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Radical Openness at TED Global

Sanjay Pradhan's picture

This summer I was invited to speak at the TED Global conference in Edinburgh, Scotland on Open Development. As you might know, TED features "Ideas Worth Spreading" and this year's global conference focused on "Radical Openness." This was an opportunity to highlight how the traditional development paradigm is opening up in dramatic ways that allows us to achieve stronger development results. 

Today, many of us the world over are working to open up aid, increase transparency, empower citizens, and connect country practitioners to innovative solutions globally -- all of which moves us towards our goal of eradicating poverty. As per TED practice, this is interwoven with the evolution of my own thinking and experience as a development practitioner, since I was a student in India. I want to invite you to share your own innovations in Open Development.

Related Links:
TED: Sanjay Pradhan: How Open Data Is Changing International Aid


Submitted by Anup Kumar Choudhary on
Thanks to Mr. Sanjay for the inspirational talk, very nostalgic too as coming from Bihar, I can relate with the experience of ‘opening up the development’ as shared during the TED talk. Indeed, chronically backward Indian state of Bihar is undergoing ‘de-envelopment’- a transformation with sweeping departure from business-as-usual approach. And key drivers are open knowledge and governance as shared by Mr.Sanjay. Right to information Act-2005 is slowly but firmly changing the governance landscape of Bihar as well as India by empowering common citizen to demand and enforce accessible and accountable bureaucracy and Government. These changes reflect life time passion & commitment of ‘lonely warriors’ as said by Mr Sanjay. The spirit and momentum provided by these lonely warriors is made by well-known personalities like Anna Hazare but more notably by numerous anonymous torch bearers like late father of Mr Sanjay. Armed with constitutional rights and unrestrained knowledge flow of social media, people are coming together and raising their voices for political and developmental accountability from Government. Part of the credit goes to the strategies, practises & advisory support provided by humanitarian organisations like World Bank as well as committed leadership fostering citizen responsive governance. I wish to share an experience of mine when I was part of a UN team in Bihar technically facilitating state Government in geo-mapping key socio-economic indicators in 2009. Our initiative was reciprocated with astonishing support of Government and we were able to assist the state Government in publishing a ‘Planning Atlas’ for entire state for the first time using cutting edge GIS technology. This helped the Government to identify indicator based disparities within the state and hence devise informed strategies and policies. I hope & have firm belief that this journey of engagement and empowerment of the ‘last in the line’ will continue, not only in Bihar but throughout the world where blot of poverty and powerlessness persists. Thanks again for the talk.

Submitted by Janbee Shaik on

Dear Sanjay,

As always you are very inspiring and I especially liked your TED talk. Felt good to hear you speech after a long gap from WYF-2007.
I really look forward to meeting you and share my ideas too for a more harmonious and sustainable world.

Warm regards, Janbee

Submitted by Atul Singh on


I liked your talk. In the early days of Fair Observer, I met Bob Zoellick who liked what we were doing and suggested we cooperate. We did not make much progress on that front because we were fighting for survival and the World Bank seemed a bureaucratic maze where it would take 200 years for us to accomplish anything.

I will be attending the annual meetings starting Friday and would like to meet you in person. I reckon you get hundreds of emails and rarely check your blog. Still, in case this comes across your eye, email me at [email protected] and/or call me on 202 306 3584.

Warm regards,


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