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Social and Grassroots Innovation

In line with an ever-growing realisation at global level that the ‘social’, ‘grassroots’ and ‘inclusive’ dimensions of innovation cannot be overlooked, but in fact hold the key to bring about positive transformations in ordinary lives by potentially addressing enduring social, economic and ecological challenges using novel and more effective approaches, the ‘Social and Grassroots Innovation’ was included as an important thematic area inviting views as to how to promote and develop an enabling environment and strategic initiatives in this field. 


The Social and Grassroots session involved a diverse audience including NGOs and Foundations, as well as academics. The session was moderated by Mr Raj Makoond, Eclosia Group (Mauritius) and the panelists included: 

  • Mrs Subashini Rama, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning & Development 

  • Mr Tony Lee Luen Len, Ecosis Ltd (Mauritius) 

  • Ms Ayooshee Dookhee, UNDP (Mauritius)             

  • Mrs Sophie Ganachaud, Trampoline Ltée 

  • Dr Keith Robert Thomas, University of Technology, Mauritius 




The main strategic orientations that came out of the thematic working group and panel discussion can be summarised in terms of: 

  • Shared Understanding of S&G Innovation 

  • Enabling Environment/Ecosystem with emphasis on collaboration (Public-Private-Academia-Civil Society) 

  • Encouragement of Social Entrepreneurship 

  • Capacity Building/Skills Development with a particular attention to capabilising grassroots communities and Civil Society as pillars of social innovation 

  • Open data and Research 


In the light of the above strategic orientations, the ensuing recommendations and programmatic areas to be developed have surfaced. 

  • National Steering Committee for Social Innovation under the aegis of the MRIC to be set up as anchor point for S&G Innovation rallying all social partners. 

  • Capacity and Skills (Skills Lab, Community Workshops on S&G I, design thinking, grant and project write-up)

  • Funding and Capital (Social Financing, Social Innovation Business Angels) 

  • Market Access (Preferential market access to vulnerable communities – innovative procurement procedures) 

  • Policy and Regulatory Environment to encourage Non Profits to engage in Social Innovation 

  • Evidence and Knowledge Sharing (Mapping Exercises, Development of Knowledge Repository, Scouting and sharing of international best practices that can be locally adapted) 

  • Awareness and Mobilisation (Local and National Competitions and Awards, Campaigns) 


By Dr Aveeraj Peedoly, Dr (Ms) Nuhaa Soobhany, Ms Chitra Ruhee, Ms Prathna Rambharush, Ms Naila Maherally, Mr Hemant Rughoonauth and Ms Deeksha Lugun

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