BOP Utilities Workshop

Utilities at the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) Workshop

Research Workshop
May 2, 2008

The emerging “base of the pyramid” (BOP) paradigm claims that new business models can allow multinational companies to profitably meet the needs of the poor in developing countries. This workshop seeks to examine the mutual challenges of utility services for emerging BOP business models, and of the BOP for dominant utility service designs. The aim is to improve academic research on the BOP, on one hand, and expand the range of possibilities for meeting key service needs, on the other.

This event brought together a small group of researchers analyzing utilities and the BOP, by means of such relevant topics as:

  • alliances between business and NGOs (as key components of the BOP ecosystem)
  • corporate social responsibility and BOP market development
  • utilities and poverty alleviation
  • organizational change and innovation
  • implications of slums and urban development in developing countries


9 a.m.

Andrew Allen, Dean School of Business Administration USD
Julie Sullivan, Provost USD
Andrew Vesey, EVP and President LatAm AES Corporation

9:30 a.m.

Patricia Marquez, University of San Diego
Carlos Rufín, Suffolk University

10 a.m.
Utilities at the BOP

Hammond, "Scaling Innovative Solutions to Benefit the Next 4 Billion"
Mejia, "Utilities as Platforms to Provide Opportunities for the Majority"
Gutierrez, "Providing Utilities to the Poor in Latin America"

11:15 a.m.
Lessons from the Field

Mendes, "Telephony & m-commerce for BOP in the Philippines - Lessons for Africa"
Alampay, "ICT's and the BOP in the Philippines: The Last Mile"
Millán / Millán, "Addressing the Needs of the Poor Pays Back: The Case of Codensa in Colombia"
Reficco / Marquez, "Socially Inclusive Networks for Building BOP Markets: The Case of Utilities"

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Garden of the Sea

2 p.m.

Milstein, "Adapting the BOP Protocol to Utilities"
Veevers-Carter, "Delivering Utility Services to the BOP Using Output-Based Aid (OBA) Approaches"
Casarin / Nicollier, "Prepaid Meters in Electricity: A Cost Benefit Analysis" (Not in attendence)

3:15 p.m.
Emerging Models

Lawaetz / Smyser, "Challenges and Opportunities"
Petersson, "AES Electropaolo's Loss Reduction Program in Sao Paolo, Brazil"
Alvarez / Morandi / Petersson, "A Utility's Perspective: The AES Corporation Experience"

4:15 p.m.
Closing Remarks

5 p.m.
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Garden of the Sea

This event was sponsored by the Ahlers Center for International Business and AES Corporation.