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People Use The Words Technology, Innovation And Disruption Synonymously: Sindu Sreebhavan, CEO, As Many Minds

"There’s a lot India can give to the world, especially in terms of innovation, whether with or without technology," said Sindu Sreebhavan

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At the Women Economic Forum event in April 2018, there was a session on 'Innovation: A New Science & Psychology Based Technique to Help People Thrive in Life'.

“I like to call myself an innovation igniter. I would like to ignite innovation in people and communities. People get the definition of innovation very differently. People use the words technology, innovation and disruption synonymously. There’s a lot India can give to the world, especially in terms of innovation, whether with or without technology," said Sindu Sreebhavan, CEO, As Many Minds Pte Ltd, Founder and Chairperson, International Youth Leadership and Innovation Forum (IYLIF), Executive Director of Thought Expressions Pte Ltd and Publisher. She also added, “When Israel became a country, people went to Israel and they had problems with food, water, and how to develop their country. They had real problems. They said we are going to create water, in a desert. They said they are going to make the desert a Greenland. They started to do forestation, and started planting trees to grow a forest. They used technology, innovation and out of the box thinking to become a green country."

Sreebhavan also went on to add, “That’s what innovation is. It’s not about creating new technology, sometimes it’s about taking what is existing and using that. In the United States, there was a girl who was very poor, when she was young. Her grandmother would stitch potato sacks to make her clothes and she got bullied because of that. She grew up to be Oprah Winfrey. What made a girl brought up as a domestic servant to become one of the most powerful women in the world? It’s innovation, personal innovation”. “A boy in China wanted to learn English, so he offered tour guidance to tourists to learn English. He didn’t get any money, but he got English lessons. He was bad at school. He, one day, went to a teacher’s training school and got a degree and tried for many jobs which he didn’t get, and then finally got a job as a teacher and a translator. Then he went to the US, he came across the World Wide Web. It was a wonderful discovery for him. He searched for China on the web and found out that none of the Chinese companies were there. He went back to China and published yellow pages for suppliers and now he is Jack Ma. People can innovate, organizations can innovate and that’s called an innovative mindset," she added.

“All of you are innovative, but you all are at different stages in your journey to be innovative. There are 4 states to an innovative mindset. First is the sleepy state, then is the observer state. I worked as a consultant for multinationals and global consulting firms. I realized something was missing when I had children. It matters how good you are at solving problems, which is creativity. When you communicate, your ideas will flourish. I wondered if I don’t take control for making my children’s life better, then who am I waiting for. So my idea was starting a magazine for children. I started questioning myself. I felt I was not enough to do that. We go through that fear of failure and impostor syndrome at every stage when doing something new," added Sreebhavan. She also added, “I wondered about what I will gain if I succeed and what will I lose if I quit? We think what will we lose when we go ahead, and we decide that I will gain a lot if I don’t start at all. I decided that my focus is to provide a platform for children, and I realized I don’t need to be an expert, but I need conviction. If you decide to quit, you are doubting that goal. After jumping in, I got a partnership offer from a science institution as I was talking about innovation. We got a lot of great people interviewed. Our publishing business also grew. We started doing consulting on book-writing. We decided to give something to society with our reach”.

She also added, “We are trying to build a new generation of youth leaders with International Youth Leadership and Innovation Forum. At the end of the day, it matters that you take action. It’s all about the problem you are going to solve. You need to find collaborators. Establish an ecosystem where you can learn together, grow together and work together. Find people who could be your mastermind collaborators. Do something every day that can help you remain creative, that’s what innovation is about. Your idea can spark a revolution, your every idea can be an innovation. Don’t constraint yourself with monetary constraints or human resource constraints”.  

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women economic forum Women Economic Forum 2018