Ted London is an American scholar and teacher on Base of the Pyramid (BoP) issues. He is Vice President of the Scaling Impact Initiative and a Senior Research Fellow at the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan and is also on the faculty at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. London focuses his research and practice on developing enterprise strategies for BoP markets, building cross-sector collaborations, and enhancing mutual value creation. His latest book, The Base of the Pyramid Promise, was released in early 2016. Prior to the University of Michigan, London was at the University of North Carolina, where he received his PhD in strategic management. He has also held senior management positions in the private, non-profit, and development sectors in Africa, Asia and the U.S.
Base of the pyramid and the William Davidson Institute
London is Vice President of the Scaling Impact Initiative and a Senior Research Fellow at the William Davidson Institute. The Scaling Impact Initiative champions innovative ways of thinking about building better enterprises for BoP markets, with a particular focus on developing strategies and frameworks that enable enterprise leaders better navigate the journey to sustainability at scale.
Academic experience and research
London received his PhD in strategic management from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). He was also an assistant professor of entrepreneurship, teaching strategic management, international business and poverty alleviation, and sustainable enterprise at UNC.
At UNC, London was the director of the BoP Learning Laboratory a consortium of companies, nonprofit organizations, multilateral institutions and academics that explores the opportunities and challenges associated with entering Base of the Pyramid markets.
London’s research interests center on business and development strategies in low income markets, assessment of poverty alleviation impacts, and capability development for cross-sector collaborations. He has received awards and recognition for his research, teaching, and case writing, including winning the oikos Sustainability Case Writing Competition in 2005 and 2008, the Page Prize in 2011, the Samsung Best Paper Award in 2010, and the Doug Nigh Award in 2010.
London’s work has been published in a number of academic and practitioner journals, and he has written several book chapters.
In May 2009, the Harvard Business Review published London's paper entitled "Making Better Investments at the Base of the Pyramid". The article introduces London's Base of the Pyramid Impact Assessment Framework, a tool used to explore how ventures influence the well-being of local buyers, sellers, and communities. The Impact Assessment Framework guides managers through a detailed look at an organization's effects on those constituencies in three areas: economics, capabilities, and relationships.
In late 2010, Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid: New Approaches for Building Mutual Value was published. Co-editors, London and Stuart L. Hart, along with nine other leading BoP thought and practice leaders, focus on second-generation BoP innovations, techniques and business models that create value with the BoP. They identify ways to conceptualize opportunities, create sustainable business ecosystems, design new technologies with BoP in mind, and even transform entire sectors through collaborative entrepreneurship.
In 2012, WDI team members London and Ravi Anupindi published an article entitled "Using the base-of-the-pyramid perspective to catalyze interdependence-based collaborations." This article argues that in order for both donor- and enterprise-led value chain initiatives to be both scalable and sustainable, a BoP perspective must be taken so that development and business efforts are better integrated. The article’s research was funded by USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2015, London wrote a book entitled The Base of the Pyramid Promise, which was published in early 2016.
London also has consulted for a variety of companies, non-profit organizations, and multilateral institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the U.S.. This has involved exploring entry into base of the pyramid markets, examining cross-sector alliances between companies and non-profit organizations, and assessing poverty alleviation implications of BoP ventures. He also serves on advisory boards for VisionSpring (formerly Scojo Foundation), NextBillion, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
London was a design engineer for General Motors after graduating from Lehigh University in 1985 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. A few years later he received his MBA from the Peter Drucker Graduate Management Center at Claremont Graduate University and went to work for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells as a senior consultant in business valuation.
In 1989 London joined the Peace Corps in Africa and co-managed a regional business development program in Malawi. Three years later, he was in Asia serving as general manager for an Indonesian joint venture operated by McCormick Spices.
In 1993, London served as a director of a multi-country initiative in the Asia/Pacific Region that linked income generation and environmental protection for Conservation International.
Three years later, London became executive director of a non-profit providing business development services to companies in Northern Virginia before pursuing his PhD at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- London, T. 2016. 'The Base of the Pyramid Promise: Building Businesses with Impact and Scale, Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.
- London, T. 2015. Teaching at the Intersection of Business Development and Poverty Alleviation: Bringing the Base of the Pyramid into the Classroom. In Gudic, M., Parkes, C. & Rosenbloom, A. (Eds). 21st Century Management Education: The Challenge of Poverty, The PRME Working Group on Poverty.
- London, T. & Esper, H. 2014. Assessing poverty-alleviation outcomes of an enterprise-led approach to sanitation. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1331: 90-105. (Advanced online version published: 12 Feb 2014).
- London, T., Esper, H., Grogan-Kaylor, A. & Kistruck, G. M. 2014. Connecting poverty to purchase in informal markets, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 8(1): 37-55.
- London, T., Esper, H. & Fatehi, Y. 2014. Exploring the link between business strategy and social impact: Comparing poverty impact profiles. In J. Humphreys (Ed.), Proceedings of the Academy of Management Meeting.
