Sarah A Soule, Neil Malhotra, and Bernadette Clavier described “Social Innovation” as “the process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress.” It refers to the development and execution of new ideas, goods, and services that address social challenges and improve people’s quality of life. Social innovation is significant because it seeks to address issues that remain unresolved. In recent years, social innovation in India has gained tremendous traction, with individuals, organisations, and the government attempting to develop new solutions to some of the country’s most serious social concerns. India is one of the world’s most populous countries. It is the world’s largest democracy and has a unique geographical and people diversity, as well as a bilingual and multi-ethnic community. India has the world’s sixth-largest economy, with a GDP of $3.1 trillion. The country boasts one of the world’s fastest GDP growth rates. According to the Economic Survey for 2021-22, India’s GDP would likely rise by 8-8.5% in FY22.
However, there are significant differences in the country’s economy. Today, India has some of the most difficult obstacles in poverty alleviation, with difficulties such as low levels of education, poor health outcomes, and limited access to inputs to improve lives stifling the country’s progress. Thus, in a country like India social innovation can pave the way to solving the country’s most pressing issues that have somehow still not found sustainable solutions.
About the i4TS initiative:
To accelerate social innovation in Telangana, the programme was launched in December 2020 in collaboration with the Telangana Academy of Skill and Knowledge (TASK). Entrepreneurship training, an Ideathon workshop (to help that chosen focus on ideas in one of five subject areas), and incubation to help develop some of these innovations were all part of the programme.
The entrepreneurship awareness program was aimed at making the youths aware of what exactly is social innovation and how can it be used in various fields like healthcare, education, agriculture etc.
It aimed at developing among them the Primary attributes of an Entrepreneurial mindset creative mindset, persuasive communication ability, intrinsic motivation and drive, persistence, and ability to learn from failure., pursuing them to have a positive mental attitude. They were made aware of some Entrepreneurial Stories through Panel discussions with young entrepreneurs. They were made aware of What is social innovation? Its need, opportunities, and power of innovation by young people in various fields such as:
Outcomes of the initiative:
Relevance for India:
India despite being the fastest-growing economy in the world faces acute challenges like that of social as well as economic disparities, in light of this initiatives like the HHH’s i4TS can help in fostering social as well as economic inclusion through Youths.
Unemployment is again a pressing issue for India in light of this i4TS not only enables the youths to make themselves employable but also prepares them for being future entrepreneurs and drivers of social change creating employment opportunities for many other youths in the country. Asrina, a woman from Madanpur, Jharkhand availed the training provided by HHH and stated, “There was something about the training. I felt proud to be there. Although in the beginning I also felt angry and disappointed with myself for the person I was. But over the next few weeks, I gradually began to feel better about myself. My self-confidence grew and I began to dream of a different kind of life – with a job, respect, dignity…”
Most of the HHH’s initiatives are based on a bottom-up approach and i4TS is one of them it helps the youths is developing innovative solutions for specific communities through its training which helps in knowing the issues of the community at the grass root level and builds much more inclusive solutions.
The pandemic had exposed the vulnerabilities of the country’s health systems not only in India but also the world initiatives like i4TS can make health systems more sustainable.
Not just the health systems but also the supply chains were adversely affected during the pandemic, and education faced a blow with schools and universities being closed. Thus when youths are empowered with a vision to bring about social change through initiatives like i4TS makes the systems more collaborative and far-reaching to help millions across the country.
In India agriculture is still primitive with farmers not being aware of the latest innovations in the field resulting in low yield, and less productivity and creating vicious cycles for the farmers of India forcing them to die in vain.i4TS and initiatives like these can be a boon to agriculture with Youth making available the newer innovations in the field to the farmers and this way they will too take interest in the field of agriculture.
Thus, Head Held High’s i4TS initiative in partnership with TASK is a comprehensive and collaborative effort that would not just empower the youths through social innovation but will also help foster strategic and comprehensive changes in every sector of the economy giving a boost to growth as well as making the growth sustainable also.