scaling up grassroots innovation to millions: China Innovation Network, partner of HBN at TUFE shows the way

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=648945252

just returned from china, met some very interesting example of partnership between informal sector grassroots innovator like liu (who failed three times in scaling up his innovations, or maturing them) and then got in touch through local adminstration with Zhu, an entrepreneur. Now this briquette stove will be scaled up to 20k per month and then a million a year. Hubei province will be distributing more than 7 million such stoves to reduce carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency. TUFE centre for entrepreneurship and innovation, Tianjin and twin centre of grassroots innovation led by prof zhang LIyan is documenting the case in collab with Honeybee Network Nitw

we need to learn from this example how local distriuct adminstration plays an important role in linking innovators with entrepreneur ( we do it through NIF and HBN at national level but we need the role of Distt Innov Fund amplified in it), he has a team of three partners, all of them have joined swinchina.com company; he will also get 50 yuan per stove in addition to 250k yuan per year for three people. The public procurement is giving traction to the innovator who is getting finance form banks as well, and has set up world class facilities. India still has to declare a preference for indigenous innovation in public procurement. in fact we have a bias against the innovators because we ask for such high prior turnover figures for large tender that a start up company can never compete. While HBN and IIMA are helping China in building China Innovation Network (CHIN), we also have something valuable to learn from them. (

BRICS by Bricks: need for new values and ethos for BRICS development bank

BRICS by brick: An emerging new pole in the world

Recent agreement, among BRICS nations [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] to develop a new development finance institution is a highly welcome step. A unipolar world needed very badly a new pole. India has the opportunity as the head of the new institution to create new standards of transparency, accountability, participation, democracy and empathy. The World Bank culture must be systematically shunned if the new institution has to make a difference. The first would be to avoid the tendency to make it a well-paying place for retired bureaucrats. The whole character of the institution will get changed if it brings together professionals on merit with bias towards youth and preference for enthusiasm over experience. It must be remembered that we need a new institution because we find the experience of the older institution not very welcome and happy. If we reproduce the same culture and same process of inducting staff, then there is no way a new culture can be crafted.

It is well known that society is expecting much more openness and much higher opportunity for participation in decision making. Every project document will have to be shared in local language with the communities to be affected by the outcome of the projects so that they can voice their opinions. Public sharing should be obligatory and modification of the project should be an indicator of degree of participation. If the original goals and the activities do not undergo a shift through the consultation, then either consultation was a farce or the project designers were so smart that they could read the minds of millions of people. World Bank does not do it.

The public procurement system under funded projects should follow the Brazilian model of reverse auction which made it possible for Brazil to reduce its procurement cost by 40 per cent more than a decade ago. Fiscal prudence is one of the norms for maintaining economic stability at national and international level. Subsidizing those who don’t deserve is a recipe for disaster. Free power and free water have created huge problem of non-sustainable resource use. Similarly, giving subsidized foods to people who don’t need it is a wasteful policy. Every country should make anti-poverty programme more targeted and focused. If these programmes can also become more entrepreneurial, then creativity of the people will be harnessed much better. The students of colleges should be mobilized for audit of various programmes and make suggestions for their local adaptation and improvement. If younger generation is involved more actively in the process of governance, then the future leaders are likely to become more accountable. The selection of the projects, the methodology of their appraisal, the choice of indicators for monitoring the success, etc., will need reconceptualization. The new development finance institution must promote zero tolerance for corruption. The salary structure of the staff must be compatible with the living standards in BRICS nations. These should not be set to European standards. That one step will make it less attractive for opportunistic people who join such services for post-retirement perks and other benefits. A new ethics of frugality and simplicity must be practiced to create a role model effect and influence the institutions financed by this new bank. The regional cooperation and joint ventures within and among the BRIC nations must be particularly encouraged. There should be a strong bias in favour of investments in the ideas of youth so that an entrepreneurial revolution takes place along with the kind of a Cultural Revolution. The long march of chairman Mao, the socio-technological revolution by President Lula, the great literary tradition of Leo Tolstoy Russia which inspired Mahatma Gandhi should be built upon in the new framework of development. The Chinese achievements of science and technology, high quality publications, surpassing global record in patents, should be complimented with the grassroots innovation movements of India, Russian achievements in space and nuclear power and Brazilian achievements in green energy and social technology and South African resolve to achieve cultural pluralism in a country so deeply divided for so long. There is an opportunity for redefining the discourse on development by the leadership of BRICS nations. The sun rising in the east should shower its rays much more evenly and compassionately worldwide. China will have to contain its desire to have excessive control on African minerals and other resources. Africa should see a new era of knowledge and technological public goods being shared by the BRICS nations so as to create a more emancipatory developmental conditions. I hope that Indian Presidency of the new development bank will set new standards of probity, purposefulness and prosperity through an open, inclusive and shared culture.

Sustaining Frugal green innovations: a new paradigm of empathetic and evocative ecosystem

Sustaining Frugal green innovations: a new paradigm of empathetic and evocative ecosystem

Frugality is not just about affordability. Even I had not stressed enough about circularity (that is, cradle to cradle approach of not developing a waste oriented economy) in my earlier talks and writings. It has of course been a core issue in the Honey Bee Network philosophy for the last twenty five years through a sieve of eight E’s that we use to screen opportunities: ethics, empathy, excellence, efficiency, equity, education, entrepreneurship and environment. While pursuing the innovations for the communities at so called base of economic pyramid, we commit several basic mistakes: a) treat poor people as sink of advice, assistance and aid rather than as a source of ideas, innovation, and institutional values, b) focus on short term at the point of consumption affordability to the neglect of effect on environment, ethics and empathy in society, c) young people who wish to develop solution for inclusive development should be supported where they are, that is in situ support, or incubation, distributed, diversified, decentralised and de-bureucratised; d) incubation model relies on too much control, too many rules, too many boundaries. I propose that we use sanctuary model for providing support to start ups. In the conventional incubator, chaos is outside, order inside. In the sanctuary model, it is opposite, chaos is inside and order outside. And e) most venture funds neglect and ignore very early stage ideas at the inception or sometimes just at proof-of-concept stage. We need to correct these mistakes, build reciprocal and mutually accountable connections between corporations and student start-ups, communities, grassroots innovators in the informal sector and also self-inspired and self-triggered social innovators. We need a new paradigm of empathetic and evocative eco-system. This will encourage young people to share more, balance collective and individual benefits appropriately, and embed concern for perfect strangers and nature in the entire supply chain.

