This story is sponsored by NASSCOM Foundation.
Imagine for a minute a world without technology. If you can’t, it’s because technology, in one form or another, has been driving our lives since the invention of the wheel. In addition to powering everything from the mundane to the extraordinary, technology has emerged as a strong enabler of solutions that drive social change.
One platform that has been encouraging the development of these solutions is the NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum (NSIF) that aims to address critical gaps in development and bring about transformation in Indian society through technology-led social innovations and solutions.
Instituted in 2008, NSIF is India’s largest technology for good platform that aims to recognise and support technology-led social innovations in key developmental areas such as Education, Healthcare, and Disability, among others.
Over the past nine years, NGOs, social enterprises and individual entrepreneurs have entered over 1,000 projects to be a part of the programme. And in its 10th anniversary year, NASSCOM Foundation with support from American Express & Mphasis, is exploring social innovations in newer areas, to further drive the impact of technology in India. Entries will be open to a diverse range of social innovators across NGOs, Social Enterprises, and Social startups.
Apply now to be a part of the 2018 NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum.
The Challenge for Change
Over the past few years, India has firmly established itself on the global map with technological innovations that span everything, from food delivery to space travel. One area that needed innovation and is finally seeing positive change is technology-led social betterment, and previous winners of NSIF have been spearheading that change.
Whether it is in the fields of Literacy and Numeracy, Accessibility, Primary Healthcare, Agriculture or Finance, NSIF winners have demonstrated how their innovations had far-reaching impact. mGuru, for example, developed an app that uses interactive learning activities to teach grammar, speech and listening skills, and has developed various tools to teach English. Story Weaver from Pratham Books is India’s first open source library that provides users with tools to help them read, translate, create, download, share and print content for free. While mGuru has seen over 50,000 installs, Story Weaver has impacted school children in places as diverse as Pune and Malaysia who were given free access to its books to improve their language and literacy skills.
BleeTech Innovations Pvt Ltd brought much-needed innovation to the space of accessibility for the differently abled with Blee: a wearable for the hearing impaired. This affordable device notifies the wearer of activities and sounds they need to be aware of by using lights and vibrations for pre-recorded sounds, including fire alarms or other emergencies. There is a unique set of vibrations for each sound alert. The device is connected to the user’s phone via Bluetooth where all the sounds are pre -recorded and stored. The device can also be used independently as a smart phone application. In a country like India, with over 60 million people with hearing impairments, an affordable device like this can make a significant difference, especially in critical situations.
This year, NASSCOM Foundation, with Mphasis & American Express will be focussing on technology that drives change in the fields of Education, Financial Inclusion, Healthcare and Sanitation, Environment and Accessibility. If your innovation is disrupting any of these areas, you could stand a chance to win. There is also a non-funded category that covers areas of social concern outside these categories. This could include anything from safety to prevention of human trafficking, women empowerment, good governance and citizen rights.
This year’s winners will walk away with a grant of Rs 10 lakh, a 12-month ‘Support to Scale Mentoring’ programme by experts in the industry, and gain access to NASSCOM Foundation’s network of tech for good leaders in the country. Additionally, winners will get visibility via the NSIF platform.
To find out if you are eligible to apply for the NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum, click here.
Remember, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase your innovation on a uniquely supportive platform and have it fine-tuned by some of the best minds and leaders in this space. Not only will you benefit, think of the millions that will benefit from your innovation.
The last day for applying is November 30, 2017.
So, don’t wait. Apply now and set the change you want to see in motion.