Turning Innovation into Action with Jugaad

ListeningCan we say anything new ab out innovation?  That was one comment in our most recent survey. Maybe there’s nothing new to be said, but there better be something new to be done. Around the world and at all levels of human interaction, things are broken, so innovation is a necessity, not an option.  No one questions the urgent need for innovation, but few people can turn that talk into action.  We heard about a movement that transforms talk about innovation into innovative action.  It is called jugaad.


Jugaad is a Punjabi word for using what you have to make what you need.  People in all levels of society and many grassroots movements across India are taking this word and this practice to heart.  Jugaad is a very special kind of innovation. It emerges out of necessity. It leverages existing resources.  It focuses on local needs.  It gives power and autonomy. It is sustainable. It is about DOING innovation and not just talking about it. 

So what?

Jugaad emerged out of practice, but practice is local.  If we want to spread jugaad globally, we need to be able to talk about it as well as doing it.  Friends of human systems dynamics in India see a strong link between jugaad and the language, theory, models, and methods of Adaptive Action.  They see What? So what? and Now what? as a good way to name the process that is at the core of jugaad innovation.  Together we will build a bridge that might spread jugaad  to meet emerging needs around the world.   

Now what?

In the coming weeks, we at the HSD Institute will explore three paths of action to innovate around jugaad innovation.  First, we will extend our research about the idea, its implementation, and implications. Second, we will begin to write and speak about the idea, to test it and explore its power and potential for individuals, organizations, and communities in the West.  Third, we will practice it ourselves—taking advantage of this new opportunity to use what we have to create what we need.  We invite you to join us in a jugaad experiment and to share your discoveries with us here. 

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