- London, T., Sheth, S. & Hart, S. 2014. A Roadmap for the Base-of-the-Pyramid Domain: Re-energizing for the Next Decade. Ann Arbor: William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- London, T., Sheth, S., Ayala, J., Dichter, S., Hart, S. Jochnick, C, Koch, J., Kreiner, T., Muthiah, R., Viswanathan, M., Veglio, F., Winter, S., & Yadav, P. 2014. Base-of-the-Pyramid Summit: Shaping an Action Agenda. Ann Arbor: William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- London, T. and Anupindi, R. 2012. Using the base-of-the-pyramid perspective to catalyze interdependence-based collaborations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(31): 12338-12343 (on-line version published April 11, 2011).
- London, T. 2012. The impact of a scholar’s career: More than just the usual numbers for Jagdish Bhagwati. Advances in International Management. 25: 15-22.
- London, T. 2012. Investors for a social enterprise: Having to choose the right backer. Financial Times. March 20: 10.
- London, T. & Hart, S. 2011. Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid: New Approaches for Building Mutual Value. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press.
- Christiansen, M. and London, T. 2011. VisionSpring: A lens for growth at the base of the pyramid. In J. Hamschmidt and M. Pirson (Ed.), Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability: The Oikos Collection, Volume 2. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing, pp. 162–184.
- London, T. & Anupindi. 2010. Revisiting Value Chain Initiatives: Insights from the Base of the Pyramid Perspective. Washington, DC: US Agency for International Development. Office of Poverty Reduction Report.
- London, T., Anupindi, R. & Sheth, S. 2009. Creating mutual value: Lessons learned from ventures serving base of the pyramid producers. Journal of Business Research.
- London, T. 2009. Making Better Investments at the Base of the Pyramid. Harvard Business Review.
- London, T. 2008. The base of the pyramid impact assessment framework: Enhancing mutual value creation, William Davidson Institute: Working Paper.
- London, T. 2008. The base-of-the-pyramid perspective: A new approach to poverty alleviation. In G. T. Solomon (Ed.), Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings.
- Milstein, M. B., London, T. & Hart, S. L. 2007. Revolutionary routines: Capturing the opportunity for creating a more inclusive capitalism. Handbook of Transformative Cooperation. Stanford University Press, pp. 84-103.
- London. T. 2007. A Base-of-the-Pyramid Perspective on Poverty Alleviation. Washington, DC: United Nations Development Program. Growing Inclusive Markets Working Paper Series.
- London. T., Janiga, K., and Valente, M. 2007. The Base of the Pyramid Perspective and the Social Enterprise Methodology: Understanding the Facilitating Role for Development Agencies. Washington, DC: US Agency for International Development. Office of Poverty Reduction Report.
- London, T., Rondinelli, D. A., & O’Neill, H. 2005. Strange bedfellows: Alliances between corporations and non-profits. In Shenkar, O. & J. Reuer (Eds.), Handbook of Strategic Alliances. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication, pp. 353-366.
- Hart, S. L. & London, T. 2005. Developing native capability: What multinational corporations can learn from the base of the pyramid. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 3(2): 28-33.
- London, T. & Hart, S. L. 2004. Reinventing strategies for emerging markets: Beyond the transnational model. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(5): 350-370.
- London, T. & Rondinelli, D. A. 2003. Partnerships for learning: Managing tensions in nonprofit organizations’ alliances with corporations, Stanford Social Innovation Review, 1(3): 28-35.
- Rondinelli, D. A. & London, T. 2003. How corporations and environmental groups collaborate: Assessing cross-sector alliances and collaborations. Academy of Management Executive, 17(1): 61-76.
- Rondinelli, D. A., & London, T. 2002. Stakeholder and corporate responsibilities in cross-sectoral environmental collaborations: Building value, legitimacy and trust. In J. Andriof, S. Waddock, B. Husted & S. Rahman (Eds.), Unfolding Stakeholder Thinking. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing, pp. 201-215.
- Inclusive Business Interview
- William Davidson Institute
- Oikos Case Programme Site 2005
- Oikos Case Programme Site 2008
- Page Prize Award
- Samsung Best Paper Award
- Doug Nigh Award
- University of Michigan: Ted London Biographical Page
- Harvard Business Review Article
- Next Generation Business Strategies Book Site
- 2012 London and Anupindi Article
- William Davidson Institute
- See CV at University of Michigan Ross School of Business Site
- University of Michigan: Ted London Biographical Page
- Ted London's Website
- Inclusive Business Interview (Article)
- Scaling Impact Initiative at the William Davidson Institute (Video)
- The Base of the Pyramid Promise (Video)
- Bridging Impact Investing and Inclusive Business (Video)
- Business Opportunities at the Base of the Pyramid (Video)