Alchemix™ 7: Innovations in Education, Employability & Access to Livelihoods


The upcoming Alchemix™ session with explore effective innovations in education, employability, and access to livelihoods in India.  The event will be held on Thursday September 19th from 4:30—7:30 at TERI South Regional Center in Bangalore.  If you’re not in Bangalore, you can still join us via livestream and Twitter chat.  Register here for complete details.

To share their insights and trigger a discussion, we have invited four insightful practitioners working in this space.  Additionally our research partner, Center for Education Innovation (CEI) will be presenting relevant findings for their work in the field.  Our speakers come from a variety of backgrounds and will share diverse perspectives with our audience in short, 12 minute presentations aimed at triggering debate and discussion.  To get the most learning from our practitioners, we have provided each with three focus questions to guide their presentations.


Bringing the government perspective, Meera Shenoy will join us from the National Skills Development Agency (NSDA) and UNDP Skilling & Employment.  Meera built EGMM, one of India’s most successful employability programs under the Andhra Pradesh Government, after which she co-founded Youth4Jobs to focus on employment for people with disabilities.  As an Advisor to UNDP and a member of the erstwhile office of Advisors to the PM on skilling, she shares a deep perspective on demonstration based policy implementation.  Meera’s presentation will be based off the following questions:

1)      You have worked in very diverse states in collaboration with corporate, governments, and the youth.  Share your insights on what it took to succeed in each of these scenarios.

2)      Based on your extensive experience in working with diverse stakeholders, what could be a viable framework to solve employability in this decade in India? How could such a framework be designed to span across geographies and populations.

3)      From your experience with the PM’s council, NSDA and UNDP, how can effective policy be created to aid and accelerate employability in India.


Madan Padaki will be joining us from Head Held High Services Pvt. Ltd. Head Held High works with rural Indian youth providing skills training and employability skills.  Madan will be sharing his experience building collaborative approach to employability based on a deep appreciation of ‘market-led models.  Our questions for Madan are:

1)      You talk about the lack of the last mile’ in the rural context of employability and the need for a market led approach – What is the last mile? How have you designed for a market-led approach in this context?

2)       Give us a sense of the IMPACT of the work being done by Head Held High – give specific examples, tangible ways that you are measuring impact.

3)      How are you building for scale, given that over 200 million youth from rural and urban India will enter the workforce in this decade?

Tapan1Tapan Kumar Das, joins us from Hyderabad where works as co-founder and Vice President of Youth4Jobs.  Tapan brings a unique point of view on the challenge of employability, having worked extensively with state and district levels on employability for people with disabilities.  His unique experience offers him an insightful perspective on the struggle to integrate people with disabilities into the productive work force in India while highlighting the need and benefit of doing so. Tapan’s presentation will address the following key questions:

1)      Employability in the context of people with disabilities is rife with mindset constraints.  What are the most challenging mindset blocks to overcome and how?

2)      Give us a sense of the IMPACT of the work being done by Youth4Jobs – give specific examples, tangible ways that you are measuring impact.

3)      How are you building for sustainable scale? What are the biggest roadblocks for you as an entrepreneur?

Ramji21From the education space, Ramji Raghavan, founder and chairman of Agastya International Foundation, shares his insight into the powerful impact of an ecosystem approach to science education in schools. Ramji’s work with Agastya spans Karnataka with government support and now is scaling into MP and other states.  Ramji explains his unique model which demonstrates simple and effective service delivery to the last mile. To form the foundation of his presentation, Ramji will answer the following:

1)      Your focus has been to trigger curiosity and open the doors to science education for rural children – how do you see this being a critical factor in developing a positive, productive generation?

2)      From your perspective, what skills are important for students and teachers in order to build a more self reliant, proactive and entrepreneurial India?

3)      You emphasize the need for an ‘ecosystem approach’ to education – how do you see this being implemented? Please share your vision.

Vijay Kulkarni will be joining us from Catalyst Management Services (CMS), the Center for Education Innovations (CEI) India Hub. CEI works to increase access to quality education for the poor by identifying, analyzing, and connecting non-state education innovations. The CEI India team, under Vijay’s leadership is helping to identify innovative education initiatives in India to add to the repository of learning globally. Vijay will be sharing some of his research on the challenge to effective education in India and the need for entrepreneurial, business model approaches in this sector.

We are pleased that these impressive individuals will be joining us, but Alchemix™ is above all an active community of innovation practice and we need your input to make our sessions a success.  If this topic interests you, if these questions spark your curiosity, please join us on Thursday September 19th from 4:30—7:30 at TERI South Regional Center in Bangalore or via livestream and Twitter.  If you are joining in through the live stream, interact with the practitioners via Twitter by following us on @innovalchemy and use the hashtag #Alchemix for live updates, questions and comments. For complete details to access the livestream, please register here!

We look forward to seeing you all on Thursday! 


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