Anthropologist Michael Thompson believes in the power of creativity from below in solving some of the smaller and bigger problems of our time.
“People generally are very creative and innovative. Many anthropological case studies have shown that. If development happens, it does not happen just through large-scale and “top-down” projects, but thanks to some sort of self help at the very lowest level. But often this creativity from below is not appreciated by the authorities or the wider society. Waste pickers who are sidelined or even prosecuted by authorities are just one of many examples. So, this is a wonderful opportunity for anthropologists to jump in and try to change public policies that prevent people from helping themselves.”