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Anticipated to be India’s largest innovation exchange, the Young Social Innovators Conclave aims to bring together young innovators, technologists, academicians and experts to share cutting-edge initiatives and solutions, experiences & challenges in urban development.


UN-Habitat estimates that by 2030, 60 per cent of the world’s population will reside in cities, and of this, 60% will be under the age of 18 by 2030, the majority of this high number living in slums and informal settlements.1 Despite the increased access of opportunity that cities offer, urban youth are often confronted by high competition, exclusion, marginalization and serious environmental challenges. Cities have remained unable to absorb the increasing number of young people in the formal economy, leading to their pervasive inclusion into the unregulated informal sector. The year 2011 witnessed the largest cohort of unemployed young people2 around the world, a clear indication of the disproportionate effect of the economic meltdown. Across the world, the unprecedented growth of cities and industries has put young people on the frontline of climate change. Studies by Oxfam estimates by 2015, on average over 375 million people per year are likely to be affected by climate-related disasters 3 posing a disproportionate threat to the physical, social and psychological environment of children and young people.

Affected routinely by problems of urbanization, youth across the world are taking it upon themselves to initiate the process of change within their local communities. From innovative approaches in alternate livelihood generation to empowering creative communities through art; young people have leveraged a wide array of resources at their disposal to come up with innovative solutions. Globally, the ambience is well timed for these innovations. Increased budgetary allocations, innovative funding mechanisms and favourable policy and regulatory frameworks; governments and institutions are increasingly working towards creating an environment supportive of social innovations and ventures.

1 State of the Urban Youth Report 2012-13
2 Carmelo Salzano (2013) MDG-F Thematic Studies Youth, Employment and Migration: Review of MDG-F Joint

Programmes Key Findings and Achievements, International Labor Office – Geneva: ILO, 2013 3

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Ganeshan, S. & Diamond, W. (2009). Forecasting the numbers of people affected annually by natural disasters


up to 2015. The Right to Survive.

The Centre for Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business defines social innovation as, ’any novel and useful solution to a social need or problem, that is better than existing approaches (i.e., more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just) and for which the value created (benefits) accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.’

Social innovations are new ideas – products, services and models that both meet social needs and create new social relationships of collaboration. Social innovations are social both in their ends and means. They are not only good for the community but also enhance the communities’ capacity to act collaboratively for the common good. Social innovations result in energising innovation in the community.

Social innovations can be broadly categorized into the following types:

  •   Most social innovations result from amalgamation of ideas rather than being completelynew. The hybrid that is generated is often better equipped to handle complex problems.
  •   Innovations transition from idea to action. While doing so they cut across sectoral,geographical and organizational boundaries.
  •   Innovations have a systems focus- that is; social innovation is a mechanism for achievingsystemic change to society as a whole – typically with a view to tackling the underlying

    causes of social problems rather than just alleviating their symptoms.

  •   All social innovations create a new group or category called “facilitators”. These are basically the entrepreneurs, individuals or institutions which facilitate the interaction between the innovators and the people, the potential beneficiaries. Facilitators are crucialfor taking innovations to scale.

    The Conclave:

    To be held at University of Mumbai’s, Sir JJ College of Architecture, the Young Social Innovators Conclave is a medium to identify, showcase and promote innovative solutions to urbanization that interface with the overall development paradigm. It aims to present a dynamic platform for young innovators that push the boundaries to explore innovations that combine the local and global, digital and physical spaces to stimulate collective action that match the complexity and scale of urbanization issues. By reversing the roles of the audience and the speaker the conclave will set the stage for young innovators to present and discuss their work and engage with experts on challenges that affect the sustainability and scalability of their models.



The endeavour has two main objectives:

  •   To create a platform for young innovators to ideate and leverage resources that createsocial value and measure social impact
  •   To provide an opportunity for the youth to learn problem-solving and equip themselves tobe change-makers of the future, to build teams and networks of like-minded individuals working across institutions and disciplines.

    Social innovations in the context of this Conclave are those that will enable people and communities in need to overcome their most pressing challenges in the areas of economic opportunity, health, education, and social wellbeing. Social innovations could be in the field of entrepreneurial development, innovative and appropriate skill building, and appropriate technologies for enhancing community action around issues of security, education and resource generation. They could also be creative solutions to expanding markets, rebuilding and sustaining urban environments or combinations of many of these. In sum, social innovations must be the outcomes of collaborative efforts and produce outputs that will not only address community challenges but will enhance social action.


Art & Culture


Environment & Climate Change

Gender Equality & Empowerment




Social Entrepreneurs | Academicians | Researchers | Technologists | Leading Subject Matter Experts | High-Level Government Officials | UN Representatives | NGOs | Journalists | Students


Urban Planning




India Youth Fund

The India Youth Fund Window is a partnership between UN-
Habitat and the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation. The funding
window aims to assist youth-led organizations in designing
and implementing projects that will contribute to sustainable urbanization in India. Furthermore, it seeks to gain insight from successful grassroots youth projects and create greater awareness of the need for youth mainstreaming in development policies and strategies. The overarching objective of the Fund window is to increase the opportunities of urban young people in India to improve the living conditions for themselves and their communities.


With a mission to promote socially and environmentally
sustainable human settlements development and the achievement
of adequate shelter for all, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) undertakes cutting edge research and advocacy on urban development. UN-Habitat regards young people as a major force for a better world and believes that their empowerment through effective and meaningful participation in decision-making is crucial. It stresses the role of young people in the alleviation of poverty and inequality. The HABITAT Agenda commits governments and UN- Habitat to working in partnership with youth and empower them to participate in decision-making in order to improve urban livelihoods and develop sustainable human settlements.

Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation

Established in the year 2002, the Narotam Sekhsaria
Foundation is a non-profit initiative created to support
enterprising individuals and innovative organizations. The Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation is among the leading funding agencies in India, committed to facilitating meaningful change in the country. Through its grantmaking endeavours, the Foundation is effectively improving the quality of lives of socially and economically disadvantaged communities, and promoting and protecting Indian traditions.

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Media Partners


Hindustan Times

HT Media found its beginning in 1924 when its flagship
newspaper, Hindustan Times was inaugurated by
Mahatma Gandhi. HT Media (BSE, NSE) has today
grown to become one of India’s largest media companies. Produced by an editorial team known for its quality, innovation and integrity, Hindustan Times (English newspaper) and Hindustan (Hindi newspaper through a subsidiary Hindustan Media Ventures Limited),Hindustan Times is the choice for nearly 3.7 million readers across India, who turn to it daily for news, information, analysis and entertainment.

Knowledge Partners

University of Mumbai’s Sir J.J. College of Architecture

The leading architecture institute in India, Sir J.J. College of
Architecture is a hub for design and innovation for students from
diverse backgrounds. In the last hundred years, the college has
consistently excelled and has enhanced its reputation by having some very distinguished alumni including architects Padmashri Achyut Kanvinde and Padmashri Balkrishna Doshi.Most appropriately, in this Centenary Year, Sir J.J. College of Architecture has been ranked the best architecture college in the country according to the independent 2013 Outlook-MDRA Poll.

Institutional Collaborations

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Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, India

AKPBS,I offers technical and professional support to people for programmes aimed at improving planning, land

management, conceptualisation, design and construction of buildings, infrastructure, urban and rural housing and shelter, and all other services that contribute to improving living and working conditions largely in low income, rural and urban settings. works to improve the built environment, particularly housing design and construction, village planning, natural hazard mitigation, environmental sanitation, water supplies, and other living conditions. AKPBS,I achieves these goals through the provision of material and technical assistance and construction management services for rural and urban areas.



Iris Knowledge Foundation

Iris Knowledge Foundation is founded on the premise that the creation, management and dissemination of knowledge are critical components of a vibrant democratic society. The primary aim of IRIS-KF is clustered around the rational

use of technology for generating reliable and farsighted solutions to social and economic problems and is also linked to larger education and welfare initiatives.

Salaam Bombay Foundation

Salaam Bombay Foundation’s dynamic team is made up of 92 committed individuals, with a collective experience of more than 100 years. Together

they bring to the organization expertise in child development, counselling, education and project execution. Each individual plays a crucial role in the Foundation’s activities. Seven cricket coaches, three hockey coaches, music

specialists and two established theatre specialists lend their expertise to the academies and training sessions.

Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action

SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action) is a non-profit organisation working in the area of women and children’s health, driven by a vision of ‘Healthy Women and Children for a Healthy Urban World’. SNEHA believes that investing in women’s health is essential to building viable urban communities. SNEHA

targets four large public health areas – Maternal and Newborn Health, Child Health and Nutrition, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Prevention of Violence against Women and Children. SNEHA runs a comprehensive youth programme called EHSAS (Empowerment Health and sexuality for Adolescents) which focuses on health awareness, life skills education and vocational training for adolescent and young boys and girls from vulnerable slum communities of Mumbai.

Tara Trust

Tara Trust, a Goa-based non-profit organisation working in the area of education and empowerment of underprivileged children. Established in 2008, the main objective of organisation is to leverage the healing power of beauty and art by bringing art based activities to underprivileged children.

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Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Established in 1936, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has aimed to be an institution of excellence in higher education that continually responds to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge, towards creating a people-centred, ecologically sustainable and just society that

promotes and protects dignity, equality, social justice and human rights for all. Today, the TISS has earned recognition as an institution of repute from different Ministries of the Government of India; various State Governments; international agencies such as the United Nations; and the non- government sector, both national and international.

Urban Design Research Institute

UDRI is a forum that supports interaction among architects, urban designers and professionals from such related fields as urban economics, sociology, planning, conservation and history with an aim to enrich the understanding of the urban environment. The objective of the Institute is ‘to carry out research based studies through apprentice type educational programs at the

post graduate level which would focus on the issues involved in designing, planning and environmental make up. UDRI intends to play the role of a prime institution articulating an inclusive vision of the city by listening to many voices and networks. UDRI desires to educate and build a constituency that is informed and knowledgeable about urban issues in order to generate effective and appropriate decisions.

Urban Health Resource Centre

UHRC implements demonstration health programs in diverse cities such that these may be adapted, replicated and/or up-scaled by government

and non-governmental agencies. The focus is on strengthening the social fabric in slums and

address gender inequity, there is a concerted effort towards empowering slum-level women’s groups and their federations, developing community-based health and development funds and building capacity of slum women to enable them take charge of processes that affect their health, nutrition and wellbeing.

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Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action

Since 1984, YUVA has questioned social structures along the side of the poor,
with the aim of empowering them to participate in a process of meaningful
change. For a genuine, sustainable and lasting social system, sharp differences in
income and opportunities must give way to a more equitable distribution. Thus,
YUVA has focused on creating access and enabling processes to a gamut of rights and opportunities within the human rights framework for the marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society.


Youth Ki Awaaz

Youth Ki Awaaz which literally translates to voice of the youth in English is an award winning and India’s largest online and mobile platform for young people to express

themselves on issues of importance. YKA is driven by a participatory, user generated model where the opinions and topics are crowd-sourced.

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