– Guest blog written by Mr. Manu Oberoi, Co-founder “Move the Needle” . In this blog, he captures his experience of being part of the first cohort at Edumentum.
Last month, out there in the wild, with no connectivity to the external world, a group of young and not-so-young men and women were trying to answer the eternal question “How to systemically transform education in India with much greater momentum?”No internet indeed makes your work happen with increased momentum, focus anyone?
There were 7 organizations and the approach which each organization had taken for achieving the nirvana state of a transformed school was as diverse as the variety of flowers in the ACTS campus. No ACT II Popcorns there, only rushed (because Momentum = Mass x Velocity) breakfasts, hurried lunches and super quick cutting “chais”.These were all occasions to learn, question, support and spread love, not just networking.
Sanjay Sir, Sreeja, Shashi, Sujatha – I almost feel like saying, sabki pasand Nirma after that, but the 4S was amazing. Shoma Ma’am and Shibulal Sir make it 6S in case you were wondering. Anyway, they all assured that we ‘made’ to ‘learn’ not just ‘learn’ to ‘make’. We did everything from embarrassing gifts to funny problem trees to confusing actor maps. They left no stone unturned to ensure we become critical of whatever we were doing, most importantly going back and understanding that we know nothing. And that by the way, is quite helpful, especially when you actually know nothing.
The social entrepreneurs that we are, we all had a natural itch to solve problems, but here, we were pushed to find them first. The facilitators made us think about the demand as we were busy simply supplying. They brought out clearly the assumptions that we held so dearly. What do you when the situation is complex, which it always is, align everyone on the approach, they said. Rest all, rab raakha, which it is anyway.
It was lovely to meet my old friends Santosh and Khushboo, co-founders of Mantra4Change. What they have been able to achieve is really commendable and is bound to have a lasting impact. We all are like their kids now. Their excitement to see us was not very different than that of a parent. Their commitment blew us away. They opened their hearts and shared all resources. We shall definitely make them proud. The community of practice, of course, will make us into one big joint family soon.