Lighting of the lamp is a traditional way to begin a conference here in India.
I'm still very jet-lagged and adjusting to both the time zone and culture in Mumbai. I was lucky enough to have a front row seat in the reserved section with laptop and digital camera in hand to cover the opening ceremonies on Twitter.
Following the #nilf was an excellent way to gain a better of understanding of what was happening on the stage.
The opening session started with the lighting of a lamp and welcome from NASSCOM officials to the crowded ballroom fill with 1600 conference attendees from 27 countries, including a delegation from Pakistan. You could feel the energy in the room - a convergence of IT leadership from business, government, social innovation, and nonprofit sectors. In the US, many of IT conferences are often silos of these different audiences. Nasscom celebrates a wide open conversation and spreading thought leadership between the various sectors represented.
Chairman @nasscom Mr Bhasin welcomed and expanded on the theme of the conference. He sees many opportunities on the horizon. He asks questions about how IT can accomplish the following social impacts:
- Can we deliver health care $10 per person?
- Can we deliver job skills for $10 per skill?
- Can we take our collective knowledge and use it to drive public services in many states to a new level of transparency?
- Can we come up with creative models to build new industries to serve the world in a way that hasn't be done before?
The NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours recognizes excellence and encourages innovation in social development initiatives. It showcases projects that demonstrate best practices in technology in the area of social change. It not a PR gimmick, the idea is to inspire the use of ICT across sectors for authentic social change.
The judging criteria looks at both processes as well as results. On the process side, they look for projects that incorporate a systems based transfer of knowledge across public, private, and nonprofit sectors. They define social innovation as a product, process, or a technology - as well as a principle. The latter can be an idea, piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention, or some combination. There are six different categories covering nonprofits, business, corporate social responsibility, e-governance, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and environmental project.
There was a large volume of applications. A short list of 18 nominees selected by a panel of highly respected IT experts and leaders in the field who met via video conference. The awards has six categories:
2: Business Innovation for Development
3: Corporate Social Responsibility
5: Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
6: Environmental Project
The overall goal of the award is to inspire creativity and imagination to bring about social change for ICT in development.
One of the e-governance winners - Information and Public Relations Department, Orissa "Making governance efficient, transparent, and faith-inducing with e-correspondence."
The full list of winners has been posted on the NASSCOM blog. The winners include a variety of agricultural rural projects, healthcare, and more.