Who changes the world?

No matter who you are, everyone has the equal right to freedom of imagination and the chance to change the world. "Design For Freedom" acts to prove this along with grassroots innovators. Most innovators are born into families with few resources and receive little formal education. However, their innovations enhance their family's standards of living and create positive repercussions for society. Truly, this is proof that "anyone can change the world."

Not for Mass Production but Production by Mass

People's innovations such as steam locomotives, motor cars, TV, and ipod, changed our lives especially since the industrial revolution.
We discover inconceivable future when fantasists brought things to us.
Naturally, most of such leading-edge innovation yields in countries of developed economy. (It is natural to think like that, and we also believe this is do true.)
However, many innovation took shape in developed countries cost a lot.
Therefore, too intense price competition will lead firms to hire people from developing countries with low wage.
Also they use limited natural resources randomly to excess for increase of their productivity. (not sure what this line tries to convey, need reviewing )
For those consequences, people in developing countries cannot get the benefit of innovations
and always threatened by those innovations as they provide enjoyment to people in developed countries mostly.
E.F.Schumacher, the author of “Small is Beautiful” warns this exaggerate irrational industrialization, and advocates alternative innovation.
"We should not demand technological innovation can turn back destructive actions to people's live.
So what should we demand to scientists and engineers? My answer is this. Means and tools of science and technology should be 1.cheap so that everyone can obtain 2.can be used in a small scale 3.things which people can display their imagination. " (p44, Scumacher 'Small is Beautiful')
I think there are several pivots to achieve innovation in the developing countries. Environmental friendly, maintain freedom of work of employees, people equally obtain benefit from economic activities, and construct sustainable systems to resolve problems and social needs. They are already proven as essences of innovation in developing countries.
Innovation created from Grassroots will change the world. Sooner of or later, the day will come. Most of the people just wait, expecting such future will come by itself, but it will never come to us unless someone take action towards.
If we can prove that people in "poverty" have imagination and energy to change the world, those people will become more active enough to believe that "I can change the world".
And this validation will link to corroborate economic models and distributed -type of manufacturing originated in grassroots. Moreover, this will awaken the world enough to cognizance cognize developing countries as a new significance.
Thus, we leave our future to this project.

In Sri Lanka,
April. 2012. Takuto Motomura


About Grassroots Innovator

Twenty-two years ago, Anil Gupta founded the Honeybee Network, creating a movement of grassroots innovation. Since then, the organization has taken innovative products produced by bottom of the pyramid/the grassroots level s to the world at large to be used to improve the living standards of all. These innovations are introduced to the world via their publication into in six different languages. The Honeybee Network contributes to the documentation, value-addition and intellectual property protection of these technological innovations.
Imagination and creation are core aspects of what it means to be human. The future we imagine and seek to develop in the present has infinite potential to change the world. So fundamental to the nature of humanity, Grassroots Innovation is distributed all throughout the world, and finally the nations of the world from Brazil to Nepal, Vietnam to Kenya have began to take notice and support this movement.

During his travels throughout India for the past twenty plus years Anil Gupta has been not only a thinker and educator, but also a pioneer in discovering grassroots level innovation. These small steps have sent ripples throughout China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Philippines and countries within Africa, as has his leadership in establishing foundations and working with national institutions. His work is supporting grassroots innovations, and has collected an astonishing 600,000+ different ideas so far.

  • Who will change the world?

    How many people have though this and taken action? Only very rare people are actually moved to action, people who respond,"I am one who will change the world. "We have met many kinds of reformers and heroes in different times and places; they are the ones who take on problems as their own and use their firm beliefs to overcome the prejudices of the world. We are moved by these innovators.

  • Some inventors actualize the future and life that people could not imagine by converting into innovative products through many of the ideas of its own failure.

    Some politician brought peace to his people by reforming collapse government confused society and by keep telling his own thoughts and idealism. (Need Reviewing by the writer)

    Some entrepreneur devised innovative business model that open a crack in some vested interests some portion of prople benefits and eliminate people's inconvenience by incorporate a mechanism that will benefit all people involved.

