India faces a unique challenge!
We have a large population that is young and mostly poor. Many Indians await prosperity. This India of the future is yet to be built. However, the engines of India’s growth are deeply embedded in the carbon economy. Neither India nor the world has the luxury of following that path.
India’s quest for dignity and prosperity will largely coincide with humanity’s response to climate change.
- Farming that produces nutritious food for all without destroying the soil, and while providing decent returns to farmers.
- Cities with living spaces and transport for all residents while curbing pollution while welcoming migrant workers.
- Millions of decent jobs that channel the creative energy of our young people, especially women.
Such challenges fit the definition of Wicked Problems
- They are complex in scale and scope
- They have competing and seemingly incompatible objectives
- Addressing one of them can lead to another that will require its own solutions
- Interventions also have unintended and unexpected consequences
There will be roadblocks to any idea that challenge the existing economic, political or social interests.
We need Political Solutions
"Greenup" is our name for the cluster of range of ideas and actions that are necessary for such a deep reimagination and transformation of Indian society including measures for innovation, adaptation and resilience.
Greenup will help India become a climate leader by building a flourishing nation that has leapfrogged the carbon economy.
Our goal is to change the climate discourse from a peripheral, elite policy debate to one that is visceral and central to addressing India’s future.
Our work is aimed towards arriving at political solutions by bringing together all key agents in a field who are the proponents of competing schools of thought. This is a flip on the ‘expert recommendations followed by advocacy’ model. By getting the political actors with influence ‘in the room’, the need for advocacy is eliminated.
We will do so by convening Greenup spaces - online and physical convenings with supporting tools and research- bringing together:
- People with power in the system such as political figures - especially young politicians
- People with knowledge such as academics and thinkers
- Creators and problem solvers such as innovators, system thinkers and entrepreneurs
- People with capital - representatives of business and philanthropy
- People with moral authority, especially traditionally marginalized groups.
The collective wisdom distilled from these spaces will be the basis for a roadmap for Greenup with buy-in from the above key stakeholders that will be shared with the public.
Socratus is the midwife of collective wisdom, which we believe is the core of a “wicked mind.” We believe that complex, “wicked” problems can only be solved by minds as wicked as the problems they seek to solve.
Towards this, Socratus is creating a distributed academy for training wicked minds through deep engagement with problems such as the agrarian crisis and climate change. We do so by:
- Unlocking the collective wisdom of the community of experts and various citizen groups
- Using design and data to drive alignment amongst stakeholders
- Using visceral experiences to embody wisdom
- Prototyping interventions in the field in collaboration with our field partners and then scaling them
In short, we are a modern take on the classic Socratic method of arriving at the truth, with data, design and viscerality playing a key role in the acquisition of collective wisdom.