[TC-I Call to Action]: Indicorps August 2009 Fellowship

As some of our readers may know, Prerna and I are both Indicorps alums.  My fellowship with Indicorps is too involved to explain in a short post, but the experience is definitely one of the contributing factors to my continued interest and involvement with development in India.  The on-the-ground experience is extremely valuable,  both in terms of understanding the issues at hand, and also for the resulting effects on personal growth.   I am excited that this opportunity is available for more people in the Indian Diaspora to make lasting change:

Indicorps eagerly announces over 30 competitive new projects for the August 2009 Indicorps Diaspora Fellowship.  Indicorps seeks a few dozen dedicated young Indian leaders who are willing to challenge themselves and “be the change.”  Tackle real issues in education, microfinance, social entrepreneurship, environmental conservation, public health, urban infrastructure, and much more.  Live simply and dig deep to learn about real India (and yourself); projects span from Kanpur to Pondicherry, Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh.  To learn more, visit http://apply.indicorps.org.

In the spirit of Obama’s campaign to create “Change you can believe in,” Indicorps is a real opportunity for CHANGE YOU MAKE HAPPEN.  The August 2009 Fellowship model will mobilize passionate, sincere fellows to become strong team players and leaders who will build sustainable new initiatives.

About Indicorps: Indicorps offers prestigious grassroots public service fellowship to implement sustainable development projects with community-based organizations across India.  As a total-immersion leadership program, Indicorps will encourage you to explore your role as a catalyst of change.  Fellowship projects promote both personal growth and collective action towards a secular India that is inclusive, peaceful, and participatory.  The program requires a minimum commitment of one year.

Applications are due 15 March 2009.

Ready to take on one of these interesting projects, from working with youth to social entrepreneurship to health issues? If you are eligible and interested, I cannot urge you enough to apply.

Intl. Conf. on Social Entrepreneurship in India – Day 1

I had the opportunity to attend the International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship in India on the 4th and 5th of December. In this post I will try to narrate my experience at the conference. In the posts following this one, I will talk about people and organizations I got in touch with, and most importantly discuss some issues that came up for discussion during the conference.

photo credit Sonia Rai

photo credit Sonia Rai

The theme of the event – Inspiring|Connecting|Sharing – set the right expectations for the attendees and, to be sure, lived up to it. The event was organized by UnLtd India and Center for Social Initiative and Management(CSIM).

The conference was spread over two days and events were well planned to facilitate formal as well informal discussions and networking. It was eye-opening and engaging in many ways. Participants from almost all parts of India, and with interests ranging from micro-lending to rural tourism, attended.

Day 1

Proceedings were kicked off by Bert Cherian of Meta Results setting the tone with his humour and energy. The ball was set rolling by an interaction with Nachiket Mor of ICICI Foundation, facilitated by Neera Nundy of Dasra. Nachiket talked about his personal experiences that shaped up the path to his current position as President at ICICI Foundation. He narrated how people in rural areas are not exactly used to the apathy and standard of living prevalent in urban areas. He also talked about evolution of ICICI Foundation. Answering to a question, Nachiket questioned the value of experience as the only source of answers to problems. In his opinion, many a times a fresh look at things from a total outsider can give us out-of-box solutions. On a related note he said that the ability to pay or finance an initiative is not always a plus point. Many an innovative idea has come out in crunch times.

Nachiket Mor photo credit Sonia Rai

Nachiket Mor photo credit Sonia Rai

Nachiket was of the view that the term “Social Entrepreneurship” should not have been a groundbreaking term or concept at all. Enterprises should be socially conscious and socially motivated by default. Talking about scaling up organizations, he cited example of Starbucks which had to operate in centers which were poles apart in their culture.

As you have seen, Nachiket gave us some really interesting perspectives of social entrepreneurship.

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[Internship Opportunity]: Indicorps, January 2009

Wondering what you should do this upcoming January 2009? Consider Indicorps’ 4-6 month internships, starting January 2009:

Start the new year with a meaningful commitment to yourself and the world in which you live. Apply NOW for a 4-6 month structured internship with Indicorps starting 10 January 2009.

Internships will focus on strengthening Indicorps core organizational capacity:

  • Create public service announcements for radio and television.
  • Develop & execute strategies to leverage podcasts & social networks for recruiting & promotional campaigns.
  • Build an overarching structure for a global Indicorps alumni association.
  • Facilitate service leadership workshops and much more!

The January 2009 Internships are an amazing opportunity to work in a collaborative team setting, contribute to substantive Indicorps projects, understand Indicorps’ core development philosophy, and build leadership skills by achieving ambitious goals in a short time frame. You also get to partake in a 1-week Orientation Program, Thursday Speaker Series, weekly reflection sessions, the March 2009 Fellows’ Workshop, and much more.

