Inclusiveplanet.com

Inclusiveplanet.com

Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The biggest problem amongst 250 million print-impaired globally is the lack of accessible content. At the same time each print-impaired person has collected for oneself a pool of accessible content and other life solutions.Inclusiveplanet.com is a social platform where print-impaired people can connect and share their personal pools of content and resources thereby solving their biggest challenge

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Community-driven approaches to increasing the amount of accessible reading material and platforms available to the visually-impaired.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Community library that allows the visually impaired to share their personal collections of content, personal knowledge and experiences with the global community of visually impaired.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The website is fully accessible by screen-reader tech - what the visually impaired use to access computers. Once a person signs on he can easily share his/her collection of accessible content with the community, join channels focused on different discussions and collaborations and connect with thousands of other similarly placed visually-impaired persons the world over.
About You
Organization:
Inclusive Planet
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Sachin

Last Name

Malhan

Country

, KA

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

Organization Name

Inclusive Planet

Organization Phone

+91 9538913393

Organization Address

D3, Casa Lavelle 3, No.2 Lavelle Road, Bengaluru 560001

Organization Country

, KA

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your innovation unique?

Let me list out the reasons:

1. The 'solution' that inclusiveplanet.com provides is the ability to effectively aggregate already-existing solutions (the personal resources of print impaired persons) that are currently 'private'. Our 'solution' is to enable print-impaired persons to collaborate intelligently, yet easily, and receive the benefits of this aggregated solution i.e. a much larger collection of accessible content, solutions to life and work challenges, and knowledge;

2. The entire platform is 'designed for the print-impaired' i.e. it is not just 'accessible' but actually designed for optimal use by screen reader users, color blind users, low vision users, and in a month, also for dyslexic and physically-disabled-from-reading users;

3. Besides lack of accessible content the print-impaired are also highly disconnected / not communitised. Inclusiveplanet.com is also innovative because it facilitates hive-formation (community formation) around the best honey (the most useful resource) i.e. accessible content. The end result is not just a vast resource for accessible content but also a thriving community.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

We launched our beta platform end of October 2009 and currently Inclusive Planet connects around 3700 print-impaired persons from 75 countries. These 3700 persons have shared 20,000+ files of accessible content and over 4000+ conversations. We hope to connect over 10,000 people by December 31, 2010 and over half a million by December 31, 2011.

The specific impact will be as follows:

1. Greater pool of educational, leisure and work related content (books, articles, magazines, journals, blogs and conversations) for the print-impaired worldwide positively impacting education, skilling and employment amongst the print-impaired, as well increased reading amongst the print-impaired;

2. Increased socialisation amongst the print-impaired leading to relationships, community building and more complete individual development;

3. The community building will lead to fuller citizenship and lobbying and, equally importantly, the discovery of the print-impaired as a market for products and services;

4. Large pool of lifestyle content (living, city guides, menu cards, travel information etc.) will lead to higher lifestyle standard amongst the print-impaired;

Here are links to user stories about the impact of Inclusive Planet - not enough space to paste here:
The Planet is adding value - http://www.inclusiveplanet.com/en/channelpost/485458
My home page - http://www.inclusiveplanet.com/en/channelpost/484651
Planet is truly inclusive - http://www.inclusiveplanet.com/en/channelpost/485199

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

In order to consume / access content print-impaired person need to access it in certain special formats - braille, large format, machine audio, human voice audio etc.) Most content (books, articles, magazines, journals, websites, blogs etc.) is thus inaccessible to the print-impaired. It is estimated that only 1-2% of the world's content is accessible. The effect of this shortage is huge because content is the basis of almost of life experience - education, work, travel, socialisation etc.

There are other organisations who seek to solve the problem by involving the government, publishers and large sums of money with the goal of convincing publishers to release content in accessible formats. The effect of this is to incrementally increase the amount of accessible content. Additionally more and more websites are becoming accessible, which is again incrementally increasing the amount of accessible content available. The challenge is meeting the real lifestyle-related, work-related and study-related content and interaction / socialisation needs of the print-impaired.

