An Innovation Lab Summit was held on November 22 and 23 in Guwahati recently. The summit titled “Taking Forward Innovation and Foresight in Assam” was organised by UNDP in collaboration with Transformation and Development Department (T&DD), Government of Assam, Centre for SDGs (CSDGs), Centre for Innovation and Futures Studies and SITA.
The summit was inaugurated by the chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal. At the inauguration Sonowal stated, “The most challenging part of the 21st century is to provide quality service to the people.” Further, “We have to incorporate innovative approaches in all spheres to have smart bureaucrats and smart politicians who can provide quality service to the people.” The inauguration was also attended by Dipak Borthakur, Vice-Chairman, State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA), V.K. Pipersenia, Chief Secretary, Assam, and John Borgoyary, Regional Head, North East Region, UNDP and other senior officials from Government of Assam.
The two-days saw participants from all departments of Government of Assam, engaging in processes of co-creation, foresight and experimentation with the assistance of the facilitators coming up with innovative blueprints on issues around nutrition, education, agriculture, roads, traffic and rural housing.
Facilitating the event were Jaakko Kuosmanen, Outi Kuittinen from Demos Helsinki, a Finland based non-profit organisation who specialise in innovation in governance, Prashant Mehra and Satyam Gambhir from Mindtree, an information technology consultancy firm. This event will lead to the culmination and foundation of an Innovation Lab, which will take forth innovation in all spheres in Assam.