There is a clear and evident need for mutual learning in global health systems. It is increasingly recognized that innovation needs to be sourced globally and that we need to think in terms of co-development as ideas are developed and spread from richer to poorer countries and vice versa. The Globalization and Health journal's ongoing thematic series, "Reverse innovation in global health systems: learning from low-income countries" illustrates how mutual learning and ideas about so-called "reverse innovation" or "frugal innovation" are being developed and utilized by researchers and practitioners around the world. The knowledge emerging from the series is already catalyzing change and challenging the status quo in global health. The path to truly "global innovation flow", although not fully established, is now well under way. Mobilization of knowledge and resources through continuous communication and awareness raising can help sustain this movement. Global health learning laboratories, where partners can support each other in generating and sharing lessons, have the potential to construct solutions for the world. At the heart of this dialogue is a focus on creating practical local solutions and, simultaneously, drawing out the lessons for the whole world.