Humanities gives skills to face the new world : Dr. Kranti Saran, Ashoka University

Prof Kranti Saran was one of the speakers of eminence to address the students who are stepping into class XI at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, and their parents. Here I tried to reproduce his inspiring Kranti Sarantalk, to the best of my abilities.

Kranti Saran, currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka University and a Research Associate at Harvard University, also a visiting faculty in JNU.

His research interests trace a progression of questions about the nature of bodily sensations and bodily spatiality to the nature of introspection of them. From introspection, his interests generalize to the nature of attention. Finally, he is interested in how practices of attention to bodily and mental states can school a subject’s affect in a morally salutary direction.

———————————————- My Journey —————————–
What does a philosopher do?
Most people talk about being super successful
Most of us are not, but still will lead a happy life.

I had scored a 70% in my school, never like today’s 95%+
In school, I was never interested in what we were studying, because of the way we were studying.
I used to read a lot; though disconnected with contextual reality, I always felt thing will work

I had to get into a college. what to do? Never got what I wanted.
Accident happened….philosophy happened.
This was what I was waiting for the whole life.
I fell in love with.
I started liking and doing well in acads
It was a wonderful feeling, but disconcerting too as I was doing well.
….went to Harvard and a few other places too..
———————————————————————————-
Three things I want to share from my learnings.

1. Be prepared to be surprised – in class x, I would have never imagined what I am doing today. Acads? I ran away from it then. It is now rich and rewarding

2. Play to your strengths
A. In our school, if you were smart you did science. I discovered, I had no aptitude for science. 52% in class XII. DO NOT PUSH THE CHILD INTO AN AREA THAT YOU FEEL THEY OUGHT TO BE.

3. what special talent do you have? What is that one thing that you are disproportionately blessed with. Nurture and develop. Disproportionate rewards will come your way.

CAREERS OF FUTURE

careers different from undergrad training? How many here? About 30 odd parents stood up.

When the concept of car was introduced they were called horseless carriages. Now we see Teslas of the world bring in rapid changes

What do we need now?

We need to be flexible to bring the skills to the market place
We need to be adaptable, agile and nimble in the market place

Once upon a time Music industry – was worried about piracy etc. Napster etc happened then.
Apple introduced music service and the music industry has never been the same again.

We do not have models of the world, that the world will change to. Everything is abstract.
Have skills that are nimble, and help you to adapt quickly.

Skill set to have – How Humanities equip you.

What are the particular skills that you learn in classroom?

  • Reasoning and analysis – how do you put the argument
  • Communication to get your ideas and thoughts across
    You are with people all the time, how do you use persuasiveness is the key
  • Feeds into capacity of being a team member, building a team

All these three will help you connect the dots. Helps to think out of the box.

How does it translate into a real world?

1. Jeff bozos of AMAZON

  • Asks subordinates to write a detailed memo In advance and share
  • Everyone reads, be prepared before they come to the meeting

Why?
– clear writing shows clarity of thought
– well thought-out ideas emerge

2. Have you ever read any IPO document?

  • IPO document of Twitter will tell you details
  • Founders are not techies in under grad
  • Almost all of them are from arts, humanities,…

So, select Class XI subjects such a way that they make you flexible and adaptable.

You can get in touch with Kranti Saran at Saran@ashoka.edu.in
Thanks to the web for photograph of Kranti Saran. The rights belongs to the owner.

Advertisements

On the Himalayan Trail, over Mt. Everest and more

 

 

Are #Educational #institutions ready for Industry 4.0. ?

It was a pleasure #addressing, #interacting and #learning with a presence of over 25 educational #leaders, mostly #Chancellors, #Vicechancellors, #Directors of #universities from #India and also #Tech #evangelists from around the #world

The discussions were around #tech enablement and facilitation of educational institutions including #faculty and #students.

#AI #ML #Drone #3Dprinting #IOT #Blockchain #VR #AR #storytelling #DeepLearning #NLP #Alexa #Markteching

——————————————————————————————————————–

One of the exciting things around the conference was the Himalayan trail by flight. We all assembled at 5am to head to the Tribhuvan airport to board the flight. All the edu leaders sounded like school children, excited to see the himalayas from a different perspective, flying over it.

The domestic wing of the Tribhuvan airport was like a market place, crowded, people huddled, interacting, shouting. Only difference was the market is of taking flights.

Thankfully the sun emerged to the utter relief of everyone. The morning sky was more or less clear. Many were circusmpect, as cloudy days are not great for the Himalayan trail.

