Towards an Innovative Bangladesh

Towards an Innovative Bangladesh

June 5, 2017

Ask what Innovation means, and most likely you will hear multiple versions, with multifaceted approach. Some would appear so complex that, you would feel it only falls under the purview of highly skilled and technical professionals. In my mind Innovation is all about doing things differently – something which helps someone to accomplish a task efficiently and/ or in a way that has more impact. We, as human beings, are creatures of habit. It makes our job easier. If we have to think deeply for every task that would be a very tiresome job. And this routine makes it very difficult to change an approach, or the way we do something. Innovation comes into play when we bring a change in approach. A very simplistic example is earlier we used to wipe our floors at home with a cloth where a person used to do the task sitting and using the cloth to soak in water and wiping every corner. A very stressful job and for sure one who has done it regularly has suffered severe back pain at some point. Then we began to use a mop made with jute, which one can use standing and at a much faster pace could cover the entire floor. That is innovation.

The 4th Industrial revolution which we are passing now has innovation at the center of it. There was a time when bringing a new innovation was deemed possible only by the big corporations or the select few. But now due to ubiquitous use of technology, access to information and because of the power of the virtual world and social media, innovation is democratized. It is now possible for anyone from a small town to create something big. Not that it is a unique phenomenon, it has happened before. But never in the history of mankind this opportunity of creating something new, which makes our lives better , which pushes the human race forward have been greater than present.

The big question which appears before us what does it mean for Bangladesh. How can Bangladesh take advantage of the 4th Industrial revolution? There are some debate that actually its the 3rd revolution and not the 4th as there is not much of a difference from the 3rd one. That debate is irrelevant as the context for us remains the same. How as a nation can we take advantage of it? How can we use this tremendous opportunity and use it as a springboard for pushing Bangladesh and help it to reach its potential?

Bangladesh is passing through the most critical phase since the birth of the nation. We realize how much potential the country possess. And its not just us, the whole world through multiple reports and analysis are echoing the same voice. There are many reasons for that upbeat mood. And one of the most important is our young demography. At the same time we have multitudes of challenges, massive challenges around us which stands in the way to reach our potential. The key here is that we have a finite window – a small window of opportunity to reach our goal. A span which could be for 10 or 15 years. What we do and how we do it will determine the next 100 years of Bangladesh.

As Bangladesh Brand Forum is trying to set the tone for our next 10 years journey, we believe it needs to be centered on innovation. We need to push innovation and what it really means deeper into society, so that people from different strata, different professions, different fields can come up with ideas, create solutions, develop new commercial opportunities that will push Bangladesh to the next level. We will strive to convert the 8 divisional cities into innovation hub to drive inclusive growth of the 8 Divisions of the country. We need to create new economic models, new modes of progress. At the center of it all`, we will work towards creating a better future for Bangladesh.

Our plan involves creating 8 Innovation Centers in 8 Division, each will be the central hub for the region. They will become the place for all innovators to come and collaborate. But more importantly the center will work towards spreading the core of innovation within the region, so that the value and approach of innovation spreads. All the initiatives of Bangladesh Brand Forum – be it in branding, digital, women or youth will be spread through these 8 hubs.

We are involving experts from Bangladesh and beyond (our NRBs) and connecting them to their respective regions both physically and virtually so that we bring together all the knowledge and skillset to bring the next big revolution for Bangladesh.

If the time is for Bangladesh then it is up to us to make it happen.

Shariful Islam
Bangladesh Brand Forum

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