Triggering a Digital Transformation Program and Creating Local Demand

Triggering a Digital Transformation Program and Creating Local Demand

The redistributive principle was the cornerstone of Kerala’s social sector achievements. However, this redistributive principle when applied to land holdings, translating to Kerala’s model of homestead agriculture has resulted in a severe contraction of agricultural production and productivity in some of the finest lands endowed with fertility and adequate water. A parallel can also be drawn in the context of Kerala’s MSME industry which is characterised by a large number of uncoordinated sole proprietorships or small businesses whose focus is on survival and have little resources to transform or keep abreast with a dynamically transitioning market.

Knowledge is more than science and information, especially in Kerala’s agriculture and MSME industry context. It is about appropriate know-how available dynamically to all. The dynamic nature of knowledge and the need for rapid transition, especially in the agrarian and MSME context makes the notion of achieving the status of a knowledge society a moving target. It is achieved when appropriate know-how and innovation is dynamically democratised through an ecosystem that allows for the development, co-creation, discussion on appropriateness, transmission and adoption.

Both agriculture and MSME is cradled in Kerala’s Local Self Government (LSG) model which has become an enduring part of Kerala’s responsible civil society which plays an important role as a conscience keeper. The development of Kerala’s agriculture and MSME sector is also set in an extremely vulnerable ecological context. Thus, what starts as a triple helix knowledge economy model of engagement of Enterprise, Academia and Government, becomes a quadruple innovation helix framework with the inclusion of the public represented by the civil society in the form of the LSG and, a quintuple helix model with the integration of aspects of a sustainable Environment.

Thus, Kerala’s model of enterprise, both in agriculture and in MSME are framed in with constraints that must be respected. At the same time these two sectors, agriculture and MSME must develop in terms of production, productivity and value addition. This can be achieved through knowledge based co-creation which brings together a dynamic partnership of innovative transformation. The partners of knowledge based co-creation will be enterprise, academia, government and a civil society represented in the LSG which will benefit through employment and wealth creation in an ecologically sustainable manner. The essence of the three programs led by KDISC, One Local Government one idea (OLOI), One District One Idea (ODOI) and the Young Innovators Programme (YIP), captures the essence of this quintuple helix model of creating an innovative knowledge society. 

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