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


Visiting Faculty, IIM Ahmedabad & IIT Bombay and an independent thinker, activist for the cause of creative communities and individuals at grassroots, tech institutions and any other walk of life committed to make this world a more creative, compassionate and collaborative place