Innovation in India

Innovation in India
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First Published: Wed, Apr 18 2012. 10 24 AM IST

People from across platforms converged to discuss innovation practices at the Design Public Conclave.
People from across platforms converged to discuss innovation practices at the Design Public Conclave.
Updated: Wed, Apr 18 2012. 04 00 PM IST
Design Public is an intense and involved conversation about how best to transform India into an innovation society. Decision-makers, influencers, policy advisers, academics, thinkers and actors from the public, social and private sectors come together to share their thoughts and ideas, and develop the necessary partnerships and consortia for driving innovation forward in India.
People from across platforms converged to discuss innovation practices at the Design Public Conclave.
This third edition of Design Public on 20 April is organized by the Center for Knowledge Societies (CKS), an innovation consulting firm. It focuses on issues of trust and participation in relation to innovation. The panels will address questions on how to overcome deficiencies in trust and participation in order to enable an innovation culture, society and ecology in India. It is also intended to examine the roles that different sectors of society play within this large endeavour, and how they can all coordinate their individual efforts to align with one another and best serve the larger public interest.
The conclave is designed to have intense panel discussions in the first half of the day, which will be followed by breakout sessions in the latter half. Experts and stakeholders with diverse expertise and experiences will brainstorm possible steps to solving complex challenges such as the lack of inclusive education, insufficient healthcare and sanitation, and ineffective delivery of social services. While no singular solution is expected to emerge, it is hoped that this conclave can serve as a stepping stone to developing and formalizing some partnerships and alignments to take these ideas and action them in the future.
Ahead of the third chapter of the Design Public conclave, here’s a walk through the ideologies that drive CKS and what to expect from the meet. Read their blogs to get a sense of the thoughts of the people behind the effort:
¦ Why should India move towards an innovation economy?
By Amir Ullah Khan, an economist with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: India has been riding a wave of economic growth for more than two decades now. Even when the rest of the world, especially the developed part, has faced recession and depression, growth in India has persisted. Now, as the western world prepares itself for another gloomy forecast, India’s growth prospects continue to burn bright and we are looking at growth rates above the 7 per cent mark this year too. Much of this sustained growth is explained to be on account of the young population in the country that not only generates demand but also then works to create supply. This youth population then constitutes what is referred to as the demographic dividend that countries like India reap when they pass through transition and enter maturity. Youth indeed, define and generate growth. However, what is imperative is that they be educated and skilled and innovative. Read more...
¦ Crises of trust are crises of creativity, design, and ultimately of innovation
There are break-out session for a more casual discussion among the panelists and participants.
A discussion of the relationship between trust and creativity has been missing from the global discourse on innovation. However, if we are to transform our societies towards a culture of innovation, the classic paradigm of imagination, vision, and trust needs to be reinvented. In today’s world, we work under the mentality of a zero-sum game, in which it is bleakly assumed that the existing way is the best way, and if there was a better way it would already have been tried. In the Indian context, this manifests in a hesitation to support another’s innovation or collaborate with a new contact. Read more...
¦ Participation, Collaboration, Innovation
A failure in trust frequently is rooted in a failure of participation. The lack of mechanisms or channels to facilitate involvement in politics, economics, and society often leads to dissatisfaction. In India, the mobile revolution has provided the opportunity for massive public contributions to formerly inaccessible or out of reach institutions. However, most public sector organizations, corporations, and even social programs have failed to incorporate the new opportunities for participation that come with a networked public. Read more...
¦ Design Public III: Why we focus on trust, participation and innovation
Design Public began as a conversation around the question of how design thinking and innovation can be used by organizations and actors outside the private sector, specifically government organizations and social sector agencies. As we enter this third edition of the Design Public Conclave, we see not only that our questions and deliberations have become so much more sophisticated, layered and granular, but also that there is a clear need to move beyond mere conversation, to the actual establishment of diverse consortia, partnerships and alliances that will bring this agenda to practical realization. Read more...
¦ Imagining India as an innovation society
Imagine people respecting a scientist or researcher more than a property developer...the flow of capital and the inter-relations between government and industry, across which we would need many more kinds of inter-connections and new forms of institutional bridging. Read more...
¦ Does innovation work best when the government does least?
The question of the nature of government’s role in social issues and the market has been debated to an impasse. So too, it seems, has its role in innovation. Does government support foster innovation? Or, does innovation work best when government does least? In 2010, the Economist magazine hosted a debate between the two camps, and fleshed out the arguments for greater or lesser contributions by government to the process of innovation. Read more...
Leading up to the conclave, Aditya Dev Sood, founder and CEO of CKS, spoke to Sam Pitroda, chairman, National Innovation Council of India, on the need to get different people, with different ideas on design into the mainstream.
Watch video
This year, the Design Public forum is spread over two days. Day 1 (19 April) is for the participants to get together and discuss their diverse perceptions and definitions of innovation, followed by the Design Public Conclave the next day. The list of speakers include James Crabtree of the Financial Times, Sunil Abraham of The Centre for Internet and Society, Arun Maira of the National Innovation Council, and Mint editor R. Sukumar, among others.
Click here for the complete schedule.
The Design Public III will be held on 20 April at the National Museum, New Delhi, from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Click here to register.
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First Published: Wed, Apr 18 2012. 10 24 AM IST
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