All internships will be based at the Indicorps office in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Unlike the Indicorps fellowship program, January 09 Internships are NOT limited to people of Indian origin. All internships begin on 10 January 2009 with a mandatory one-week orientation program. Only 8-10 positions are available. Application deadline is 15 November or until positions are filled.

For additional questions, please email us at intern@indicorps.org.

To apply, please go to their website.

Job Opportunities with Indicorps

The follow are opportunities to join Indicorps staff – apply immediately.

Who we are and who we want:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

— Margaret Mead

Indicorps is an entrepreneurial organization run by a small, tight-knit community of critical thinkers committed to transforming the world. Our “work” extends conventional boundaries, and includes both philosophical and practical discussions regarding the vision of the organization’s future, pressing social issues, and potential paths towards personal growth.

Given our desire to learn and innovate – as individuals, as an organization, and as a community – we are looking for multi-faceted, dynamic individuals who aspire to effect meaningful change by inspiring individuals to realize their inner capacities.  If you are looking for an opportunity to engage with India in a critical, intensely personal way, and hope to meet people with the conviction to effect meaningful change, then you are an ideal Indicorps staff candidate!

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ThinkChange in NYC

Not to be confused with this blog (although all of the staff of ThinkChange India are members), a new organization called ThinkChange is a social entrepreneurship roundtable in New York City whose goal is to help ideas become real, sustainable projects. Here is an excerpt from their email invite:

CHANGE. What exactly does it mean? How can we work towards “change”? Are you somebody who wants to “do something”, who wants to work towards “change”, but doesn’t know where to start, with whom, or how?
With these questions in mind, the Indicorps alumni of New York invite you to join “ThinkChange“, a social entrepreneurship roundtable that aims to serve as an idea / action incubator for people with the common vision of effecting grassroots level change. Through a series of meetings that build knowledge on issues of common interest, and provide opportunities to network and build expertise on topics such as social business planning, marketing, and implementation, we hope to spark the exchange of ideas and hopefully, the eventual implementation of innovative solutions to pressing problems in India. Even more simply, we hope to establish a network of like-minded individuals that actively meet, exchange ideas, and work together to build service into their everyday lives. Sound intriguing?

The roundtable is actively looking for more participants and is meeting again on Monday, March 24th. The meeting is from 7pm-9pm at the Puck Building, 295 Lafayette Street (at the corner of Houston and Lafayette) in the Jersey Conference Room.

Anyone interested, please email prerna.srivastava@gmail.com to RSVP or to find out more information. This is also a great opportunity to meet many of the bloggers on ThinkChange India.

Indicorps Fellowship 2008

Indicorps is a non-partisan, non-religious, non-profit organization that aims to build principled leadership in the Indian diaspora through grassroots service. Indicorps’ programs are designed empower visionaries, inspire collective action, and unite India towards a common vision by productively engaging Indians around the world in service of their country.

For the August 2008 cycle of the Fellowship Program, Indicorps is accepting applications for over 50 participatory development projects, all of which require a minimum time commitment of one year. As an alumna of the program, I can attest to the transformational capacity of the program, and encourage those invested in India’s development to apply. A description of the program follows:

The Indicorps fellowship is a profound personal experience and an opportunity to understand participatory development through intense voluntary service. The structured program encourages participants to leave their comfort zones, place others’ interests before their own, test their own potential to affect change, explore their relationship with India, and understand what it means to lead by committing themselves to innovative grassroots projects. Indicorps believes that giving one’s time and energy, without any attachment to the outcome, regardless of the circumstances, is an unparalleled personal experience in service. At the same time, the fellowship is a chance for fellows to address their own identity, recognize their personal boundaries, and understand how to produce change in their environment(s). The fellowship is deeply rewarding, a transformational and challenging personal journey, and part of Indicorps’ collective experiment for change.

Applications are due on March 31, 2008. To apply, go here. If you should need more information, feel free to contact Indicorps at apply@indicorps.org.

Piramal Prize — Help Democratize Healthcare

Anand Shah, the founder of Indicorps, along with the Ajay G. Piramal Foundation has established the  Piramal Prize whose goal is to

encourage and support bold entrepreneurial ideas which have a profound impact on access to higher standards of health for India’s rural and marginalized urban communities. The award recognizes high-impact, scalable business models that propose innovative solutions which directly or indirectly address India’s healthcare crisis. Entries may include, but are not limited to, innovations in service delivery, technology applications, health-related products, or mechanisms to address public health necessities such as potable water.

Initial steps for entry can be found here.