The what, why and how of KONAM Foundation

Solving global challenges requires: setting clear and audacious goals, developing innovative solutions to achieve the set goals and deploying developed solutions through proper channels. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), collaborative innovators pushing frontiers of technology, and numerous non-profit organizations, fulfill all the above said requirements respectively. We have everything in place, except for a platform to fit all the pieces together. “Key solutions to ONerous And Massive challenges” Foundation abbreviated as KONAM Foundation aims to be that platform.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets announced by the United Nations, aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. These goals are exhaustive and undoubtedly ambitious. Targets under goal 1, for example, include reducing the number of people living in poverty by at least half by 2030, and eradicating extreme poverty. Under goal 3, there’s a target on ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases. A target under goal 5, aims at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, while a target in goal 16 aims at substantially reducing all forms of corruption and bribery. SDGs have been officially adopted and are waiting to be realized. That’s a good start!

2,000,000 — This is the total number of nonprofit organizations operating in India [1][2][3]. This translates to approximately one non-profit organisation for every 600 people. Incongruently, India has just one policeman for every 943 people [2] and one doctor for every 1800 people [4]. Given these numbers, it is evident that India has more NGO’s than policemen and doctors. That’s a great promise of untapped potential!

Technology has undoubtedly become ubiquitous. From contemporary 3D bio-printing, cloud computing, and mobile health monitoring devices to the promises of autonomous robots, interplanetary travel, and advanced genomics, technology continues to define the mark of humanity. Technology has also impacted the non-profit world in several ways through widely adopted ICT (Information and Communications Technology) or social-media platforms, however it remains a latent factor in the non-profit sector. Diffusion of cutting edge-technology practices within the non-profit sector has to be sped up. That’s an exciting opportunity!

With the rise of the maker and hacker cultures, more people than ever are inspired to innovate. Enabled by easy access to collaborative softwares and cloud infrastructure, most technological solutions are easy to develop and deploy. All they require is an understanding of tangible and real-world problems. That’s an amazing strength!

The KONAM Foundation lies at the intersection of these four critical areas - Technology, Nonprofit sector, Sustainable Development Goals and Innovators. Our mission is to devise technology driven solutions to accelerate the pace of accomplishment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to deploy them by leveraging the potential of existing active Organisations in the Nonprofit sector across the globe.

Fueled by an unwavering and unflinching passion to bring about social change and supported by a great team at CMU along with friends across the globe, we embark on this audacious goal of infusing cutting edge technologies in the nonprofit sector and catering to under-privileged sections of society by executing our key initiatives. One such initiative is the MOIC (Massive Online Innovation Challenge), a platform designed to create social change by bridging the gap between non-profits and innovators. We identify real-world problems in education, health, energy, public safety, transportation, economic development, and international development by working closely with Nonprofit Organizations. These problems are carefully drafted as challenges and are opened up to innovators. Innovators work under the guidance of mentors from non-profit, academia and industry. Solutions are evaluated based on the novelty, feasibility and scalability, and winners are chosen. Selected solutions are deployed through participating organizations. Many similarly exciting initiatives are in the pipeline!

We understand that accomplishing these goals requires copious resources, but we believe that with your help, either organizationally or individually, we can help create a brighter future and a better world. Change can’t wait and we can’t wait to bring about the change.

Thanks,
Sandeep Konam, 
Founder & Director,
KONAM Foundation.

References:

[1] http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/india-philanthropy-report-2015.aspx

[2] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-witnessing-NGO-boom-there-is-1-for-every-600-people/articleshow/30871406.cms

[3] http://scroll.in/article/657281/why-india-has-one-ngo-for-every-600-people-and-the-number-is-rising

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3724242/