    Some revolutionary considered someone's problems as his own, and won people's freedom which has been constrained by leading massive advocates and resisting maladministration considered injustice.

  • Those heroic stories wins our hearts and minds, cheer us up, also feel as if we are one of the member of changing history and the world.

    Then, how do you react if you meet people who can be those innovators?

    How you can retain your excitements if you can commit to the story of "change"?

    And how do you take facts that there are 1600 thousand innovators are in India?

    Everything started by a person I encountered in India in 2011.

    And some philanthropists protect people's dignity by providing innovative model that provide visual acuity lost in the malnutrition to poor people.

  • His name is Anil.K.Gupta, educator and philosopher who contributes to maximize the value of innovation from grassroots which he find in India by foot since 20 years ago..

    Later on, his activities bear enough to influence not only the Indian government but also many countries in the world supporting the grassroots innovators.

    And more surprisingly, more than 1600thousads innovations are found in India.

    I actually visited some grassroots innovators introduced by Anil.

  • Still impacts they are making is small, but they are actually fulfilling certain people’s need which the governments and international organizations cannot. I believe that their possibilities are still growing.

    Most of innovators are rarely educated, and living in a low standard.

    However, their experience and technologies are practically used to invent innovation. They are converting weakness to strength.

    They create tools from their living environment, and keep improving them by evaluating themselves as a user.

  • This process does take time, but innovators overcome every difficulty and achieve to make products and system that other poor people enable to purchase. As a result, they win the “new freedom”.

    It should be noted that innovators produce products in very cheap price so that people live in same economic level cab buy.

    In India in fact, many innovators invent new economic model which based on distributed production system, and most of them are creating social impact then economic impact.

    Yet, corporation toward this possibility is not enough. Anil has been poured his funds to prevail grassroots innovators for long time and finally became a reality.

  • There are problems we should lead this project to success. Innovations we excavate from grassroots are not always perfect. We have to change and improve products to commercialize. Thus, we need expert designers and engineers to reach. However, such human resource is still insignificant, and researches to understand the results and social impacts that those innovation might provide to the market is still in process of developing.

    Our answer to the first question is this.

    They (grassroots innovators) become the main actors to change the world.

  • To achieve this, we construct platform to provide “resource” they need.

    Local problems only can be solved by the local people with their imagination and creativity.
    It might sounds like anti-globalization or capitalist.But I do not care what people think since it is impossible to resist toward tide of the world.

    I and my fellows are excited about the possibility of innovations coming from grassroots. Typically in the current world, developed countries support developing countries. However, sometimes developed countries system and economic development deprive freedom of imagination from people in developing countries, and forced the values of one-sided.

  • When I visited Anil, he told me that

    “Small wisdom which poor people has is the most important resource to solve problems”

    We would like to be involved in this great project with paying respect to Anil’s activities.
    And I would like to say that I will bet my life to challenge on this project


Design for Freedom aims to:
1) Scout, design, and promote Grass Roots Innovations (GRI)
2) Develop and spread awareness about GRI throughout the world
3) Speed up the rate of change through publications and GRI events

Connect with innovators and compile their ideas into a GRI database.
Promote the development of GRI through creating partnership among all stakeholders.
Spread the meaning of GRI throughout the world through conferences, exhibitions and publications.

case study


Low-cost Sanitary Napkin Machine

  • An invention of mini sanitary napkin making machine.
    Arunachalam Muruganantham


