About : Anubhav Lecture Series
A series of sessions delivered virtually by experts from the industry, academia and government, Anubhav is designed exclusively for individuals who have recently worked for two or more years at the grassroots in India and South Asia and are now attempting to scale their impact in a systemic and sustainable manner. Towards this objective, Anubhav serves as a platform that brings together such individuals and cultivates them with professional skills and supporting networks.
The sessions in the Anubhav Lecture Series are guided by the following themes:
(a) Understanding self
Spending a few years with extremely disenfranchised communities can make one question their own worth and importance in the larger ecosystem. After witnessing people live in exceedingly harsh, almost inhumane conditions, it is natural that one’s focus may shift from our own thoughts and hardships, to that of others. While it is important and desirable to be empathetic to others, it is equally important to be aware of and empathetic towards oneself. Recognizing and embracing our own strengths and needs is critical for developing that comfort with self that allows us to find and deliver our value in any space and environment.
(b) Understanding your environment
Developing comfort with self is broadly about developing a relationship with an individual. By extension, we may assume that replicating this skill across many individuals would help one develop a similar comfort with a group and an organization - a fatal assumption that many individuals may hold, including the Anubhav fellows.
An organization or group is not merely an aggregation of individuals. It has a unique identity of its own that stems from the interaction of varied individuals that it is comprised of and often re-shapes the identity of its people. Developing a relationship and comfort with this organizational/group identity requires adeptness in group behaviour and dynamics, ability to build and operate in teams and most importantly ability to distinguish between our identities as an individual versus that as a member of a group. This has become even more relevant in the current context where all modes of work and operations are being run virtually. Therefore, developing an understanding and affinity towards one's environment is of utmost importance.
(c) Identifying your vision and mission
The strongest benefit of building comfort with oneself, as well as with the surrounding environment, is that it allows us to envision a goal for ourselves and in-turn lends us the courage and motivation to keep moving forward. When one is aware of the differences and similarities between one’s self-perception, versus others' perception, then one is more cognisant of who one is and one wants to be. It helps one define one's path and hence be steadfast in one's efforts.
Background of the Students
An increasing number of young individuals in India and South Asia are forgoing professional certainty and comfort to empower vulnerable sections of the society. Increasingly, a lot of young professionals and students are seen to be engaging in grassroots development work by working with various Non-Governmental Organisations, taking part in fellowships which include field immersions and by being part of community driven initiatives.
The challenge, however, emerges in the return of such individuals from the grassroots to large and structured organizations, attempting to scale their impact systemically. While dealing with intricate complexities of multi-stakeholder ecosystems is not new to grassroot professionals, doing so within the scale and structure of large institutions is.
The experience of living and working with vulnerable communities has the ability to immerse a young mind in microdynamics so much that it can become difficult for them to step back and place their lessons in a macro perspective. The culture, objectives and structures of large organizations come to them as unknown and incomprehensible elements, inhibiting their ability to turn their passion into systemic impact.