Calling: Evolving the unique Knowledge Creation and Empowerment Processes of CORO India
The burning issue of this this research-to-innovation, lead by Zarah Kronbach, was to explicitly capture and evolve further some of the unique knowledge creation and empowerment process still implicitly embedded within CORO, an integral partner organisation of Trans4m. The aim was to strengthen its long-term sustainability and continuing success, especially of importance due to the 25th anniversary of CORO. The objective of the six months project was to co-create an Integral Community Empowerment Model that on the one hand is understood and can be applied within the organisation, and on the other hand can also be shared with a broader audience. Consequently, the society and also the world are able to benefit from CORO’s successful approach and collective knowledge creation between grassroots and academic knowledge creation is strengthened.
Innovation Ecosystem: Included CORO members, Fellows and Campaigners
The built-up of an innovation ecosystem team was crucial to fully actualise the co-creation process and thoroughly understand the Maharashtrian and Indian context. Under the stewardship of Sujata Khandekar – Co-founder and director of CORO – the team included core CORO members, leaders of the fellowship program and a regional campaign. With this innovation ecosystem, an institutional ground was created allowing the research-to-innovation to have a real impact. Trans4m regularly supported the process, thereby a rather global perspective helped to enrich the local viewpoint.
Integral Innovation: CORO’s Integral Community Empowerment Model
The integral innovation was pursued with an Integral Research design as a transformative process. Based upon CORO’s existing knowledge creation process, the innovation ecosystem co-created an approach to “Integral CORO Community Empowerment”. It was surfaced that the community truly stands at the core of CORO. Hence, the model is to empower the community in all four worlds, the South (Healthy Community Relationships), East (Awakened Community Culture), North (Community Learning Ecologies) and West (Sustainable Community Livelihood), thereby constituting a holistic approach on the level of Self (individual grassroots leaders, CORO members, CORO) and Other (community).
Additionally, the newly developed model is designed to bridge the gap between academic and grassroots knowledge and knowledge creation and is thus providing a culturally resonant solution with societal and even global impact outreaches.
Integral Impact: A Tool for Continuous Organisational Renewal and a Foundation for CORO’s forthcoming Grassroots Leadership Centre
The Integral Model of CORO’s Community Empowerment was implemented for the first time at CORO’s 25th anniversary, the “Umeedon ki Udaan Festival of Compassionate Leadership from Grassroots Up”.
At this festival, a richly illustrated brochure about CORO’s Integral Community Empowerment was distributed to all participating speakers and universities at the session “Conference on Collective Knowledge Building”. This brochure in addition to the Bachelor Thesis facilitated the sharing of the newly and explicitly expressed knowledge inside and outside CORO.
For an even more thorough understanding of this holistic model within the organisation, the regular innovation ecosystem sessions were employing co-operative inquiry, a participatory form of action research methodology. Thereby, the research-to-innovation activated a process of organisational renewal towards continuing the 25 years of success. The bachelor thesis thereby became a tool for continuous organisational knowledge creation, leading for example to the establishment of an innovation ecosystem team and providing a foundation for CORO`s forthcoming “Grassroots Leadership Center”.