Rechargeable Battery Operated Tricycle

An innovation created out of love for his father

  • Asjadbhai Dhukka is a Muslim grassroots innovator in Gujarat. His invention was born from his father’s illness; as he recounts, “my father because paralyzed on one side of his body from a bacterial disease. Seeing my father discouraged at home, I wanted to help him go outside.” In response, he invented a tricycle operated by a rechargeable battery, yet when he began producing these products the Indian market had not seen either electric powered wheelchairs or bicycles. Although Mr. Dhukka was uncertain whether he could successfully complete his invention, he kept researching a wheelchair and tricycles that could be controlled with one hand for the sake of his beloved father.
  • Mr. Dhuka's tricycle had a battery and motor beneath the driver's seat, and a chain is attached to the motor to spin tires. Though the system of the tricycle looked very simple, when we scrutinized its system, it seemed that it had a model as complex as a Japanese car. Wheels for mopeds can deal with a wide range of road types such as unpaved and sandy roads, and the tricycle has an anti-rollback safety lock system to prevent reverse run on a slope. In addition, the driver seat is adjustable according to a body shape and posture of a driver, and the arm rest can be lifted when necessary. With 3-4 hours of battery charge, the tricycle can run for about 8-10 hours.
  • Mr. Dhukka's father, who used to be a village head before he became ill, has renewed his life thanks to the chargeable tricycle. He enjoys talking with his friends every morning and night and participates in Friday prayers, which have a significant meaning for Muslims. "There's no other happiness than being able to see one's family at any moment." Mr. Dhukka's father showed his contentment by moving his paralleled body with his all might.


Clay Kitchenware

A clay refrigerator that uses zero electricity

  • A few hours drive away from the city of Ahmedabad is a small village. There, the Granma team visited the company known as Mitticool, a local kitchenware manufacturing company. The team was greeted by the welcoming Mr.Mansukhbhai Prajapati, whose innovations have attracted attention worldwide. His story has been featured on the BBC, Discover Channel, and Forbes magazine among others. Mr. Prajapati’s products are simple kitchenware made with clay. His large factory is divided into several areas with deposits for soil, a laboratory for material research, and a colossal kiln.
  • Mr. Prajapati's turning point was a major earthquake in western India in 2001. The 7.7 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 20,000 people completely destroyed Mr. Prajapati's factory. Amid the despair, Mr. Prajapati found a newspaper article which read ‘all the poor's refrigerators got destroyed.' The article showed the poor, who use clay pots most frequently, had suffered from the devastating earthquake. Mr. Prajapati was firmly determined when he read the article. "There needs to be more solid and higher performance kitchenware that can improve life conditions of the poor people." In India, where effective solutions to address the social gap and poverty are yet to be found, there are many secluded areas without access to electricity. For the poor, having a water purifier or refrigerator is a lofty dream. Hence, they are unable to store their food for long periods, resulting in making multiple round trips between markets and their house for a number of hours. This labor puts not only physical burden on the poor, but also causes them tremendous financial losses. Mr. Prajapati repeated a number of experiments with soil collected from all over India, developed a type of soil with shatter proof and thermal characteristics, and completed a green refrigerator made with clay. The refrigerator does not require electricity and cools down inside with water circulation.
  • India faces a harsh reality where about 60% of its citizens live in rural areas and the majority of them do not have access to clean water and food. Because of such a severe situation, Mr. Prajapati burned his desire to produce cheap and strong kitchenware. His firm resolution was clearly reflected in his product design. "Stylish and luxury products are not only for the rich. Even though some people may be poor, I want them to live a good life with living supplies which have as high quality as possible." MittiCool turned the tragedy of the earthquake into a source for advancement. The day may not be far away when we find their kitchenware products all over the world.


Auto Compressive Sprayer/Simplified Motorbike Inflator

An inventor deciding his life to innovation

  • Mr. Arvindbhai Patel lives in a suburb of Ahmedabad, where he has created a variety of innovations over the past twenty years many of which lay strewn his front yard. However, only a few of his inventions are sold commercially, and thus his family lives a frugal life earning a meager income products and their maintenance. Mr. Patel was raised poor and dropped out of school at fourteen, thus his ideas come from his daily life. Later on, he became a repairman and was able to create a number of prototypes inventions. One such invention was an Agricultural Sprayer that reduces the heavy labor of manually combining fertilizer with manual sprays by taking advantage of the pressure generated by walking.
  • Moreover, frequently having a flat tire due to unpaved roads led him to come up with a solution. After a myriad of trial and error, Mr. Patel realized his idea to utilize propelling power. First, he placed an air pump against a car engine and connected a hose end to a pulp of the wheel. In this way, the tire was instantly filled with air with a few push of kick-lever.
  • "Never give up. This is a condition of an excellent innovator." Mr. Patel's aura with keen eyes to show his strong self-esteem reminded us of the dignity of Doctor Nakamatsu in his early days, who has created more than 3,000 various inventions in Japan.


