Our Leadership: A Synergy of Vision & Execution

Today the Smart Village Movement draws interest and participation of governments, global businesses, startups, and academics under the dynamic operational capabilities of Dr. Anil Shah, the Executive Chairman and Founder Solomon Darwin, widely known as ‘Father of Smart Village Movement’.

Dr. Anil Shah  MD, FACC, FSCAI

Executive Chairman, Smart Village Movement.
Interventional Cardiologist – Medical & Social Entrepreneur- Philanthropist

Dr. Anil Shah takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development and execution. He is both an excellent surgeon and leader, who is frequently called upon for his knowledge of medical sciences and Cardiology. He leads mainly by example, always maintaining a broader vision and proactive energy, encouraging others to do the same. As a philanthropist, he has a special interest in the health and wellbeing of people living in substandard conditions around the world, especially in India, where he invests in infrastructure to provide for the basic needs of rural communities. His quest to find innovative models for Smart Villages found a perfect synergy with Professor Solomon Darwin of UC Berkeley who founded the Smart Village Movement.

In his appointment as Executive Chairman of SVM, Dr. Shah leads the organization with direction and coordination of all outreach and administrative functions. Under Dr. Shah’s leadership, SVM facilitates the field operations and collaboration between the villages, universities, government, and corporations to grow the Smart Village Movement in India. Respected as a credible voice in decision making, Dr. Shah excels at identifying strategic resource and finance partners, and establishing governance boundaries as he transforms the cause of Smart Villages to a truly global movement.

Previously, Dr. Shah completed his medical education from the University of Bombay, India, and cardiology fellowship at UCLA Wadsworth VA Medical Center. As a medical professional and Founder & CEO of Coastal Heart Medical Group, Dr. Shah is a renowned interventional cardiologist based in Southern California, certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease through the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Shah received the honor of Visionary of the Year 2009 from Coastline College.

Message from our Chairman Dr. Anil Shah

“The alleviation of rural poverty is one of the defining challenges of our time. Nearly seventy percent of India’s population and about half the world resides in villages. Mahatma Gandhi wisely demonstrated that the future of India lies in its villages and ensuring self-reliance and sustainable development opportunities in rural communities forms a sound basis for a just and equitable socio-economic order. As an overseas citizen of India, my own journey with the Smart Village Movement started with the humble undertaking to help and contribute to my own ancestral village in India’s western state of Gujarat. That intention, combined with a deep understanding of the real issues and hardships that villagers faced, invoked a profound passion and commitment to help transform all of India’s struggling rural communities into “Smart Villages” where the villagers’ lives and happiness have been dramatically improved.

Empowering underserved communities in rural India and beyond, by connecting them to open innovation platforms has been a guiding principle for myself, the SVM India team and my colleagues at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. One of the driving forces of Smart Village Movement’s alliance with UC Berkeley’s Center for Growth Markets is the shared responsibility to facilitate sustainable development by integrating indigenous practices with modern technology and business innovation.

Our trademark Open Innovation Platform seeks to connect villages and their challenges with a wealth of research, solutions and tangible resources offered by academia, governments, and corporations, all facilitated by SVM. This triple helix framework, acknowledged by my friend and esteemed colleague Professor Solomon Darwin continues to augment the movement’s goals in supporting sectors like agriculture, education, housing, healthcare, energy, and entrepreneurship, to name a few.

With the ongoing support of governing bodies, enterprise, and the individual determination and generosity of philanthropists, we continue to establish distinct channels to facilitate business value propositions in the rural world. I look forward to seeing SVM curate robust platforms to allow policymakers, industry leaders, and research institutions to think bigger and better for enduring paradigm shifts in the post-Covid world order.

Our team and partners have quickly adapted to the global changes we have incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope this vision will inspire you with an inside look into the pilot models developed in the fifty villages in Meghalaya, India, in the past year and your ongoing support as we scale this model to the other 650,000 villages in India and rural communities around the globe.”

Thank you
Dr. Anil Shah, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Executive Chairman
Smart Village Movement

Prof. Solomon Darwin

Executive Director, Center for Growth Markets, UC Berkeley
Father of the Smart Village Movement

Professor Solomon Darwin comes with broad Leadership Experience in Corporate Management & Academia. He is an international speaker recognized by peers, executives and students with numerous awards for his innovative leadership and passion for teaching. He inspires students from both business and engineering disciplines teaching courses in Open Innovation, Business Models, Building Smart Cities, Scalable Smart Villages, IBM Watson and Business Models for Emerging Economies.

As an expert in Open Innovation and Open Business Models, Darwin is an advisor to senior executives of multinationals and government leaders in the emerging world. The list includes: Google, Genentech, Hewlett Packard, Health Net, J&J, Toyota, NHS of UK, UCSF, Royal Caribbean, Autodesk, Nestle and government entities in Mexico, China, Russia, India, Columbia and Europe. He directs and moderates International Innovation Conferences, Forums, and chairs quarterly Chief Innovation Officer Round Tables in the Silicon Valley.

As founder of the Smart Village Movement, he authored four books to support his thesis: “How to Create Smart Villages: Open Innovation Solutions for Emerging Markets”, “How to Think like the CEO of the Planet”, “The Untouchables” and “Smart Villages of Tomorrow: The Road to Mori” which has brought him to the forefront of the movement to develop rural communities globally.

Message from Prof. Solomon Darwin

“Throughout my career, I have always maintained a strong affiliation to India and its development. Open Innovation model as conceptualized by Henry Chesbrough sparked an interest and I continue to upholding this methodology for business, technology and social collaboration in communities. Open Innovation is now the foundation for my work and teachings.

Unlike many prevailing definitions of a smart village, UC Berkeley’s Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation has established a unique proprietary definition of a “Smart Village” where our movement was born. We define it as “A community that is empowered with digital technology and open innovation platforms to access global markets”. Smart Village is thus more about building and empowering people than building infrastructure. It’s about bringing rural people online and connecting them to the rest of the world’s ecosystems. This means providing them with access to resources, tools, information, market linkages, and knowledge to transform their local habitats. The value of knowledge assets evaporates quickly as new knowledge and technologies are created. For this reason, we need more smart villages than smart cities for sustainable organic economic growth. Open Innovation Platforms are frictionless and eliminate middlemen by promoting speedy transactions and save all stakeholders’ time. Smart Villages create sustainable and scalable business models and give every rural entrepreneur the ability to create value and capture some value for themselves to grow and help others organically. We need to eliminate barriers in communication and provide rural people with access to resources to apply their capabilities and prosper. Our SVM team working in the field in India is actively researching the co-innovation process by engaging technology firms and villagers to produce scalable smart village models. Both the firms and rural communities will enjoy a mutual benefit from this bottom-up approach, which will leverage economies of scale and scope, improving rural peoples’ happiness index. I wish Dr. Anil Shah, our executive chairman, great success as he leads the Smart Village Movement forward.”

May God bless his efforts.

Thank You,
Prof. Solomon Darwin
Executive Director Center
Center for Growth Markets UC Berkeley