“Throughout human history, in any great endeavor requiring the common effort of many nations and men and women everywhere, we have learned – it is only through the seriousness of purpose and persistence that we ultimately carry the day. We might liken it to riding a bicycle. You stay upright and move forward so long as you keep up the momentum.”
Like the story of any other innovation, this one also began with a quest. At Mantra4Change, we had been busy strategizing to achieve school transformation across 100 schools over the next 5 years. This was when our mentor Mr. Sanjay Purohit pushed us to think bigger with a simple question, “Aiming for 100 schools is good, but can 10,000 schools be impacted over next five years?” We kept going back and forth, asking, debating, discussing and questioning its possibility. Finally, the realization dawned.This meant scaling of the idea, and not necessarily scaling of the organization. Mantra, alone would not be able to achieve it. The idea of systemic school transformation needed to scale. As scalability and acceptance of an idea are determined by four critical aspects of desirability, feasibility, viability and adoption, we started pondering over these lines.
To put the problem into perspective, India has more than 1.5 million schools spanned across 29 states with huge cultural differences.This clearly means a “one size fits all” approach is never going to work.
This demands contextual solutions to be designed based on the needs of the geography. Who could design contextual solutions better than local change leaders? Now the question was, “How do we enable local change leaders, who understand the context of their geography, with the knowledge and resources to lead successful systemic transformation in education?” This problem statement was the genesis of the idea behind EduMentum.
EduMentum (Education + Momentum) has been started with a vision to identify and promote local entrepreneurs/ change leaders aspiring to work on systemic transformation in School Education. We realized that local entrepreneurs with deeper contextual understanding will be able to bring better solutions on the ground. At Mantra4Change, we also simulated our own journey to design EduMentum and we found that one of the strongest pillars of our foundation was access to great mentors. Had they not been there to constantly question, guide and push us, we would have never been able to reach where we are right now. This led us to imagine EduMentum as a platform where aspirations of young social entrepreneurs meet inspirational leaders from industry and education domain. Hence, with its bias towards action backed by rich bodies of knowledge, EduMentum promises emergence of contextual reference models on systemic transformation on school education.
Through EduMentum, we wish to incubate 50 such organizations over a period of next 5 years. Our focus is systemic transformation in education across different geographies of India. We have been very fortunate to be able to get the support of inspirational leaders such as Prof. Shashi Nair, Mr. Sanjay Purohit, Ms. Shoma Bakre, Prof Sujatha Rao, Mr. Sekhar Gopalan, Ms. Veena Sagar, Ms. Purna Mukesh and Mr. K.L Mukesh. We also envision that multiple strong “Communities of Practice” will emerge out from the cohorts of EduMentum, leading to stronger field support. We are hopeful that through EduMentum we would be able to bring much-required momentum in systemic transformation in education.
An idea is just a thought until it is put down on the ground and it would have been impossible for us to achieve it by ourselves. It needed people to believe in the potential of the idea. We are forever grateful to Mr. SD Shibulal and Mrs. KumariShibulal for their perennial support and belief in the purpose that helped us start EduMentum. With them by our side, we believe we will definitely achieve our vision.
The first cohort of EduMentum included seven early stage organizations from Delhi, Punjab, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Uttarakhand. They came together in a residential, week-long boot-camp in September 2017. Read more about it here.
If you are passionate about transforming education by working with the existing system, drop us a mail at Mantra4Change.
-Written by Mr. Santosh More, Co-founder, Mantra4Change