October 8, 2021, marked the day Smart Village Movement Chairman Dr. Anil Shah and his wife Preeti’s names were etched on a prominent outdoor monument at UC Berkeley. This was in honor of their contribution to the school as they joined the ranks of ‘Builders of Berkeley’ – for one of the most distinguished public universities in the world. Each year the university updates the monument with the names of new Builders and honors them in a ceremony that celebrates their extraordinary philanthropy and ongoing generosity toward the school’s programs and learning centers, lighting the way for generations of brilliant students.
UC Berkeley Haas’ alliance with Smart Village Movement (SVM) helps to advance the important works of the Center of Growth Markets (CGM) at the School of Business into developing rural markets. The refined business models, research insights and scientific impact studies conducted by CGM for rural India’s emerging markets is one of the driving forces for SVM. Smart Village Movement was conceived in 2016 and continues to partner with the Center for Growth Markets. Its scalable and sustainable model was developed by Executive Director Solomon Darwin, who prototyped the first Smart Village in Mori, India, based on Professor Henry Chesbrough’s principles of Open Innovation.
On the same day as the Builder of Berkeley event, a separate symposium was co-hosted by SVM and the Center for Growth Markets, Dr. Shah presented on the progress of Smart Village Movement in our pilot state of Meghalaya, India. He shared the impact our projects have brought to villagers and how sustainable growth is achieved with mutually beneficial collaboration. Support from our corporate partners is a crucial factor in the success of our nonprofit model. Some esteemed members of the Berkeley Innovation Forum (BIF) who attended this event represented global companies such as Salesforce, Google, IBM, Nestle, Avery Dennison, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Ericsson, Disney, Kaneka and NASA.
SVM firmly stands for sustainable economic growth by bridging the rural-urban gap and bringing villagers access to digital technology and livelihood training.