Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vital skills for the internet age

Quick thought:

In the internet age, two of the most important skills whose presence and absence can make a phenomenal difference to our overall knowledge base and hence our overall role in this vast milieu of people are Reading habit and Communication.

If people don't have these two capacities in them, they would just see a huge stream flow in front of them and they won't understand how to make use of it to improve their own lives (initially) as professionals or as healthy social beings.

Amongst the top 10 capacities that I would want children to develop, expression (both verbal and written) and reading interest would surely find their place.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Great Speech

Came across this amazing speech this morning. There is just so much of inner glow, clarity and intellect in the speech that it can't fail to strike a chord.

Surely a great specimen of the way visionaries think and communicate

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Social Entrepreneurship at Student phase

Yesterday I got an opportunity to judge one of the regional rounds of SIFE event for the second time.

I just love the concept. They encourage students to work in the direction of social entreneurship and encourage them to come out with solutions that can help alleviate the disparity that we see in our community. The winning project gets sponsorship to take it even further. Last year the Indian team stood third internationally.

The method of judging the event is quite scientific where the judges are taken through a video of around 18 mins and are given clear instructions on the parameters that they need to clearly examine such as Sustainability, understanding of the market based economics principles etc.

In this contest we get to see 20-21 yr olds coming and explaining how they managed to check out say a school for the visually challenged in Latur and realized that the training that was provided by the government was disjointed from the market and also that the government didn't put in any effort in terms of connecting the potential of these individuals to the opportunities that the market offered to them.

Similarly another group of students who are undergoing their post graduation course, explored the possibility of reviving the art form of Warli painting which is getting stiff competition from the more refined products made from machines etc. These students even got these painters to come all the way from their tribal areas and showcase their art in important outlets.

I guess introducing students to social entrepreneurship at an early stage can really help them in developing their outlook towards the disparities in the society and may be enough to light a small flame which we never know may have the potential to come out with great solution which might just transform the world of the not so blessed in unknown ways.

For Education to have true relevance, it needs to be rooted in the social, political, economic context of the times. In a country such as ours with such phenomenal challenges in all three dimensions, we just can't afford to adopt a singular goal as otherwise, a lot would remain unanswered.