comments are welcome here or by email
this is for a paper and also a talk at smu, singapore aug 26-7, 2014

how not to support start ups

there are several problems with these policies:

a) unless we decide to invest in student ideas when they are still students, that is, they r in their colleges and not when they join incubators, we will miss a lot of good ideas,

b) in situ incubation is the future, off site residential incubator framework is passe

c) we should not talk too much about how much share will be obtained by whom at at early stage, instead focus should be to provide an easy to handle helpful platform for taking one’s ideas forward, eventually, a stage will come when students will like to discuss how to go forward, at that stage discuss the respective stakes,

D) we need an online ecosystem ( see sif.sristi.org a n experimental platform) for collaboration, co-creation and co-sharing the ideas, e-commerce can also be integrated there

e) Unless government learns to be humble, flexible, amenable to openness and transparency, how will transaction costs go donw

this fund of 10k cr will work only when 90 per cent is investe din start ups and rest in sme

else it will be carry forward of same old fund that was proposed by NInc under sma PItroda when i failed to convince them to open it to very early stage start -ups
what a tragedy then it will be

karnataka must also learn lessons in this regard, the technical university is not taking steps to give a boost to early stage ventures yet, maybe things will change if corruption can be controlled, greater transparency can be brought and concerns of young innovators can be given importance
a

“only 12 early-stage investments worth $22 million in agribusiness start-ups since 2010, compared to 695 investments valued at nearly $2 billion in information technology”

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-07-19/news/51744701_1_karnataka-government-it-bt-startups-initiative

Read more at:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38693362.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

BRICKS by brick: an emerging new pole in the unipolar world

BRICS by brick: An emerging new pole in the world

Recent agreement, among BRICS nations [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] to develop a new development finance institution is a highly welcome step. A unipolar world needed very badly a new pole. India has the opportunity as the head of the new institution to create new standards of transparency, accountability, participation, democracy and empathy. The World Bank culture must be systematically shunned if the new institution has to make a difference. The first would be to avoid the tendency to make it a well-paying place for retired bureaucrats. The whole character of the institution will get changed if it brings together professionals on merit with bias towards youth and preference for enthusiasm over experience. It must be remembered that we need a new institution because we find the experience of the older institution not very welcome and happy. If we reproduce the same culture and same process of inducting staff, then there is no way a new culture can be crafted.

It is well known that society is expecting much more openness and much higher opportunity for participation in decision making. Every project document will have to be shared in local language with the communities to be affected by the outcome of the projects so that they can voice their opinions. Public sharing should be obligatory and modification of the project should be an indicator of degree of participation. If the original goals and the activities do not undergo a shift through the consultation, then either consultation was a farce or the project designers were so smart that they could read the minds of millions of people. World Bank does not do it.

The public procurement system under funded projects should follow the Brazilian model of reverse auction which made it possible for Brazil to reduce its procurement cost by 40 per cent more than a decade ago. Fiscal prudence is one of the norms for maintaining economic stability at national and international level. Subsidizing those who don’t deserve is a recipe for disaster. Free power and free water have created huge problem of non-sustainable resource use. Similarly, giving subsidized foods to people who don’t need it is a wasteful policy. Every country should make anti-poverty programme more targeted and focused. If these programmes can also become more entrepreneurial, then creativity of the people will be harnessed much better. The students of colleges should be mobilized for audit of various programmes and make suggestions for their local adaptation and improvement. If younger generation is involved more actively in the process of governance, then the future leaders are likely to become more accountable. The selection of the projects, the methodology of their appraisal, the choice of indicators for monitoring the success, etc., will need reconceptualization. The new development finance institution must promote zero tolerance for corruption. The salary structure of the staff must be compatible with the living standards in BRICS nations. These should not be set to European standards. That one step will make it less attractive for opportunistic people who join such services for post-retirement perks and other benefits. A new ethics of frugality and simplicity must be practiced to create a role model effect and influence the institutions financed by this new bank. The regional cooperation and joint ventures within and among the BRIC nations must be particularly encouraged. There should be a strong bias in favour of investments in the ideas of youth so that an entrepreneurial revolution takes place along with the kind of a Cultural Revolution. The long march of chairman Mao, the socio-technological revolution by President Lula, the great literary tradition of Leo Tolstoy Russia which inspired Mahatma Gandhi should be built upon in the new framework of development. The Chinese achievements of science and technology, high quality publications, surpassing global record in patents, should be complimented with the grassroots innovation movements of India, Russian achievements in space and nuclear power and Brazilian achievements in green energy and social technology and South African resolve to achieve cultural pluralism in a country so deeply divided for so long. There is an opportunity for redefining the discourse on development by the leadership of BRICS nations. The sun rising in the east should shower its rays much more evenly and compassionately worldwide. China will have to contain its desire to have excessive control on African minerals and other resources. Africa should see a new era of knowledge and technological public goods being shared by the BRICS nations so as to create a more emancipatory developmental conditions. I hope that Indian Presidency of the new development bank will set new standards of probity, purposefulness and prosperity through an open, inclusive and shared culture.