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Empowerment for sustainable development: building upon local creativity and entrepreneurship in Vulnerable environments by Anil K. Gupta (Working Paper, No. 1994/1207)

By: Gupta, Anil K.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Ahmedabad Indian Institute of Management 1994Description: 34 p.Subject(s): Creativity in organisations | EntrepreneurshipDDC classification: WP 1994 (1207) Summary: A transition towards sustainable development requires recognition of the fundamental contradiction between the strategies which build upon what people do not know or have and the ones which take people s knowledge systems as the basic building block. It is the latter process of building upon people s own creativity that will bring about a liberating alternative. If development is defined as process of widening the decision making choices and extending the time frame of the households, then sustainable technologies and institutions cannot be appraised in shorter time frames using higher discount rates. The paper is divided into four parts. Part one deals with the interplay between communication and power. It provides scope for empowerment of disadvantaged communities through two way communication and two way power. It is ironical that knowledge rich farmers, pastoralists, and artisans are termed resource poor in the global developmental jargons. Part two deals with the issue of creating coping by rural households in environments with varying vulnerabilities. We discuss how households with portfolios having low average return high variance become most vulnerable. The features of market dominated communities are contrasted with that of nature dominated ones. Eco-institutional model is described in the context of informal collective choice institutions. Part three deals with grassroots technological and institutional innovations for sustainable development. The knowledge erosion is compared with the erosion of resources in single and multiple generational time frame. It is argued that sustainability can be achieved only by conserving resources and the knowledge around it both in single and multiple generational time frame. The cases of weak and strong sustainability are inferred from the combination of the variables. The institution building process is discussed with specific reference to the experience of SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) and Honey Bee network. The process of lateral networking implying people learning through communication in vernacular languages is discussed. The experience of conversation through competition is illustrated through the discussion on biodiversity contests organized by SRISTI among children and adults in different parts of the country. Paper concludes with some lessons and issues in becoming accountable to people from whom we learn.
List(s) this item appears in: Books on Entrepreneurship
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Working Paper Vikram Sarabhai Library
WP 1994 (1207) (Browse shelf) Available WP001207

A transition towards sustainable development requires recognition of the fundamental contradiction between the strategies which build upon what people do not know or have and the ones which take people s knowledge systems as the basic building block. It is the latter process of building upon people s own creativity that will bring about a liberating alternative. If development is defined as process of widening the decision making choices and extending the time frame of the households, then sustainable technologies and institutions cannot be appraised in shorter time frames using higher discount rates. The paper is divided into four parts. Part one deals with the interplay between communication and power. It provides scope for empowerment of disadvantaged communities through two way communication and two way power. It is ironical that knowledge rich farmers, pastoralists, and artisans are termed resource poor in the global developmental jargons. Part two deals with the issue of creating coping by rural households in environments with varying vulnerabilities. We discuss how households with portfolios having low average return high variance become most vulnerable. The features of market dominated communities are contrasted with that of nature dominated ones. Eco-institutional model is described in the context of informal collective choice institutions. Part three deals with grassroots technological and institutional innovations for sustainable development. The knowledge erosion is compared with the erosion of resources in single and multiple generational time frame. It is argued that sustainability can be achieved only by conserving resources and the knowledge around it both in single and multiple generational time frame. The cases of weak and strong sustainability are inferred from the combination of the variables. The institution building process is discussed with specific reference to the experience of SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) and Honey Bee network. The process of lateral networking implying people learning through communication in vernacular languages is discussed. The experience of conversation through competition is illustrated through the discussion on biodiversity contests organized by SRISTI among children and adults in different parts of the country. Paper concludes with some lessons and issues in becoming accountable to people from whom we learn.

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