Gashaw Teshome Mengesha

Postdoctoral Researcher


Innovation ecosystems, Indigenous Innovation Systems


South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, Lesuthu, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti

Work sectors

Poverty Reduction, Sustainable Development, Diaspora and Circular Economy, Good Governance and Peace

My work includes researching indigenous innovation systems in Ethiopia with focus on frugal innovation, national ecosystems and sustainability. The objectives of my research include spelling out the avenues for optimal utilisation of culture-centred knowledge in tackling poverty and achieving  Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Further, my work entailed the exploration of the potentials of co-creation and networking for business.


Dr. Gashaw has a PhD in Sustainable Development from the University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal (UKZN) Durban, a M.So.Sc. and B.So.Sc. in Development Studies from the University of Helsinki and a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations and Peace Creation from University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He received his Honors Degree from Addis Ababa University in Political Science and International Trade. Concurrently, his research interests reside in areas of Sustainable Business and International Development, Dialogue for North-South Partnership,  Role of Diaspora in Circular Economy, Migration, and subjects of Inclusion and Democratic Governance. 

Dr. Gashaw has worked in and played various social roles from being a street vendor to representing Ethiopian government – as a diplomat, from dedicated academics to private entrepreneurship in exotic restaurant business. As a result, he acquired a range of practical experiences in multiple levels of a vertical social scale. He once served as Deputy Head of Mission in Ethiopian Embassy Uganda, Kampala (1996-98), and as Foreign Relations Expert for Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission. Recently, before joining Aalto New Global, he worked as an Independent Researcher at a private construction firm.