Sristi Innovations, is a Non Profitable Company set up with the objective of strengthening the capacity of grassroots inventors, innovators and ecopreneurs in the area of conserving biodiversity and developing eco-friendly solution to local problems is engaged inter alia in the area documentation, experimentation, search, development and diffusion of sustainable technologies and institutions.
Sristi Innovations possesses requisite information and has developed many herbal formulations, the use of which is expected to cure certain diseases suffered by human being, animals and agricultural crops - to protect it from diseases as well as pest attack and has developed/is in the process of developing Herbal Medicines / Herbal Formulations / certain specific compounds and commercial products made by using such knowledge and information gathered in the process. The benefits so generated will be used for sharing benefits not only with the knowledge holders whose insights are used in the development of the drug but also with others for conservation of biodiversity, augmentation of creative and innovative spirit of people and pursue research on the related subjects.
SRISTI has set the following goals for itself to promote and celebrate grassroots creativity and traditional knowledge.
To expand space in society for building upon sustainable technological, institutional and educational initiatives and innovations at the grassroots with special focus on women's knowledge.
To document, analyse and disseminate innovations developed by people themselves.
To validate and add value to local innovations through experiments (on farm and on-station) and laboratory research for generating nature-friendly sustainable technologies.
To conserve local biodiversity through in-situ and ex-situ gene banks managed by local people.
To protect the intellectual property rights of grassroots innovators and to generate incentive models for recognising, respecting and rewarding grassroots creativity and associated ethical values and norms.
To provide venture support to grassroots innovators to scale up products and services based on grassroots innovations through commercial or non-commercial channels.
To embed the insights learnt from grassroots innovations in the formal educational system in order to expand the conceptual and cognitive space available to these innovations.
Segments We Cater
A framework for creating an inventive ethic at grassroots level and forging links between excellence in formal and informal Science through Honey Bee Network.
Note on the vision statement Global competitiveness of any society hinges basically on its ability to incorporate the spirit of excellence at all levels of society. A chain is as strong as its weakest link. To widen the decision making options of knowledge rich economically disadvantaged communities and individuals; one needs to build upon their experimental and innovative spirit. Only then the whole chain can be strong. Honey Bee Network of grassroots innovators has proved that technological and institutional innovations developed by individuals and communities can provide a new way of thinking about conservation of diversity, generation of sustainable alternatives for natural resource management through self supporting viable economic and non-economic options, and augmenting self reliant livelihood strategies.
It is a model of poverty alleviation and conservation of natural resources which builds upon particular resources in which poor people are often rich i.e. their knowledge. In many cases, the insights learnt from local innovations can even extend the frontiers of modern science. In the case of herbal medicine, the studies have shown that as many as seventy four percent of the human plant derived drugs are used for the same purpose for which local communities and tribal people use these plants (Farnsworth, 1981). What modern science did was only to make the method of extraction, formulation, storage or delivery more efficient, or in some cases generate a synthetic analogue of the active compounds. It is a different matter that in almost no case, modern private or other public sector organizations have ever shared any gain from this knowledge with the local communities or individual innovators. The experience of TBGRI is an exception. Honey Bee Network was started ten years ago to correct asymmetry in power relationships between formal and informal sectors of science, technology and economic enterprises. Honey Bee Network believes in protection of intellectual property rights of local communities as well as individuals and has been pleading for that much before the issue of patenting was being discussed widely in the country. Honey Bee does what we intellectuals and other public professionals often fail to do. It connects flower to flower and takes away their nectar and pollen without making them to complain. The cross pollination of ideas among local communities is possible only if we share our research findings in local language that communities can understand. Similarly, when we collect knowledge from people, we should not make it anonymous knowledge. The providers should be acknowledged and their IPRs should be protected. Further, if we get any material rewards, gains or any other form of income from commercialization, diffusion or publication of this knowledge, we must share part of the gains with knowledge providers and their communities.
It is this spirit which guides the activities of the voluntary organization, SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) set up in 1993 to support and strengthen the Honey Bee Network - a voluntary informal network of creative people, policy makers, scientists, NGOs and other professionals interested in augmenting grassroots innovations. The Honey Bee Network tries to:
Honey Bee signifies a philosophy of discourses, which is fair, authentic and accountable. It advocates people to people learning. The ethics of knowledge extraction, its documentation, dissemination and their abstraction into theories or technologies is the central concern of the Honey Bee Network.
Despite all claims about participatory research and action, seldom have we provided opportunity to creative innovators and traditional knowledge holders to do research themselves as well as in partnership or by hiring formal researchers. The institutional scientists have often paid lip service to the cause of collegial partnership with the local communities and people. An evidence of this problem is that almost no research council in developed or developing country requires local knowledge providers in villages to be acknowledged by their name and address. Most institutions do not insist on their prior informed consent, although situation is changing in some of the developed countries but in developing countries, the lack of accountability is almost universal. The issue of local communities and innovators being enabled to hire institutional scientists and fire them, if they don’t deliver is in the realm of speculation. Honey Bee Network, started sixteen years ago tried to reverse this logic. There were four principles, which we learnt from the life of honeybee.
Just as flowers don’t complain when their nectar or pollen are taken away, people should not complain when their knowledge is documented by outsiders. They should be acknowledged by their name and address and their intellectual property rights should be respected.
The bees perform a very important function of cross-pollination thereby enriching diversity and keeping the nature’s cycle on. Unless we communicate in local languages and in a manner that people can understand, people to people linkages will not be established. We should ensure that opportunities for people to people learning are given first priority in any social knowledge exchange.
Whenever any wealth is generated by disseminating the knowledge through commercial or non-commercial channel after adding value or without it, a fair share should go back to the people whose knowledge has made that wealth possible.
Before disseminating people’s knowledge or bringing it in public domain, their prior informed consent should be taken.
Honey Bee encourages collaborators to initiate local language versions of Honey Bee Newsletter, so that people to people learning across the barriers of language, culture and region can be facilitated. With the help of the regional collaborators of Honey Bee, six regional language versions have evolved, which actually facilitate the process of cross-cultural exchange of knowledge and mutual learning among communities. These are: Tamil (Nam Vali Velanmai), Kannada (Hittalagida), Gujarati (Loksarvani), Hindi (Sujh-Bujh Aas Paas Ki), Malyalam (Ini Karshakan Samsankiiatte), and Oriya (Aama Akha Pakha). Invitations have been received by SRISTI to initiate similar network in Africa and other parts of the world.
Honey Bee, is like a Knowledge Centre/Network which pools the solutions developed by people across the world in different sectors and links, not just the people, but also the formal and informal scientists, policy makers, innovators, green entrepreneurs and educationists.
Philosophy of Seven Es SRISTI works on the principle that a synthesis of seven Es, i.e., Excellence, Equity, Environment, Efficiency, Ethics, Empathy and Education. These provide the right chemistry for societies seeped in mediocrity to get over their inertia and move towards a compassionate, creative, competitive as well as collaborative society.
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