Innovation: the way forward... By Alamgir
30 December, 2013
Progress is inevitable. The future will come and there is little or nothing anybody can do to change that. The question is whether the world of tomorrow will be better for our children. And that is where people make a difference by what they do today. Perhaps the most important factor determining whether we can enjoy a positive future is innovation — the driving force behind progress, which alone can create possibilities that did not exist before. When we innovate, we create value that was not there until we put our brain to work.
In countries like Pakistan, emerging economies so to speak, innovation can do what no government has ever been able to achieve. Our problems are manifold and almost seem insurmountable, be it the never-ending energy crisis, lack of civic infrastructure, basic healthcare or the scarcity of resources. We need long-term, sustainable solutions, which can only come if a culture of innovation is inculcated. This can only be done if thinkers, inventors and artistes get encouragement from society at large. Civil society together with the patronage of the private sector must encourage those who have ideas — ideas that can help create a better future.
One such initiative that I recently attended was the National Innovation Grand Challenge (NIGC), a joint initiative of Pakistan Innovation Foundation and Indus Motor Company. A year-long 'Open Innovation' competition, NICG encourages Pakistani innovators, youth, students, professionals, entrepreneurs and citizens to innovate for solving Pakistan's development challenges in four main areas of agriculture, energy, sanitation and manufacturing. It is heartening to see such endeavours being carried out.