Transcending Limits of Inclusive Imagination

Welcome to Responsible Innovator Lecture Series with Prof. Anil Gupta!

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22 Sep 2022 | 4pm
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Transcending Limits of Inclusive Imagination: Responsible and Reciprocal Innovation Ecosystem

Limits of technology, institutions and policies can often circumscribe our imagination and initiatives towards inclusive design of social engagement. Developmental potential of youth, local/indigenous communities, women, and other disadvantaged sections of society remains under explored. We just adjust and adapt to these limits rather than transcending them. That explains increasing inequality, lack of fairness in access, assurance, ability of the delivery and demand system and subdued policies for harnessing the power of grassroots innovations.

In my talk prepared in association with my colleagues in the 35-year-old Honey Bee Network (HBN), I argue for several changes in the developmental paradigm. Norms of reciprocity, responsibility and respect towards knowledge rich and often economically poor people require revisit. Students and scholars tapping people’s knowledge in various domains still do not share their findings with the communities in an easily understandable manner. Their guides sign their saying “all acknowledgements due have been made” while keeping people as anonymous and unaware of the use their data was put to. Sharing of benefits, consultancy income and other material gains by such data or its commercial application still remains very rare.

How do we then design a paradigm in which our academics responsibility and reciprocity towards communities we work with becomes more respectful of ethical and moral norms of fairness and justice. How do we change the criterion of research and developmental priorities so that unmet needs of disadvantaged sections of society do not remain persistently neglected? How do overcome fascination with very modest gains in social change and opportunities for those creative people who are trying to bring about innovative transformation like David Unaipon. How many such Davids got risk capital, grants for taking their ideas forward and helping bridge the social divide?

Professor Anil Gupta is the founder of the Honey Bee Network. He retired as a full-time professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 2017, where he served for about 36 years. He held an executive vice-chair at the National Innovation Foundation.He is also a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. 


The Responsible Innovator Lecture Series is organized by ANU Responsible Innovation Lab.

The series is designed to initiate new conversation around the responsibility of innovators as they imagine, design, build and deploy new technologies. Distinguished innovators and academics from around the world share lessons from their own projects helping engineers and scientists understand the complexities around new technologies.

To see the list of speakers in 2022 and watch the recording of the previous events, please visit the RI-Lab website at



Online, zoom link provided after registration.