The 2015 Global Innovation Index looks at ‘Effective Innovation Policies for Development’ and shows new ways that emerging-economy policymakers can boost innovation and spur growth by building on local strengths and ensuring the development of a sound national innovation environment.
Sweden has been ranked as the third most innovative country in the world in the annual rankings published by Cornell University, INSEAD, the French business school, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
The top ten is dominated by European countries, with the US and Singapore the only non-European countries to occupy top spots. Switzerland remains at number 1, followed by the United Kingdom.
The study, which ranked 141 economies across the world said that India has outperformed its peers in the Central and Southern Asian Region (CSA) and positioned itself as innovation achiever in the lower-middle income category. Pakistan is sitting at the bottom just below Bangladesh. While the report also found that the technology gap between developing and developed countries is narrowing.
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A recent upsurge in violent extremism and the conflicts it has ignited around the world have led to a global conversation on how to tackle this far-reaching and increasingly complex issue. Governments and international bodies have rushed to formulate adequate policy frameworks and conference after conference has been convened to discuss possible solutions. However, arguably the most powerful – and ultimately the most credible – response has come from ordinary citizens. In communities world over, small-scale civil society initiatives have sprung up to counter extremism in its various manifestations. Although they have registered varying levels of success, often due to lack of sufficient resources and supportive infrastructure, many believe that they remain our best hope thus far.
In Pakistan, where extremism-related conflict has exacted a heavy toll on civilians, a unique initiative is, for the first time, applying social innovation in its efforts to counter extremism. The logic behind this is simple but potent. Why not harness the benefits of technology, community participation and cross-sector collaboration to address this problem? After all, it has long been evident that extremists adeptly manipulate tech and digital advancements to their advantage, often more effectively than governments and civil society alike.
This ‘Peace Accelerator to Counter Extremism’ is the inaugural program of the Social Innovation Lab at HIVE – a first-of-its-kind space recently opened in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi. According to its website, HIVE [karachi] is “dedicated to training, research, resource development and social innovation to counter extremism and work towards an inclusive, peaceful society”. Startup Weekend Karachi will be doing first ever peace edition in partnership with Hive.
The Peace Accelerator will gather selected activists, entrepreneurs, techies, artists and CBO reps to participate in its 2-month program. Apart from a co-working space designed to encourage collective brainstorming and the cross-pollination of ideas, the program will provide mentorship from supporting social innovators and experts in the field, as well as access to a resource library and dedicated support facilities. In order to ensure that early-stage ideas have the best chance of success, the program is also offering seed funding of up to 2,000,000 PKR (20,000 USD).
The Peace Accelerator program will run from 15th May – 15th July 2015, and applications to enrol are currently open here.
Sports are often employed as a comparison tool in the corporate world. Lessons such as patience, planning and leadership are all borrowed from football, baseball and even cricket. It is not surprising that such sports tend to trickle their lessons in the area of entrepreneurship. Shedding some light on history, cricket has a stunted past as an American sport. You do not find championship games and tournaments being played in USA but the favorite American pastime, baseball, lends credibility to borrowing some features from cricket.
The Captain Vs. An Entrepreneur
Every cricket team has a captain who has to make the crucial decisions. Be it choosing the team, the batting lineup, who gets to bowl how many overs and placing the fielders. A captain has a lot of riding on his shoulders and so does an entrepreneur. Having an A-team matters a lot and so does the right talent lineup. In cricket two teams clash against one another to battle for victory. An entrepreneur clashes against the world to battle for survival each day.
The Game Plan
The toss selection, the attack mode and the defending position are all what a cricket captain has to plan for. He has to strategically make the decisions of where to place which player, when to push for a victory and when to admit defeat. An entrepreneur much like the captain has to have a game plan. Coming up with an idea does not guarantee success by itself, pitching the business, raising finances and keep fighting the market until the funds run out are all parts of the plan.
