Ashoka’s Tech for Change Challenge
Social Entrepreneurship
20/12/2019|Senate Hall|9:00 AM
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Technology and Changemaking

While technology companies and social impact entrepreneurs have historically operated independently of one another, they often share many common attributes and values: innovation, a desire for a better world, and a belief that technology has the potential to change the world for the good of all. In the same way that technologists innovate new tools, social innovators invent, reinvent and refine new ways and systems for social impact.

But we are beginning to see the tremendous potential of the intersection between technology and social change in action. Mobile technology has transformed the relationship between technology and the social sector through context-specific tools like Frontline SMS. Technologies are increasingly being leveraged specifically for underserved markets to establish financial and health access (as with InVenture and ZMQ software). Many social innovators are demonstrating how effective partnerships can forge a future where technologists and changemakers are one and the same.

As these two industries discover their overlap, we asked Ashoka Fellows and tech industry partners to share with us their views on the driving forces of technology and changemaking:

How can technology help us create a better world?

“[Technology] is making a very inclusive society, a very participatory society.”Hilmi Quraishi

What are some of the risks technology presents?

“We don’t want to get too reliant on technology…it’s people on the streets who create change.”Ken Banks

How can tech and social entrepreneurs work together?

“A lot of technology companies may be developing tools that they’re not sure how might play out in a given market, and I think social entrepreneurs can provide those answers.”Claire Fallender

What can tech and social entrepreneurs learn from each other?

“Forget the technology, put that right to the back of the list [and focus on your impact on people].”Ken Banks

What is the future of technology and social change?

“It’s important that the people whose motivations are for social well-being to be as adept as possible … in what is going to be the lingua franca of the world.”Daniel Ben-Horin

Problem Statement

With the vision, “Technology is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end”, participants are supposed to develop a product using technology to solve an existing societal problem. Also, form a suitable business model around the same.

Judging Criteria

Participants are supposed to present the prototype of the product developed. Product will be judged on the basis of the following criteria:

Each team will be given a total of 20 minutes in which 5 minutes will be given to on-field evaluation and 15 minutes for presentation. Presentation should cover aspects related to technical design, impact of the solution developed, and the proposed business model.

Participants can present any of a hardware or a software related product/ solution, provided it is relevant to the problem statement.

The event is categorised as High Prep and shall yield a maximum of 400 points towards overall tally. Minimum Qualifying score : 150 points out of 400

Mid-Evaluation Report

A mid-evaluation report containing the abstract of the idea in not more than 4 pages, has to be emailed at [email protected] by November 14, 2019.

The mid-evaluation report shall comprise of 100 points.

Rules and Regulations

A maximum of 10 participants shall be awarded participation/merit certificate. A maximum of 4 student from team will be allowed to present during tech meet. An Interdisciplinary team of people from different backgrounds is preferred.


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