useful in all settings, and crucial to the survival of the planet. In innovation and entrepreneurial processes it helps develop product–service systems with resourcefulness and social sustainability at the core, which is what this one-of-a-kind workshop will teach you. 

During this weekend you will be provided with new insights and practical tools to help you identify frugal innovation opportunities and understand entrepreneurship on a whole new level, specifically in relation to poverty and resource–constrained settings. You will also meet with and be inspired by young entrepreneurs that live and work in those settings, where frugality is a necessity and alternative forms of innovation are vital.

Furthermore you will explore:

  • The historical roots of frugal innovation
  • Its links to similar concepts and sustainability
  • Why it is important and for whom
  • How it is developed and how it works in different contexts
  • How it can function as a competitive advantage
  • How frugal innovation opportunities can be identified by using practical and research-based frameworks


Skills gained in this workshop

  • Understanding frugal innovation principles
  • Recognising the frugal mindset 
  • How to apply approaches and frameworks to identify frugal innovation opportunities in a multidisciplinary team 
  • How to present a frugal innovation opportunity


All students and alumni of SSES member universities are eligible to apply to this weekend workshop. We get many applications and unfortunately cannot accept everyone. The selection process is outlined below.

For this specific workshop, you as an attendee will be requested to present yourself and what motivates you to learn about frugal innovation by uploading a short personal video. We also ask that you share in what area you would like to identify opportunities for frugal innovation and why.


  1. Application is reviewed
  2. Selection is made and a confirmation email is sent out
  3. Participants must confirm their seat in order to secure the spot
  4. If spots are not confirmed in time, the waitlist will be reviewed and new participants selected

About the teacher

Susanne Nilsson is an innovation management researcher at Integrated Product Development and Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.  Susanne has extensive experience in the medical device industry where she has held R&D and innovation management positions for 15+ years. Her research interests include sustainable product-service innovation and innovation capability development within and between organisations, both public and private. She is presently involved in research projects related to multi-stakeholder collaboration, social entrepreneurship and frugal innovation, and business development of digital offerings. Susanne teaches master-level students in courses related to innovation management and product development, is involved in teacher training for challenge-driven education, and is a program director at KTH Executive School. She is engaged in KTH GDH (Global Development Hub) and SSES developing opportunities for students to creatively manage complex real-life sustainability challenges in Africa.


Apr 22–23 - 2023
10:00 - 17:00


SSES Office, Saltmätargatan 9, 4th floor


Applications are open until April 9th.


This workshop is free of charge.