Acara Summer Institute 2012 – Nine Impressive Teams (Part 2)

[Editor’s Note: In late Jun 2012, I attended the final presentations of nine teams that made it to Acara Summer Institute 2012. Each team had 7 minutes of presentation followed by 7 minutes of questions/feedback from 10-odd reviewers (including me). This is Part 2 of a two-part series (covering teams 5 through 9). Part 1 …

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Acara Summer Institute 2012 – Nine Impressive Teams

[Editor’s Note: Last Friday I attended the final presentations of nine teams that made it to Acara Summer Institute 2012. I was impressed by the quality of the ideas and the pitches. What was most striking was that nearly all teams came across as *really wanting* to execute on their plans — in other words, …

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Hippocratic Oath for Social Entrepreneurs

On the final day of the Acara Summer Institute 2011, after the teams had made their final presentations, this appeal from Dr. Trilochan Sastry stayed with me: Whether you sell drip irrigation or polytunnel kits to farmers or build toilets for slum dwellers, could you ensure that the potential downside to your target users is …

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The myth of scalability in Indian social enterprises

Last summer, I attended a few sessions of the Acara Summer Institute – a three-week crash course in social entrepreneurship at the university level. I introduced myself to the group with the usual song-and-dance about why I was passionate about social enterprises and why we needed more of those instead of millions of well-meaning (but …

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Why I Like These Social Enterprises – Part 1

It recently struck me that I should start adding a “What I like about <enterprise x>” section to each post. The section would include social metrics the enterprise is purportedly trying to influence. Instead of editing scores of old posts, I decided to do a round-up post, organizing the posts by category. Agriculture Our first …

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Acara Summer Institute 2011 Day#1 Highlights

As I wrote in my introductory post on Acara last week, the Acara Summer Institute 2011 is in full swing this week at the Honeywell Bangalore campus. I attended 90% of the first day sessions and plan to return for days 4 and 5. I’ve tried to capture the day’s key highlights. Classroom Sessions by …

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