Our project seeks to tackle this problem by applying the incredible collaborative power of the internet to this problem. Each print-impaired person is incredible resource, they have to be, and they've created a pool of resources (content and ideas) for themselves. A large part of this can be digitally shared. Hence, the time is right for a social network that enables this collaboration in a transformative way. This can potentially solve a number of problems that the print-impaired face.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?

Here are the steps we are taking:

1. Working closely the first few thousand print-impaired to sharpen our value proposition i.e. the transformative impact of connecting, sharing and collaborating.

2. Connecting and engaging other high-impact organisations around the world that work with the print-impaired and staying open to various models of collaboration.

3. We recognise the fact that localisation is big i.e. people want the platform in their local language and they want an early lot of content and conversation to attract them to adopting the platform. Thus offering local languages and early seed content, mostly in partnership with the kind of organisations listed in point 2, is critical.

4. We're identifying powerful stakeholders in the accessibility world (Google, IBM etc.) and taking the first steps to demonstrate the calibre of our early work so as to get them to support us strategically (marketing, accessible content (read Google Books!) and so on.

5. Our biggest focus area is listening hard to the early community and responding accordingly. That's the mantra of community formation and we want to validate our value propositions carefully.

Business Model:

Our monetisation premise is that Inclusive Planet will become the best access route for companies providing products and services relevant to the print impaired. This could range from technology, devices to learning content, tailored travel services, employment information etc. In Inclusiveplanet.com these companies will find the best partner to access print-impaired consumers. Furthermore we could move up the value chain by providing certain paid services such as providing an accessible learning management system, an employment platform, a relationship platform etc. Hence ours is an advertising + paid services model.

In order for the business model to succeed we need to achieve scale. Without scale our access route would not be attractive enough for companies wishing to sell / market to the print-impaired. Also, without scale the numbers of potential consumers of paid services would be insufficient.

Factors that may prevent success:

1. Sharing and collaboration comes about as a result of trust and comfort. Building that in the print-impaired community will require extensive work on community formation including a tremendous degree of sensitivity to community psychology. We have to bring the best brains across the world to the table to take this on.

2. There is no existing global print-impaired community offline. Hence this is not a case of shifting a community from offline to online. It's about building a community. This makes the task more challenging (yet more rewarding) and costlier because standard viral strategies don't work quite the same way.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

Year 1 - till March 31 2011:

1. We want to connect around 15000 members worldwide with strong English, Spanish and Turkish bases.
2. We want to tie up with at least 4-5 strong international partners
3. We want to reach a critical mass in at least one region - in order to pilot at least one of our monetisation plans

Year 2 - till March 31 2012:

1. We want to connect 600,000+ members worldwide with a strong presence in 5-6 languages
2. We want to have at least 6-8 strong international partners
3. We want to break-even in at least one region
4. We want to move up a value chain in at least one area - relationships, learning, employment, travel etc.

Year 3 - till March 31 2013:

1. We want to have 2 million + members worldwide with a strong presence in 8-10 languages
2. We want to have at least 10-12 strong international partners
3. We want to distribute 10% of our stock amongst the member community
4. We want to break even as an organisation
5. We want to have a strong mobile presence in countries that have poor computer internet penetration

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

There are two facets here: firstly, direct policy work that Inclusive Planet is doing and secondly, the impact that inclusiveplanet.com will have on policy.

Policy advocacy that Inclusive Planet's policy arm does: It is inclusiveplanet.com that is the entry to this competition but our organisation Inclusive Planet is leading India centric efforts to incorporation exceptions for the print-impaired in Indian copyright law. Our work has been recognised by the World Blind Union as well and we will be present at the meetings in Geneva between May 26-28.

Policy impact of inclusiveplanet.com: Policy advocacy amongst the print-impaired is poor because there IS NO print-impaired community. Naturally community formation as a result of inclusiveplanet.com would have a transformational impact on this because it would allow problems to be discussed and strategies to be evolved at a community level, and not just drawing national inputs but international inputs. A small example of an already successful public initiative on inclusiveplanet.com is that of the South African National Commission for the Blind to solicit views on its braille voting template - we can share more info on this.

Sustainability
What stage is your Social Enterprise in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?

