A failure in trust frequently is rooted in a failure of participation. The lack of mechanisms or channels to facilitate involvement in politics, economics, and society often leads to dissatisfaction. In India, the mobile revolution has provided the opportunity for massive public contributions to formerly inaccessible or out of reach institutions. However, most public sector organizations, corporations, and even social programs have failed to incorporate the new opportunities for participation that come with a networked public.
In India, new opportunities for participation have grown out of networking technologies. These technologies create space to debate, organize, and collectively problem solve that were not earlier available. The failure of institutions to incorporate this new forum has resulted in a dichotomy of social innovation. As the government and corporation pursue an ‘innovation from above’ strategy, grassroots movements for below continue to demand greater participation and transparency. These two forces remain disconnected in the Indian context, and how to bring the two together remains a challenge. However when the bottom up and the top down forces are able to work together, they will be able to create a participatory and inclusive innovation society.
The panel will be moderated by James Crabtree, the new India hand for London’s Financial Times, and an entrepreneur and innovator in his own right. Other panelists include Raman Jit Singh Chima, a policy analyst with Google India, and currently helps lead Google’s public policy and government affairs work in India. Ashwin Mahesh, is the founder of Mapunity, an independent R&D company designed around reversing the trend of government lagging behind technology. He is also a policy advisor and urban planner who has done extensive research in exploring the expanding role of technology & IT in urban traffic management. Joshua Karthik, runs the Colournext program of research and design at Asian Paints, and has recently transformed what used to be a static, one-way mode of data collection into a participatory dialogue between designers of all stripes and their wider community. Sunil Abraham is the founder of the Centre for Internet and Society and a technology innovator and entrepreneur in his own right. Aditya Mishra, is the founder of Headstart Foundation, a network of entrepreneurs across the nation. He has keen thoughts about how next generation startups will overcome the challenges facing contemporary India, if only they were provided the right kind of grounding and information at the start. Ekta Ohri is Head of Project at CKS, where she has witnessed all kinds of approaches to design and innovation, including those which are more and less inclusive, and will offer some insights on how participation is linked to innovation.