17 Sep 2010

Six : The Social Change With In

Having involved in Shlpa Sayura rural community education and Nava Goviya agriculture development through Telecentres, the purpose of taking part in SIX in the City, Summer School Workshop in Singapore, was to expand our horizon integrating climatic change into our work, so that we can enlarge the impact of our social innovation at grass roots.

The Lively workshop at Singapore Mangement University (SMU))

The SIX (Social Innovation eXchange) event not only enlarged my knowledge but created new insights expanding our vision into new approaches how climatic change could impact all areas of social-economic and environment development activities we are doing at grass root Telecentres.

The workshop was greatly engaging, bringing in social innovation knowledge from all parts of the world, covering enormous number of issues, solutions, experiences and future insights that initiated a change with in.

What I would take back
I will be going back to Sri Lanka, and energized to share my knowledge acquired with my colleagues, partners and rural communities who work and help us make impact innovations to create visible and measurable social change.

The new people I met from Singapore, Australia, Europe, America and Canada is great resource of knowledge and a valuable network to create global partnerships to future social innovations. They are also a new form of happy and committed people driven by passion for social change and feeling good about it.

Thanking Note
usually thanking is done in personal notes, but this time I make a little change to express my personal thoughts in a much open manner, it probably is a result of attending openICT4D conference and workshop in Ottawa. The list is big, I start with Lien Center Team, who found Shilpa Sayura and gave Shilpa Sayura a new Mission, Young Foundation who supported a great amount of knowledge to emerge from within, All members who accommodated and exchanged their knowledge, All speakers, moderators who kept the workshop a lively one. First time in my life I never felt sleepy during 3 days workshop sessions. It was like begining of an un-ending journey of new learning.

Off Grid Solar Power application in Marian Bay Gallery, Singapore

The change
Taking part in SIX in the City 2010, Singapore, a new change happened. They are many. However among the most prominent is to expand our focus also to include urban community in poverty alleviation, integration of green approaches to our ICT4D designs making it a ICT4GD (ICT for green development), and to have a global focus emerging from our local experiences. Among the new approaches we want to change into are collaborative innovations, designing for scale and spread, network centric innovative organization, urban inclusion, changing cities we live in, “rurbanization” , Non profit to Enterprise approaches, incorporating climatic change, global and regional partnerships are a few. This kind of insights was not available to us before in Sri Lanka. As an emerging nation after many years of social struggle, we can make use of these to help change our grass root initiatives, in small and little but effective ways both in 15000 villages, 26 cities and 150 towns. The challenge is to build a social innovators collaborative network of people and organizations with a new shared vision representing each level of the social entities of Communities, Govenment and Business to initiate a social change to address 21st century challenges that we are facing and survive in the catastrophes in time to come. One of the greatest lessons learned at SIX was “Go ahead and do it” .

It’s the core social change with in.

Rain water fed, vertical garden at Mariana bay Gallery, Singapore

Niranjan Meegammana
Shilpa Sayura Foundation
Sri Lanka

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