The world over, there is a major issue which has been usually under-highlighted, that is, people in general have a tendency to take credit for themselves, and attribute the causes of failure to others. Not owning up failure by ourselves has been one of the causes of undesirable consequences of mankind; including under-achievement, unwelcome changes, stagnation, and under-performance. By ignoring our ignorance, what we do not realize is that we are slowly and silently perishing under this peril.

Are you not worried? If no, we should at least be worried as to why are not worried with things that are worrisome. If yes, can you please suggest me a most effective and cost effective solution?

Meanwhile, let me draw your attention to an extraordinary opportunity, which we all human beings should evolve to adopt - for success in excellence, progress, peace, and happiness. That is zero investment innovation.

What is Zero Investment Innovation (ZII)?

Zero investment innovation is a new idea that can be or is already being implemented effectively without any additional expenditure or with minimum monetary cost. It can be a very small and new idea, action or tool that provides comfort, inspiration or any other solution.

ZII is simple, a people’s tool, can be done by anybody. Yet, it is a powerful and empowering solution for whole of humanity, and all its sectors of action and impact. It is an ability, an inspiration or self-inspiration to move a person from inactivity, to activity, to additional responsibility from a world of possibility.

However, ZII starts with a need for and belief in innovation as a solution. Even micro-innovations, however scattered, isolated and invisible they may be, can have a collective impact. It is a creative combination of the powers of idea, self, and selflessness.

Power of Idea:

• The world needs ideas, because ideas move the matter: ideas change self, society, and civilization.
• Every person has the ability to generate and offer ideas. If individuals are inspired and given ownership, they can come out with solution-focused innovative ideas.
• When individuals come together and practice their own ideas, adopt or adapt other’s ideas; they build institutions.
• Inspirations and innovative ideas can have wonderful achievements, in incredible opposition to the capacity of money. ZII, therefore, can prove to be more than money.

Power of Self:

‘Zero-investment innovations’ are in a way different from ‘no-investments’. This is a situation where zero investment is actually a hero’s investments or more than money investment. It is an investment of self. In other words, these investments are self-created, self-inspired; they come out not because of honor and prestige, but because of an urge to excel, and a surge to bring fundamental changes. These investments happen because of an inner satisfaction of personal contribution to a change in society.

This investment comes from, not the external questions, but internalized questions to the self. There are external questions which are not answered to the source, but to the self.

ZII is a harmonious and balanced blend of the modern and the traditional, of outward-looking innovation and the inward- looking revival of the self.

People have or should a need for excellence; individual excellence is possible when people take action on the basis of their own or internalized ideas and passion. It needs ownership and initiative.

ZII propels self-discovery and self-invention. It helps individuals to ask or think in terms of the following:

• Let me not blame others; but can I not blame myself?
• What is the best that I could do? Am I doing it?
• Without support from the system, can I not contribute to change?
• What can ‘I’ do?
• I am responsible. I can do ; I can contribute
• I am a part of the solution. I have the worth, and can lead

Power of Selflessness:

• ZII is truly an altruistic solution in response to felt-needs.
• It comes from empathetic and ethical-enabling of individuals.
• Free innovations come from not only the hands or heads, but basically from the hearts of the innovators. These innovators have care, compassion and concern for others, and have a strong desire to change a situation.

ZII should be practiced by all actors in every sector. While ZII is possible by every person, it is unfortunately not being practiced. Even where it is being practiced in small and unrecognized ways, it has not been promoted. It needs search, research and refinement, and inspiration of innovations. However, it needs courage, and commitment to translate individual innovations into institutionalized action.

If each individual realizes her/his role and plays it with commitment, there would be much-needed solutions, development and impact, and a better tomorrow. If everyone ethically and professionally asks the self as to what she/he could do, and what more they could do; this very question could prove to be a creative power.

Are you going to ask the questions to yourself?

Or, if you want to question my question, please ask me a question.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Pradeepta Kumar Nayak is the former Executive Director of Indian Centre for Philanthropy. Presently, he works as the Senior Manager- Research with Sri Aurobindo Society. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors at the Initiative for Equality, USA. He was a Senior International Fellow at the Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society, CUNY, USA.
Pradeepta has been contributing to the concepts and practices on awareness, education, inspiration, empowerment, consciousness, creativity, health, leadership, learning, trust, transformation, self and success.
Pradeepta can be reached at