India, a laboratory for all kinds of innovation

In an interview to Hindustan Times, John Elkington, a global authority on corporate social responsibility, argues that social innovation is hugely interesting in India. According to him, a new breed of entrepreneurs has entered this space over the past five years in India. These are very well-educated, business-oriented people, very different from those traditionally associated with this industry. For this new generation, he argues, social innovation is not a side-business but a way to a scalable, profitable business — without profit being the overriding motive.

Nevertheless, for him, what is striking about India is its ability to still stay in denial about some issues, such as climate change, particularly about Himalayan glaciers melting, as though there is an option to disbelieve science. Individually, Elkington proposes, Indians should invest in education, of themselves and their families. They should also be willing to take a stand more and more, get policy-makers to listen to their voices, as they have with the recent protests in Delhi after the gang-rape case.

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