Instilling collective hope for a better future: The case of poverty alleviation through the Smart Village Movement

Thursday 6 June 2024, 1:00pm to 2:00pm


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How does a social entrepreneur instil hope collectively to pursue social change?

Drawing on autoethnographic and other field work, we study the Smart Village Movement (SVM) in India, an initiative to uplift poor rural communities and empower them by giving access to global markets through open innovation platforms and digital technologies. Our findings contribute to the literature on social change by explaining how the concept of hope can be instilled collectively to aspire seemingly impossible goals. We show why and how different stakeholders could be persuaded and energized to engage with the initiative, even in places that seem hopeless. Despite recurring setbacks over time, we observed that through refining the approach to instilling collective hope over time, the initiative persisted and was transferred to new places. We theorize the observed phenomena as hope-instilling work which consists of inner work through which the social entrepreneur generates hope, and outer work through which they inspire hope in others, and orchestrate, and perpetuate collective hope. Hope-instilling work depends on the social embeddedness of the social entrepreneur and their interaction with the environment to transform hopelessness and desperation into opportunity and perseverance. It is an important phenomenon to understand how humanity can be uplifted, and the natural environment protected in an age where many grand societal challenges need to be tackled.


Sarah Jack

Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Innovation, Lancaster University

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Name Bingbing Ge

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