Seed to Sustainability - Future-proofing Indian Youth for the Next 100 Years

Chennai, May 14, 2019: Today’s young people face significant challenges in the face of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Moreover, today’s young social innovators, particularly agricultural entrepreneurs, face growing pressure to both, to do well and to do good. Traditional schooling is not preparing our young people to adapt and thrive in a world of volatility. How can we retool education to prepare them with the lifelong skills to navigate and thrive in an uncertain future? How do we help them create their own opportunities to create a better livelihood? How can we create market-based ecosystems that benefit all stakeholders? How do we build an inclusive, self-sustaining economic foundation to create jobs, stimulate entrepreneurship and spur investment?

Ms Bian Li, an international entrepreneurship expert who delivered the seminar gave solutions to the above problems and they are: Entrepreneurship as education with empowerment that is to provide the resources, mentorship and skills training to maximize previously untapped talent; enhance student capacity building and next generation skills for the future. Entrepreneurship as livelihood, that is to empower next generation of students to fulfil their economic potential and create their own opportunities. Entrepreneurship as economic development that is to cultivate next generation of entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses to create jobs, spur innovation and solve critical problems.

The lecture also kick started an important collaboration between the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and The Hungry Lab and launched the 100 Initiative for India, that is, 100 challenges with 100 solutions to 100 youth entrepreneurs for advancing India into the next 100 years. The fellowship is aimed to design and to capture the three-pronged benefits of Entrepreneur Empowerment:

  1. Education: Empower the next generation of students. Provide the resources, mentorship and skills training to maximize previously untapped talent; enhance student capacity building and next generation skills for the future.
  2. Livelihood: Cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs to identify, unleash and maximize their economic potential by creating their own sustainable opportunities with wider market access.
  3. Economic Development: Align macroeconomic policy with micro-level dynamics to build the necessary value chains for strong businesses. Design sustainable ecosystems to create local jobs, spur market-based innovation and solve local challenges.

A brainstorming session was immediately conducted following the lecture invited a diverse, multi-sector array of community members to ignite entrepreneurial innovation to create brighter futures and solve India’s critical challenges.  

Bian Li, the founder of The Hungry Lab also introduced and presented about her work. She said, “Never before has there been such a sense of urgency to prepare society to adapt to a volatile tomorrow, with growing anxiety about being left behind. The Hungry Lab is a holistic and decentralized platform future-proofing today’s youth and workforce and empowering impactful ventures, initiatives and corporate. Our mission is to lay the educational, entrepreneurial and ecosystem foundations for a future where anyone who is hungry to shape the world has the capacity, opportunity and resources to do so. The Hungry Lab empowers individuals, teams and organizations with the mindset, tools and nurturing ecosystems to build a more resilient future and stake their claim in a rapidly changing world”.

Professor M S Swaminathan, the Founder of MSSRF who chaired the discussion at the end of the seminar appreciated Ms Bian Li for her innovative thoughts and also said that applying those models and ideas that was shared in the seminar in practicality is more important.

Edited by: Christy Leema E