Social Impact and Sustainable Development in India

Module Overview

India provides a knowledge-rich site for understanding the innovations that can be fostered to promote sustainable development. Social Impact + Sustainable Development in India is Authentica’s in-house, unique program focusing on experiential learning within and outside the classroom, where students learn by doing, rather than being passive learners. Students will experience first-hand innovations that can be used to put the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into action. Through immersion in the contrasting urban and rural environments in India, students will understand how to identify and apply innovative solutions to pressing development problems to create measurable social impact.

Innovations in Sustainable Development is the course that underpins this program. It will provide a theoretical and practical foundation for applying innovative practices in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Assessment for the course would be based on the final innovative output (business plan/design prototype/article or report) and reflection piece (video/journal or presentation) summarizing their personal development. The course is designed to ensure students not only gain knowledge about the external world, but also begin a process of self-discovery through internal change.

Program Faculty

Dr. Anitha Ramanna, Head, Programs and Instructional Design at Authentica, has a Ph.D. in International Studies and a post-doctoral fellowship from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D. C. She is a Fulbright Scholar, affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University. Dr. Ramanna has extensive teaching experience and has taught courses in political economy, public administration and economics in various Universities in India.

Dr. Prasad Deodhar, Head, Bhagirath Gram Vikas Pratishthan, is a pioneer who is responsible for spreading awareness among the village community about advanced technology, scientific techniques for the holistic development of villages. He is an Ayurvedic doctor who has spearheaded the development of non-conventional energy sources, education and empowerment of women.

Dr. Kshama Metre is Director, Chinmaya Rural Training Center (CRTC), an NGO serving 27,000 clients in 900 villages by focusing on health, literacy, microfinance and legal assistance for women. CRTC has also been identified by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) as their ‘flagship’ NGO that dealt with women’s empowerment. Dr. Metre has received several awards for her service.

Location

Winter Session in January 2020 in Mumbai and Sawantwadi

The program begins in Mumbai, a major metro city. This gives the students an opportunity to get oriented with the country and its cultural nuances via lectures, workshops, language & cultural immersion activities, industry visits and a visit to Dharavi. Once acclimated, the students move into a rural setting in Sawantwadi, where they immerse themselves ethnographically into the environment of a rural community including workshops, market visits and a village stay. In the final week, students will spend time in Sawantiwadi and Goa and participate in cultural activities, and fieldwork. The students have an opportunity to reflect upon what they have learned and accomplished.

Summer Session in May 2020 in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh

The program begins in New Delhi, a major metro city. This gives the students an opportunity to get oriented with the country and its cultural nuances via lectures, workshops, language & cultural immersion activities, industry visits and a visit to Agra. The students will have the opportunity to tour old Delhi by cycle and also visit an Elephant rescue centre. Once acclimated, the students move into a rural setting in Himachal Pradesh, where they immerse themselves ethnographically into the environment of a rural community including workshops, market visits and a village stay. In the final week, students will spend time in Himachal Pradesh and participate in cultural activities, and fieldwork. The students have an opportunity to reflect upon what they have learned and accomplished.

Key Elements of the Program

  • Interact with local entrepreneurs in India’s financial hub, Mumbai (January) or political capital Delhi (Summer).
  • Workshops and sessions centered on experiential learning to understand concepts of sustainable development, the implementation of SDGs, empathy mapping and design thinking processes.
  • Interactive learning through podcasts, Bollywood films, and e-learning modules (for both pre-arrival learning and post-departure reflection).
  • Cultural exposure through cooking classes, dance sessions, language immersion, films, cycling experiences, yoga sessions, games, and other interactions.
  • Opportunities to learn first-hand about local-level innovations in the slums of Dharavi, home to highly innovative and entrepreneurial communities (January) or about innovations in Old Delhi (through a cycling expedition), get to interact with elephants up close, and experience a village stay in the mountainous regions of India (Summer).
  • A village stay near Goa where students will work with an award-winning NGO, Bhagirath, pioneering clean energy solutions, sustainable agriculture and women’s empowerment (January) or a village stay in Himachal Pradesh in the western Himalayas where students will work with the holistic rural development NGO, CORD (Summer).
  • Options for extending the program to internships, for interested students.

Educational Outcomes

  • Understand the basic concepts of sustainable development and the history of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Identify and create innovations for sustainable development
  • Analyse how the sustainable development goals (SDGs) can be implemented, particularly focusing on SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Apply their knowledge and skills to promote innovative solutions for implementing the SDGs in a variety of contexts (urban rich, urban poor, village communities)
  • Enable students to undertake a process of self-discovery and personal development

Module Length

This is a Three (3) week program, with a winter session in January 2020 (Application deadline: November 1, 2019) and a summer session in May 2020 (Application deadline: April 1, 2020). An internship of up to 8 weeks can be combined with this program.

Logistics

Stays are in comfortable guesthouses or hotels.

Transport is by plane or train for intercity transfers and air-conditioned coaches for intra-city movement.

Featured Cultural Experiences

Note: Specific cultural experiences will depend on the location and duration chosen for the program.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Undergraduate students currently enrolled in College/University in disciplines including but not limited to: Business, STEM, Development studies, Engineering, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Journalism, South Asian Studies, International Relations.
  • GPA of 2.5 or more on a 4 point scale.
  • A passion for creating impact.
  • Demonstrated leadership and involvement in community service or service in school.

Apply For This Program

Selection Process

  • Applications will be reviewed as and when received
  • Telephone/Skype interviews will be conducted and references contacted soon after receipt of application
  • Selection results will be announced on a rolling basis and final selections will be made latest by December 1, 2019 for winter session and by April 30, 2020 for summer session. 

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