Smart Villages Project

What is a Smart Village?

A community empowered by Digital Technologies & Open Innovation Platforms to access Global Markets


In India, soaring urban populations are straining resources, and shrinking villages have limited access to the technology that could improve residents’ economic status. Traditional government aid programs and charitable contributions from businesses have helped but cannot offer long-term solutions.


In response, the Garwood Center’s Executive Director Solomon Darwin is leading the Smart Villages project, which uses Open Innovation to connect rural communities to global markets and, in the process, create economic opportunities for both villagers and corporations.


The prototype completed in 2016 was so successful that the project is now expanding to 466 villages in one Indian state. Eventually, the model could be replicated in the estimated 650,000 villages throughout India and millions more in developing countries around the world.


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A Smart Village is:

An Ecosystem:

The village that leverages its resources as well as those of surrounding villages, distant places and entities to generate revenue and lower its costs and risk.

A Brand:

The village creates an identity and be known for something of value that is unique – grassroots.

A Business Model:

A village that creates value for its people and others outside its ecosystem by utilizes lean and cost effective state of the art technologies and capture some of that value for itself.

An Economic Development Platform:

The village that allows many external businesses to access its resources to profit from them – win-win.

A Community:

Self-organized network of people who collaborate by sharing ideas, information and resources to build a strong ecosystem – when all else fails the community remains to rebuild itself.

A Sustainable Unit:

The village that generates triple bottom line: a) people b) profit and c) planet