Mary Grace P. Santos

Executive Director

Grace has been engaged for more than ten years in inclusive innovation and inclusive development mentoring, inclusive business research and policy development, multistakeholder network development, and program/project design and management in the ASEAN region. She is one of the founders and currently executive director of UNIID-SEA Inc.

Under the Ateneo School of Government, Grace was instrumental in setting up the Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid (iBoP) Asia Program, and headed two pioneering projects that facilitated inclusive innovation learning and practice in the ASEAN region: the Science and Technology Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid in Southeast Asia Project (from 2008-2011) and the UNIID-SEA Project (from 2012-2015), both
supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre. These initiatives helped design, finance, and oversee more than 50 inclusive innovation research and training projects involving 150+ instructors, researchers, and development practitioners, and more than 20 institutional partners from across the ASEAN region.

Grace has co-authored and/or edited a number of relevant publications. She was a contributor to and one of the editors of the seminal book on BOP innovation in Southeast Asia entitled “Pathways Out of Poverty” (2012); editor of the coursebook on “Teaching Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia: IID Course Development for Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Levels” (2014); lead writer and editor of the UNDP publication on “Scaling Up Inclusive Business Models: Inclusive agribusiness case studies from the
Philippines” (2017); and co-author of papers on “Innovation Intermediaries at the Base of the Pyramid” (2012), “Leaning the Towers of ASEAN Universities: Teaching and Learning Innovation for Inclusive Development” (2013), “Performance Indicators for Independent Electoral Commissions (IECs) as Agents of Democratization: Experience of the Philippines and Thailand” (2018), and “Grassroots Innovations in Southeast Asia: Scenario, Policy, and Governance in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand” (2018). Grace has been recently engaged by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) of the Philippines for the development of the National Resettlement Policy Framework, and as inclusive business research and policy consultant by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), GIZ’s Inclusive Business Action Network (IBAN), the Board of Investments of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-BOI) of the Philippines, and Stichting BOP Innovation Centre in The Netherlands. She is a part-time lecturer and program development consultant at the Development Studies Program of the Ateneo de Manila University. Grace obtained her bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in the Social Sciences from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2003.

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