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Tech Czar Sam Pitroda To Lead Young Social Innovators Meet

Leading US-based inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker Sam Pitroda will lead nearly 100 Young Social Innovators to discuss how technology can make social enterprises more effective at a day-long session in New Delhi on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Sam Pitroda, currently advisor to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on public information infrastructure and innovations says, “Through technology we begin to think about things differently. How do we bring about generational change? How do you expedite the process of modernization and development?

“Action For India is ultimately a movement for the world that will bring young talent together to think about new ways, new processes, new products, in a whole different paradigm for human development", Pitroda added.

The session on “Leveraging Technology for Scaling Impact� will be chaired by Microsoft Research’s Technology for Emerging Markets Unit Head Ed Cutrell.

"To unleash the innovation potential in the country we need to tap into the creative energy of our young entrepreneurs,"Â added Pitroda who guides Action For India (AFI) as the Honorary Chairman.

‘Action For India’ believes that social entrepreneurs make a real difference to the everyday lives of real people and are India's best hope for long-term, large scale social change. A billion plus people require a wide variety of solutions, and AFI believes that those solutions are already all over India, in the minds of social entrepreneurs, just waiting to be tapped.

“India is full of creative, driven, young people who have innovative solutions to the problems around them. Some are already actively using technology; others may not yet realize how technology can help. By pairing these youth with technology experts, mentors and resources, we shall use technology to make things happen faster and better,� says Sanjay Kadaveru, Founder and President, Action For India and a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Young social innovators, under the age of 40, who have made significant impact with their innovations in the field of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Livelihoods and Healthcare, will place their specific needs before technology providers such as Nokia, Intel, M Power forum from Spice group and Microsoft, and seek their support for widening impact by covering larger audiences at the ‘Action For India Forum 2012’.Â

Action for India Forum 2011 will serve as a catalyst for 100 Young Social Innovators, who have impacted the bottom of the pyramid by providing critical resources, so that they gain momentum to benefit a much larger audience. It cited examples of projects like the Rashritya Swasthya Bima Yojana that enabled social good within a short span of time and achieved scale by leveraging technology.

RSBY, a health insurance plan for people from the unorganized sector, covered nearly 90 million people in 3 years, for just Rs 30 per year entitling them to a cover of Rs 30,000 on a smart card that gets them treatment for 725 diseases in 5000 private and public hospitals.

Sushmita Ghosh, President Emeritus, Ashoka, the world’s working community of nearly 3000 leading social entrepreneurs, will moderate a special session by inviting successful social innovators to share experiences using technology to achieve a larger impact. The panel will include Anil Swarup, Director General for Labour Welfare and the man behind the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana which has over 23 million active smart cards and more than 1.5 million people already availed treatment at various hospitals; C P Das, Akshaya Patra, a foundation that feeds nearly 1.3 million mid day meals to children every day;Bottom of Form

William Bissell, Fabindia, the unique venture that made 15,000+ mini entrepreneurs out of weavers and artisans.

To make the deliberations meaningful for the 100 Young Social Innovators Sector Specific and Cross Sector Break-Out Sessions are planned. Participants are already reaching out, electronically, to other participants and sector specific expert mentors.

They include:

Agriculture:Â Mark Kahn, Venture Partner, Omnivore Capital; Executive Vice President for Strategy & Business Development, Godrej Agrovet;

Education:Â Sridhar Rajagopalan, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Educational Initiatives and Aditya Natraj, Founder, Kaivalya Education Foundation;

Energy:Â Harish Hande, Co-Founder & Managing Director, SELCO-India and Svati Bhogle, Founder & CEO, Sustaintech & Secretary, TIDE;

Livelihoods:Â William Bissell, Managing Director, Fabindia and Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and

Healthcare:Â Dr. Ashwin Naik, Co-Founder & CEO, Vaatsalya.

Action for India is partnering with TiE Delhi-NCR, IIT Alumni, Deshpande Foundation, Nasscom Foundation, National Social Entrepreneurship Forum, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IIM, Ahmedabad, Sankalp Forum, IDEX, Nishith Desai Associates, Dasra and Ashoka, organisations active in the social entrepreneurship, technology and innovation space to offer their resources, especially the expertise of experienced members to Young Social Innovators.

Source: EFY Times , January 13, 2012

 
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