Tag Archives: Ashoka

Help select a winning teen social entrepreneur

Ashoka Youth Venture and Best Buy Children’s Foundation have teamed up to create the @15 Community Impact Challenge. Ashoka is known around the world as the institution that coined the term social entrepreneurship and has been actively supporting social entrepreneurs for nearly 30 years. Ashoka’s Youth Venture works to encourage this spirit of innovation and social entrepreneurship in young people. With Ashoka’s Youth Venture’s support youngsters design and launch their own social ventures to target social issues and challenges.

The Best Buy Children’s Foundation hopes to empower teens at the most critical time of their lives – early adolescence. Its @15 programs provide teens with a platform to affect social change. @15 working together with Ashoka’s Youth Venture has created the Community Impact Challenge. Youth teams from around the nation applied to enter the competition. A set of 15 finalists was chosen based on an assessment of their potential for community impact and a vision of how they would create sustainable change. Continue reading

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Two social visionaries from India

We were pleased to have Vibha Krishnamurthy and Ashish Karamchandani visit us in Boston on Sunday.

Vibha Krishnamurthy is the founder of Ummeed, (http://www.ummeed.org ) a first-of-its kind center addressing the needs of the estimated 35 million children in India with developmental disabilities. After completing her fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, Vibha moved back to Bombay determined to bring world class care to disabled children in India. She founded Ummeed in 2001 and it now supports over 1000 patient visits a week. Ummeed provides early diagnosis of development disabilities followed by in-house professional, medical and therapeutic care. It allows families to continue proper care and therapy at home by providing training and education programs for parents. For her tireless efforts to bring care to the disadvantaged, Vibha was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2007. http://www.ashoka.org/fellow/4900

Vibha’s husband, Ashish Karamchandani is a visionary in his own right. Ashish returned to India to head Monitor’s Indian consulting office where he spearheaded an effort within Monitor to address the challenges of global poverty with market based solutions. He was successful in starting a new area of research within Monitor, Monitor Inclusive Markets, (http://www.mim.monitor.com) that he now leads. The group has brought scientific and business approaches to providing market-based solutions and has initiated financially-sustainable enterprises to address the needs of the bottom 60% of the income pyramid in India. Their work has identified housing as one of the key areas where market based solutions can alter the social and economic landscape of the country. Ashish has recently published a comprehensive report “Emerging Markets, Emerging Models,” based on their solid fact-based research. Continue reading

Ashoka’s “Tapping Youth Innovation Challenge”

Ashoka has launched a youth movement called Ashoka’s Youth Venture (http://genv.net/) to help young people to design and launch their own lasting social ventures. (More on this in a later post). As part of their efforts to spur innovation, they have teamed up with a number of organizations to hold youth oriented social innovation competitions.

The latest one is “Tapping Youth Innovation, a Water Campaign” where they are looking for young innovators’ ideas on how to solve some of the challenges to clean water and sanitation for people living in poverty.  The challenge is accepting entries until March 22, 2009 which coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) happens to be World Water Day!

Here is a blurb about their competition for people who might be interested. Continue reading

Get engaged in Charitable giving

I wrote an article recently on how Indian Americans can take a step towards increasing charitable giving. Equally applicable even if you are not an Indian American 🙂
I have reproduced the entire article below. Can be found on line at India New England News.

How Indian Americans can get engaged in charitable giving

India has a rich tradition of supporting public works, arts and architecture throughout its history and culture. From time immemorial the Rishis of the Upanishads have exhorted their disciples to engage in charity, to give according to their wealth with faith and humility. Over two thousand years ago the Emperor Ashoka undertook immense public works projects ranging from rest houses for pilgrims to hospitals and universities. In later times rulers like Emperor Akbar patronized the arts and architecture and were instrumental in building striking monuments that still stand as testimony to their largesse. In the South, the Vijaynagar Empire helped lift Kannada and Telugu literature to new heights and encouraged Carnatic music. Continue reading

The New Philanthropy – New models for Social Impact

I had a great time attending the conference to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of my alma mater, IIT Bombay. The event was well attended with over 800 attendees and very well organized. It was fun catching up with some of my classmates after 30 plus years!

I had the pleasure of moderating a wonderful panel on “The New Philanthropy – New models for Social Impact” with four great speakers presenting a wide range of activities that their different organizations pursue in the social sector.  The panelists were

  • Shari Berenbach, Executive Director, Calvert Foundation
  • Omer Imtiazuddin, Health Portfolio Manager, Acumen Fund
  • Lisa Nitze, Vice President, Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Program, Ashoka Global
  • Linda Segre, Managing Director, Operations & Initiatives, Google.org

I have written a more in-depth article for Lokvani, but some of the key points were: Continue reading