No

Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your Social Enterprise

Partnerships are indispensable to us. In order to build the print-impaired community on Inclusive Planet we have to offer the 'glocal' experience i.e. the benefits of global connections and sharing and the comfort of local language, context and relevance. For example, in order to build a community in Turkey we have collaborate with people in Turkey who can (a) create the turkish language version (b) seed the platform with content relevant to the early turkish users (c) understand the local context to craft a strategy for success. It is not possible for us to sit in India and execute a vision as large as Inclusive Planet. Actually, it's not just a question of whats possible and whats not - its desirable for us to build a global movement that has several partners that 'own' the vision of connecting print-impaired persons the world over to create a transformative social network. Hence partnerships are key to us.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

So far we have raised money from angel investors who have invested in their individual capacities. These individuals are people from the Indian venture capital, social business and technology business community. We've raised 120,000 USD so far from these. Currently we're looking to enlist a few more of these angels, but parallelly we are looking for a larger round of support to give us the resource we need for 2-3 years.

REVENUE MODEL:

We seek to monetise two aspects - firstly, the expertise we have as a result of creating and managing inclusiveplanet.com and secondly, inclusiveplanet.com itself.

Firstly, the expertise:

We are helping IT firms, site designers and end users themselves create more accessible platforms. Our expertise in designing systems for the print-impaired is being conveyed through consulting services that we are already delivering to national institutes and to private IT /ITES players. In addition we offer the product creators the worlds most sophisticated testing area - inclusiveplanet.com's community!

Secondly, inclusiveplanet.com:

As the member base increases Inclusive Planet will be in a position to offer organisations across the world unprecedented access to the print-impaired community along with tremendous intelligence about the needs and wants of the community. We will offer:

1. Advertising and Retail of third-party products and services catering to the print-impaired;

2. Enabling content publishers to sell their content (e-books etc.) to a large content- consuming community with expressed interests;

3. Facilitating e-bay type user-commerce – for example, print-impaired persons with products, expertise and knowledge acquired for themselves could sell this to other print-impaired people; and

4. Climb the value chain by providing services linked to popular content, for example learning services with edu content, dating and matrimonial services with relationship content.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

One of our co-founders - Rahul Cherian was present during the 2008 discussions of the World Blind Union around the WIPO treaty for the blind. It was there that it struck Rahul that there was a massive resource problem that technology to fix. Subsequently upon his return Rahul, Sachin and Reuben worked with organizations working with persons with print impairment to understand what the best solutions would be. The more we were exposed to the nature of the problems faced by the community the more apparent it become what the solutions needed to look like.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

There is no one person behind the idea. It is an evolving iterative effort that has been changing shape to meet the problem intelligently.

The core group of six people behind the project is an interesting mix of technologists, lawyers, business graduates, disability policy activists and designers. Here is a link to the profiles of the people:

http://corp.inclusiveplanet.com/about.htm

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Personal contact at Changemakers

If through another source, please provide the information

Comments

Rachna Pandey Donthi's picture

Hi Sachin,
What a great concept! Is this platform already in place or still in process? I assume till it scales up, there would not be revenue coming in from it?
Meanwhile, are you also working on other initiatives for people with disabilities?

Thanks!

Sachin Malhan's picture

How do we effectively maximise the accessible content and platforms available to the visually impaired? And how can this be done by engaging the visually impaired themselves as opposed to treating them only as beneficiaries?

Sachin Malhan's picture

Hello Rachna,

Thanks for the comment!
Yes the platform is already in place. Visit www.inclusiveplanet.com

At the moment, we are focussing on this platform, the accessibility space, as well as making changes on the policy side.
We will look at other initiatives in the future.

Regards,
Sachin

Elenice Tamashiro's picture

Hi Sachin,

i´m glad to see Inclusive Planet´s entry in our global competion on social business. Thank you for entering.

I´d like to connect you with Blazer Sports for America (http://www.changemakers.com/en-us/node/82239),entrant from Nike Football competition), they have football programs for persons with physical disabilities/visual impairment and I thought that IP could be an awesome space for them to join, discuss sports/football theme wit IP community. They are based in US, serves more than 60,000 annually and are building recreation infrastructure worlwide.

hope you have a chance to chat. let me know if i can help in anything.

good luck!
Elenice

Dear Sachin Malhan,

According to your experience what are the main barriers or challenges so that social business model can thrive?

Cheers,

The Changemakers's Team