Ted London

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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.[1] 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.[citation needed]

Base of the pyramid and the William Davidson Institute[edit]

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.[2]

Academic experience and research[edit]

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.[3][4][5][6][7]

London’s work has been published in a number of academic and practitioner journals, and he has written several book chapters.[8]

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.[9]

In late 2010, Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid: New Approaches for Building Mutual Value was published.[10] 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.[11] 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.

Professional experience[edit]

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.[12]

In 1989 London joined the Peace Corps in Africa and co-managed a regional business development program in Malawi.[citation needed] Three years later, he was in Asia serving as general manager for an Indonesian joint venture operated by McCormick Spices.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[13]

Selected publications[edit]


External links and videos[edit]