Talk by Prof. Anil Gupta

Making grassroots mind matter: Leveraging community knowledge

Prof Anil K Gupta | 8th November 2022, 3 PM | inStem Auditorium (100 seater)


Blending formal and informal science is necessary to leverage people’s knowledge for developing viable solutions to many societal problems. Often, a question is asked, as to why knowledge-rich communities remained economically poor if their knowledge system was so effective in several cases. The answer is the institutional culture which made the knowledge holders share their knowledge generally openly and freely, without insisting on any reciprocity and even bearing the cost themselves. The Honeybee Network, 35 years ago asked a question; should grassroots innovators and traditional knowledge holders remain poor because they are generous, and we become rich because we are stingy? Unfortunately, scholars continue to publish even unique knowledge without prior informed consent and protecting the IPRs of the communities/TK holders. How do we correct the asymmetry in rights and responsibilities among institutional scientists towards the knowledge holders and grassroots innovators?

In this talk, Prof. Anil Gupta takes examples from the Honeybee Network database of over three decades and illustrate the potential for making responsible and reciprocal bridges between formal and informal knowledge systems. In some cases, the scientific and technological edge may get pushed further through community knowledge.

Speaker Bio:

Prof Anil Gupta taught at the Centre for Management in Agriculture, IIM Ahmedabad for over 4 decades and now is a visiting professor at IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Bombay and NIPER Ahmedabad and a distinguished AcSIR professor. He has immense practical experience in grassroots innovation and his mission is to expand the global as well as local space for innovations from and for grassroots, link ideas in informal and formal sector; to ensure recognition, respect and reward for creative communities, individuals, children, and tech students etc., and to augment open innovations by individuals, institutions, corporations, and countries through frugal, flexible, and friendly empathetic platforms.

Prof Gupta engages in unlocking individual, institutional and community creativity through empathetic open reciprocal innovations at national and international level. He also supports strategic organizations for making breakthroughs innovations. He has pursued 43 Shodhyatras, learning walks in every state of India once covering more than 5000 km during 1998-2016 and has started second round from 2017 onwards along with Honeybee Network volunteers.

His book ‘Grassroots Innovation: Minds On the Margin Are Not Marginal Minds’ uncovers some of the experiences as the founder of Honeybee Network — bringing together and elevating thousands of grassroots innovators.

He is the founder of several grass roots organizations such as HoneyBee Network, National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), Gujarat Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network (GIAN). He was also awarded the PadmaShri, by the President of India in 2004. Apart from It, he has delivered lectures to various prestigious institutions across the globe and regularly consulted by various policy makers, academic institutions, and stakeholders in the academic, industrial, and environmental sectors on unleashing innovation potential by leveraging community knowledge.

Watch the recording of the talk below: