Science and technology underlying frugal grassroots innovations for meeting SDGs
Communities constrained by climatic fluctuations, uncertain markets, limited material resources and weak access, if at all, to the formal sector STI institutions, have no choice but to innovate solutions to their problems themselves. Not everybody innovates, some individuals or groups do. Even these solutions or innovations often remain localized, sometimes not even considered as extraordinary by the innovators themselves. Since the majority of the grassroots innovators are materially constrained, they are forced to leverage a resource in which they are rich, that is, their knowledge, innovation, and creativity.
I suggest that given the diversity of local knowledge systems, it might be useful to uncover the science underlying functional and viable practices, innovations and experiments at the grassroots. The bridge between formal and informal science may help trigger such sustainable technological designs which may have more accessibility, affordability and availability. The simultaneous emergence of numerous designs of foot pedal dispensers of sanitiser/water for washing hands around the world during Covid19 shows how quickly such a knowledge system can respond to even emergencies of such gigantic nature.
We need several transitions: from microfinance to micro venture innovation finance; conventional IP based solutions to hybrid forms with open access for self-employed communities and licensable for profit-making companies; dedicated funds for validating and value-adding in grassroots practices and innovations; ex-situ value addition to in situ value addition etc.
Increasing income disparity and urgency in meeting SDGs leave little doubt in my mind about creating initiatives like SRISTI, GIAN and NIF the world over as triggered by Honey Bee Network in India and elsewhere.
Perspectives and Policies to steer science, technology and innovation for the SDGs
Date: Monday 28 February & Tuesday 1 March 2022, 13:00 – 17:00 | Online: http://strings.org.uk/event/strings-project-workshop/