Posted on March 29, 2009 by Shital
The inspirational, energy-filled, and fun TED conference is heading to India this year. From November 4-7, 2009, TEDIndia will take place in Mysore and bring together speakers and delegates that are reinventing India. The huge success of TED makes its arrival in India even more exciting. At TC-I, we covered a few TED talks here, here, and here.
A little background on the TED conference:
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, and philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Nandan Nilekani, Jane Goodall, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.
The India conference will answer questions like:
- Which local innovations are destined for global impact?
- Who are the young thinkers and doers capable of shaping the future?
- Can there be economic advancement without environmental destruction?
- Can a pluralistic democracy survive in the face of rising fundamentalism?
- Can we make money and be good? Really?
- What should we learn – or fear? — from China’s investment in Africa?
- Do we have enough water for everyone?
- How do we keep our youth challenged and our aged healthy?
- How can anti-poverty solutions be brought to scale?
- Is there wisdom to be found in traditional medicine?
- Which other ancient traditions can illuminate modern life?
This will be an event that any social innovator in India will want to attend – register to apply here.
Filed under: Conferences | Tagged: Conference, design, entertainment, Innovation, Mysore, Technology, TED Conference | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 22, 2008 by Shital
Many people dream, but some people dream big. Dr. Ashok Khosla is one of those that dream big – but also puts the dream into action. As founder of Development Alternatives, Khosla plans to bring wide-scale employment to India’s rural areas. IndiaWest reports:
“Poor people are seeing more products, but have little access to them. The poor do not have purchasing power,” said Khosla, the 2002 winner of the United Nations’ Sasakawa Environmental Prize, and the Schwab Foundation’s outstanding social entrepreneur award in 2004.
The Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA), a partner of Development Alternatives, is a social enterprise focusing on standardizing “technology packages, which offer training, technical support, financing and marketing assistance to small enterprises.” TARA’s products range from paper to textiles to cyber-kiosks. Khosla aims to create 100 million jobs by 2018 through these micro-factories – no easy feat, considering that the organization claims to have created 3 million jobs in the last 15 years.
More importantly, the initiatives are created in a way that the villagers benefit above all.
In a typical model, the village will form a cooperative to purchase the equipment needed for the project, and determine wages for the workers, typically slightly above the area’s minimum wage. Development Alternatives’ social enterprise arm, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement, markets the products created by the villagers.
Tracking TARA’s progress in the next decade will be interesting and may provide further evidence of the impact of social enterprises and employment generating activities.
Filed under: Employment, NGOs and Non-profits, Technology | Tagged: Ashok Khosla, Development Alternatives, Employment, IndiaWest, micro-factory, rural India, Technology, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 24, 2008 by Shital
Prerna announced the acceptance of nominations for the 2008 Manthan Awards back in March, and Livemint.com now provides highlights of the innovative winners. The full list of winners can be found here.
On first glance, I was amazed by the sheer number of categories (there are 13) and the diversity of tech products out there. Here are a few personal favorites, but I encourage you to look through the list to get the full view:
- Wall newspaper – broadcast sheet pasted on the walls of milk cooperatives and Panchayat buildings in 40,000 villages, targeting the rural and low literate
- Safal National Exchange of India Limited (SNX) – pursuing a One India One Market vision, creating an opportunity for small farmers to gain access to national markets through negotiating prices in a transparent way that eliminates as many intermediaries as possible
- Lipikaar – an e-localization method that allows typing in 16 different languages using a normal keyboard, making it extremely user-friendly for non-English speakers
- Learn with Fun – making maths an enjoyable subject through satelitte communications in a vernacular language, to reach out to rural areas where drop out rates are high
There are seemingly endless ways to marry technology and development, and these winners provide just a taste of the current landscape.
Filed under: Awards, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: Development, ICT, Information, Manthan Awards 2008, Technology | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 26, 2008 by Shital
We post a lot of contest opportunities on TC-I, but the really interesting part is when the winners are announced and new ideas are revealed. Last November, ASSET (Achieving Sustainable Social Equality through Technology) India Foundation set up a Challenge by partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation. ASSET India Foundation focuses on the children of sex workers and providing them with technology training so that they can opt out of that industry and gain better career opportunities. The contest was run through InnoCentive, a global innovation marketplace. According to marketwire, the premise of the Challenge
sought the design of a solar-powered wireless router composed of low-cost, readily available hardware and software components. The router is to become part of a reliable Internet communications network connecting metropolises and remote towns in developing countries.
A software engineer from Texas named Zacary Brown came up with a viable solution. The idea will be made real by University of Arizona students this year.
The solution runs on a Linux-based system and is powered totally by a battery that is charged through solar panels. It was built with hardware that is able to withstand daily outdoor use and can be controlled remotely, allowing network operators to activate the switches with pre-paid cell phones.
The whole point of this solution is to allow adolescents outside of major cities to gain access to technology work and hone marketable job skills. To learn more about ASSET India Foundation, InnoCentive, and this solution, read the press release by marketwire.
Filed under: Competitions, NGOs and Non-profits, Technology | Tagged: ASSET Foundation, InnoCentive, marketwire, Rockefeller Foundation, sex worker, software engineer, solar power, Technology, wireless router, Zacary Brown | 3 Comments »