Car for the Physically Challenged

An innovation that took advantage of a handicap

  • "It was a happy feeling, as if I flew to the moon," said Mr. Mujib Khan, looking back on his feelings at first driving a modified car. When Mr. Khan was two years old, he was diagnosed with polio that resulted in a partial paralysis on his right side. Yet after working for his father as a auto mechanic, he was able to create a new system for driving which allows the individual to drive and control a clutch, accelerator, and brake with just one hand.
  • His latest model completed in 2005 was recognized by Prof. Anil Gupta, and Mr. Khan received NIF Innovation Award in 2007. Since then, Mr. Khan received orders for 450 cars. As soon as he acquires his patent which is currently in pending, he will begin to scale his business.
  • Innovation brought immeasurable assets to him, including foundation of a new business, social contribution, and psychological independence. "I don't see myself as a handicapped." Mr. Khan smiled with confidence.


Biomass Power Generator

The background of the practical application of regenerated energy

  • Biomass is a type of regenerated energy currently being testing worldwide for its commercial viability, and surprisingly enough is already being used at a grassroots level within India. Yet perhaps more astonishing is its creation by an individual with very little formal education.
  • Mr. Rai Singh Dahiya was a farmer and became a repairman when he was 27 years old. Ten years later, he completed making a biomass power generator. At that time, many villages had no electricity, and heavy fuel oil which was used for tractors was very expensive. To address such fundamental problems, Mr. Dahiya targeted a power-generating method using agricultural wastes which were obtained for practically free.
  • Mr. Dahiya sold 70 of his invention domestically, and he has been receiving increasing order inquiries from Africa. Observing their quick adjustments to local needs and wide proliferation to overseas, it seemed that the speed of grassroots innovations was much faster than we expected.

about us

Design for Freedom Committee
SRISTI/Honey Bee Network
Malaysia Innovation Foundation
The Training for Trusteeship Program
Uniting Nations for Alliance in Peace Volunteerism (UNAPVO)
Weeramantry International Center for Peace Education and Research
Plan management
Granma Inc.
Creative Partner
tetol creative
Project Leader
Anil k Gupta
Takuto Motomura(Granma Inc.
Project Planning
Naoki Yamamoto(Granma Inc.
GRI Scouting Team
Josephine Barbi Maramag Balilia / Philippines
Neshan Gunasekera Attorney / Sri Lanka
Shamir Shehab(Granma Inc.) / Bangladesh
Yogendra Chitrakar / Nepal
Angel Chitrakarr / Nepal
Conference Organizing Team
Muhammad Aziph Dato' Mustapha(YIM)
Project Management
Sungwon Kim
Creative Team

Art Director
Eisuke Tachikawa(NOSIGNER


Movie Director
Daisuke Namiki(tetol creative

WEB Designer
Atsushi Hyogo(TONARI Co.Ltd.

WEB Engineer
Kazuhisa Tsuchiya(TONARI Co.Ltd.
Daichi Katayama(Granma Inc.

Graphic Designer
Toshiyuki Nakaie(NOSIGNER

Sales Team
Yui Kumasaka(Granma Inc.
Research Team
Taishi Suzuki(Granma Inc.
Yuko Morishige(A DANSE S.A. )
Yukari Nishi(Sophia University
PR Team
Mikako Kurimoto(Keio University SFC
Sayaka Mochizuki(Photographer)
Takuya Ando(PR Planner)
Amy Brennen(University of Southern California)
Translation Team
Yoko Samura(tetol creative)