Another successful conference on Social Entrepreneurship was held on October 23rd, this time at Babson College in Boston’s Wellesley suburb. Details on the conference and photos were posted in a local e-magazine, Lokvani.com and are reproduced below for those who could not attend. Continue reading →
Posted in Conference, Education, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social Innovation, sustainable development
Tagged Babson college, Boston, Carol Cone, Conference, ecosystem, Leonard Schlesinger, microfinance, non-profit, Pamela Hawley, Philanthropy, Pitch contest, Rural Education, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, social entrepreneurship, Social Impact, social Innovation, Social Investment, sustainable development, venture philanthropy
In the past decade, much progress has been made in India and people have been justifiably proud of the improving economic situation. While most observers point to the top line numbers that show the number of people living below the “poverty line” has been consistently decreasing, by focusing on just these aseptic numbers, they fail to understand and capture the continuing anguish in the rural countryside. Continue reading →
Posted in BOP, bottom of the pyramid, India, Poverty, Rural Consumer, Rural Development, Rural Education, Sanitation, Schools, water and sanitation
Tagged Agricultural Development, BOP, George Foundation, India, Poverty, Rural Development, Rural Education, Shanti Bhavan, Social Impact, World Bank
In response to my recent post on Rural Consumers, Joost Bonsen of MIT commented.
Thanks much for your survey of the rural consumer landscape in India. I’m curious how what you’re observing either reinforces or differs from the Hart-Prahalad BOP thesis and the cases they give, such as Hindustan Lever, etc. Plus how much of the consumer goods sector is dominated by MNCs or affiliates versus homegrowns? And finally, what’s the rural analog to Walmart or the old Sears Roebuck catalog or other innovations in the distribution systems?
I got to thinking about what he had asked and decided to write up a separate post instead of replying as a comment. So here goes. Continue reading →
Posted in Agricultural Development, BOP, bottom of the pyramid, India, international development, Poverty, Rural Consumer, Rural Development, Rural Education, Rural Entrepreneur, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social Innovation, sustainable development
Tagged Agricultural Development, BOP, eJeevika, rural BPO, Rural Consumer, Rural Development, Rural Education, Rural Entrepreneur, sustainable development, Vigyan Ashram
Last year I had written an article about an interesting organization, Agastya, that was transforming rural education in India by bringing a fresh new approach to teaching and introducing science and technology concepts to parts of the country that are typically ignored. Since then I was fortunate to visit Agastya founder Ramji Raghavan in Bangalore and accompany him to their Agastya Center in Kuppam.
The Agastya center is strategically positioned on 170 acres of rolling hills with panoramic views of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Each day a small flotilla of buses ferry hundreds of kids from neighboring schools to attend a day long series of sessions with Agastya teachers. The center has several discovery centers rooms each dedicated to a subject – biology chemistry and so on. Eager teachers encourage the students to explore, examine and investigate the scientific phenomena being discussed through hands on experiments. Continue reading →
Posted in Education, India, Rural Development, Rural Education, Schools, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social Innovation
Tagged Agastya, Education, Indian Education system, Kuppam, Mobile Lab, Ramji Raghavan, Rural Education, rural teachers, Schools, Science Center, Science Education
I had the chance to visit Agastya’s operations in Hubli earlier this year. Agastya is a NGO based in India that is hoping to transform the educational system by making it more interactive, experimental and interesting for children. Recently Ramji Raghavan, Agastya’s founder visited Boston and I had occasion to meet and hear him speak passionately about why he started Agastya after a career in banking. It was wonderful to hear and see some of the videos he brought along about the great progress and impact that the organization is having.
I wrote a piece about it in Lokvani which I am reproducing below . You can also see it at Lokvani. I will post the pictures I took a little later. Continue reading →
Posted in Education, India, non-profit, Rural Education, Schools, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur
Tagged Agastya, Education, Hubli, Mobile Lab, Ramji Raghavan, Rural Education, rural teachers, Schools, Science Center, Science Education