It is the entrepreneur’s job to keep the morale of his team high much like a cricket captain in the face of defeat. Being rejected by investors, failure to reach the development phase and even crash and burn before launch are part and parcel of an entrepreneurial process. At those moments it is the job of the entrepreneur to rally his troops and keep them going. In the face of doubt and achieving the impossible a cricket captain has to assure his team mates to keep the end goal in sight and to believe in their capabilities. An entrepreneur has to follow the same track when the going gets tough.
The Stadium Is A Stage
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players,” Shakespeare did not know about cricket but he did point out an important fact. For a cricket captain the stadium he has his next match is his stage and whether his team gives the best performance or one of the worst depends on the choices he makes. An Entrepreneur likewise starts from a small stage; an incubator, and then as they progress they turn the world into their stage. A cricket captain studies his stadium long before he studies his opponent. He learns its secrets and in the same fashion an entrepreneur studies his market long before he sets sights towards the competition.
The Culture Club
An Entrepreneur brings his set of values, ideals and principals to the table when he starts from scratch. The business that starts taking shape around him is the result of the culture he nurtures and preaches. The team of any startup business adheres to those values in order for a legacy to continue. A cricket captain also brings his managing style to the team. He is able to switch between autocratic and democratic roles to elicit the best performance out of his team. An entrepreneur has to make the same choice in everyday business, whether to have a commanding presence or have a more participatory style of management.
by Haseeb Tariq @haseebim Creative by Usama Batavia
Sweden, United Kingdom & Switzerland topped this year’s Global Innovation Index(GII), Sweden has been ranked as the third most innovative country in the world, a step down from last year in the annual rankings published by Cornell University, INSEAD, the French business school, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
“Sweden is showing spectacular results without any big weaknesses, and is one of the world’s most innovative countries,” CEO of INSEAD, Bruno Lanvin said at a press conference.
Every year, the Global Innovation Index ranks the innovation performance of more than
140 countries and economies around the world. The ranking is based on 81 indicators.
A number of Europe’s most innovative & internationally successful companies came from Sweden, including furnishing giant IKEA and online music streaming service Spotify AB.
There is still a large gap between commercialization & innovation, however it is positive, really to say that there is large potential for Sweden’s immediate future.
180 million plus people out of whom 60% are between 15 & 45 years of age – Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populous country and the fourth largest middle class population in absolute numbers in Developing Asia.
Despite a 16% internet penetration, about half of its 30 million internet users access internet through mobile phones – the country’s mobile penetration stands at 74% or 136.5 million subscriptions.
It was through the aid of Startup Weekend Karachi (the first in the Pakistan back in 2012), as well as other Startup Weekends in Lahore,Islamabad and Peshawar by what local startups started getting more attention internationally.
Groopic winner of Startup Weekend Lahore is an app which lets you take group pictures which include the photographer recently got funding from KimaVentures and also got incubated and made their way to Blackbox.vc. CloudClinik runner up of the same event is a SaaS/Web based EMR & Practice Management System for small-to-mid size medical centers is making its mark with its customer base not only in Pakistan but in Qatar and still going beyond.
Oliver Samwer of Rocket Internet says that “building a business in Pakistan is like Germany, but only 20 per cent more difficult. But we are in it to do whatever it takes, if we have to build a Pakistani Post, we build a Pakistani Post.”
International investors are showing Increasing interest and confidence because of fact that these investors can see beyond the short term issues in Pakistan and have the foresight to capitalize on the long term, future potential. Rocket Internet, for example, already has 8 different ventures running in Pakistan which include daraz.pk, foodpanda and lamudi. Naspers backs OLX.com.pk and Shibsted Media Group recently launched asani.com.pk in direct competition to OLX.
There is competition in the ecommerce sector, however this is still primarily limited to the electronics market. For most players to make a dent in this market they will have to enter with significant funds the lack of competition provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike.
The World Startup Wiki – a World Startup Report’s project that maps out business opportunities worldwide – After months of collating crowdsourced input, a group of Pakistani techies have released its Pakistan Startup Report.
The Pakistan Startup Wiki is here. Click below for the full report: