Vikas Vij

Vikas Vij
Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.

Posts by This Writer

6 years 1 month ago

Social innovation essentially means developing innovative solutions to some of the most intractable problems facing the society, such as poverty, unemployment and a sustainable environment. Less than a decade ago, social innovation was a term largely unheard of. However, today it is the buzzword that everyone from politicians to businessmen to young college goers, are keen to use as an answer to the world’s thorniest problems.

One main thrust of social innovation is through social entrepreneurship. It strives to arrive at solutions that are...


6 years 1 month ago

The Indian social entrepreneur Harish Hande won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award 2011 for his path-breaking work in the field of solar energy. He is quietly dispelling the Western myth that renewable energy is unaffordable and impractical for an average householder.

Harish Hande is the co-founder of Solar Electric Light Company of India (SELCO). Hande graduated from India’s premier engineering institute Indian Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts. His focus has been the socioeconomics of technology implementation...


6 years 1 month ago

A conference at Santa Clara University on October 19 will feature 15 global socially responsible companies that will be honored with the 2011 Tech Awards for their enterprising use of technology to benefit humanity. The awards will be conferred by The Tech Museum in association with Applied Materials and Santa Clara University. The conference will examine factors that drive the success of social enterprises.

The Nexus Conference will include a keynote presentation by the CEO of Lifeline Energy, Kristine Pearson. Kristine, a former Tech laureate,...


6 years 1 month ago

Paul Polak has been a social entrepreneur long before the term came into vogue. He designs socially innovative products for millions of people who are a part of the “Bottom of the Pyramid” (BoP). Polak established a social enterprise called International Development Enterprises (IDE) in 1981 to seek solutions through business and social innovation for the BoP.

Water has been the focal point of Polak’s attention these days. Water-access continues to remain one of the thorniest issues for the developing world, despite the presence of public water...


6 years 1 month ago

London Olympic Games 2012 will take place in one of the economically disadvantaged locations in the city. It was a social entrepreneurial decision on part of the city that is now showing its gains. The reclaimed landscape that will emerge from these Games would have otherwise taken several decades to clean up piecemeal.

This erstwhile run-down part of London will now be home to a new economic center, a large urban park, and extensive residential and commercial amenities. The investment in transport and infrastructure in the area is major...


6 years 1 month ago

Dr. R.V. Ramani, founder of the Sankara Eye Care in Coimbatore, India, has created a successful healthcare model to deliver quality vision care to the underprivileged in rural India. Dr. Ramani’s social enterprise model works on a unique 20/80 principle where 20 percent of the patients pay for the free treatment of the remaining 80 percent of the patients who cannot afford to pay.

Dr. Ramani and his dedicated team of eye doctors perform 500 eye surgeries per day free of cost. Nearly 70 percent of these are cataract surgeries. Over the last...


6 years 1 month ago

Social innovation essentially means developing innovative solutions to some of the most intractable problems facing the society, such as poverty, unemployment and a sustainable environment. Less than a decade ago, social innovation was a term largely unheard of. However, today it is the buzzword that everyone from politicians to businessmen to young college goers, are keen to use as an answer to the world’s thorniest problems.

One main thrust of social innovation is through social entrepreneurship. It strives to arrive at solutions that are...


6 years 2 months ago

A new web resource for budding social entrepreneurs and changemakers in the American Southwest has been launched on September 22, 2011. SocialEconomyAZ.org is the creation of Vanna Gonzales, Assistant Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry at the School of Social Transformation, which is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Gonzales says, “SocialEconomyAZ.org aims to connect local consumers, entrepreneurs, and business owners to a wealth of information and to each other, and to advance research and teaching in areas that...


6 years 2 months ago

Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. of Philippines has emerged as one of the sterling examples of how social enterprises can make a difference while being profitable at the same time. GKI is a unique social enterprise that was established four years ago by two sisters in Philippines, Anna Meloto-Wilk and Camille Meloto. It is now making a meaningful difference to the lives of thousands of rural poor in Philippines, while running an internationally successful business.

Sisters Anna Meloto-Wilk and Camille Meloto visited the United States four years ago, and...


6 years 2 months ago

Chicago Ideas Week (CIW), an annual one-week platform of social ideas, in association with the Bluhm-Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship, has announced the 2011 class of Fellows. These young social entrepreneurs will participate in the Chicago Ideas Week event to be held from October 10 to 16, 2011. In addition to attending CIW, each Fellow will also receive $10,000 as a contribution to his or her social enterprise, with an aim to enhance the Fellow’s ability to make an impact.

Leslie Bluhm, founder of the BHSI Fellowship said, “These Fellows...


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