Finally huddled into the bus, and the tarmac was littered with smaller aircrafts, max 40 seaters. Buddha air, Tara air…entire pantheon of Buddhism could be found on the tarmac, as flight operators. It took some waiting on the tarmac, before we boarded the flight. I managed to capture a few minutes with my mobile cam and here are the clips.

On boarding, every one tried to grab the window seat on either side. I got into the aircraft last, as filming took priority and I was grabbing the visuals on the tarmac littered with these small aircrafts. Thankfully the first seat was empty and I grabbed it. Carrying three cams, Nikon 700, Yashika 4K and Samsung Mobile, I was keen to be at the pole position as anyone there, wondering which side of the flight will be the Himalayan ranges. Once the flight took off, the excitement in the aircraft, with over 25, fifty-year-old youngsters was palpable each trying to peep through those peepholes trying identify which peak is which on the himalayan Map dished out by the airhostesses. The young ladies were kind enough to help each identify, going from one bunch to the other.

Midlfight we were even allowed to get into the cockpit to have a glimpse at the the pilot view of the ranges. The flight started from the western range in the Nepali Himalayas and moved till the east where Sagarmatha, as is everest called, and the flight took a steep u-turn now going over the ranges, half way on the flight. Mt. Makalu, Mt. Everest, Shiva Parvati,….. every one was excited to identify their own peaks and debating which one is the correct one. Mobiles flashing, selfies taken through the flight windows.

In an hours time, as we moved away from the ranges, on our descent, the youngsters settled down on their seats to have a chat with thy neighbours on the magnificent range and the peaks and what a view it was through those tiny peep holes of the dornier!

Back on ground, into the bus, chatting away about the sessions that is ahead of us that afternoon.

It was a memorable trip to Himalayas, once in a life time. Now that I have seen all the peaks, I should head to the tallest one, Mt. Everest, on foot, soon 😉

Garba and Dandiya Raas @ Lok Utsav: Ecstatically Meditative

Lok Utsav celebrates the folk forms, especially dances of India. It conducts month long classes for Garba and Dandiya in the month preceding Dusshera!

This series of videos are from the final dance evenings coinciding with Dusshera! Every serious dancer gets lost in a state of ecstatic meditation, inexplicable, indescribable. I made sure I am lost 2-3 hours every day in such an exalted state!!

Garba is a form of dance which originated in the state of Gujarat in India. The name is derived from the Sanskrit term Garbha and Deep. Many traditional garbas are performed around centrally lit lamp or a picture or an idol of the Goddess Shakti.

Here are my captures… enjoy!  Every video is in 4K HD and I have uploaded all on youtube. Usually, each of the videos will play in low resolution, where in you do not get high clarity. But you will find the settings button (the wheel) on the video when you click on it. Click on the settings button and change the quality to HD resolution (1080p60) so as to watch with highest clarity.

Our heart felt thanks to all our Gurujis who patiently and passionately invested in each one of us during this month long classes.

With great sadness we pay our rich tributes to the most senior guru ji Sri Sudesh Shikari ji, who left on his journey to heavenly abode on the first day of our final performances.

————-

Ah, I failed to mention, every evening I had a bonus too – over 1200 calories spent! Now that the month long classes are over, I am sure most of the dancers will find the evenings vacuous !  I will surely find another dance class soon to take its place !! 🙂

Our humble thanks to all the organizers, Sandeep and Abhishek to start with, and all the dancers who made it a memorable month. Catch you all, my fellow dancers, very soon!

Never stop chasing your dreams ! Mallika in the film!!

Never stop chasing your dreams !

A short #film of 2min. This film, ‘#Field In A Box’, features #MallikaNethraSreenivasan. Mallika gives her voice too for the film.

A #dutch conglomerate #TEN CATE,  that is known for advanced materials that make all the difference to humanity through a variety of products – advanced composites, armoury, geo-synthetics, protective fabrics, outdoor fabrics – is also a leader in laying sports #fields of artificial grass.  “Field in a box” is Ten CATE’s community development initiative across the #world through which it creates special, micro-sports-fields near their large sporting-arena projects, as an #inclusive effort, towards #marginals of the society, to #promote #sporting spirit and #nurturing #talent. This film showcases how such endeavours have #impacted the #communities and #societies and urges every #child to chase her #dream!


The talent scouting team of TEN CATE in India was looking for a fresh young girl to cast in the film, and as luck would have it a member of the team landed in one of our good friend, Smita’s home. Smita is the founder of ITIHAAS, that is big time into heritage education of children. It was just a coincidence that while Indira is an integral part of Itihaas in their walks and curriculum development team, I am on their advisory board. Smita, being a theater veteran, was against Mallika being drafted into films at such a young age, and strongly rejected her daughter Ragini’s forceful recommendation of Mallika to the scouting team. Finally Ragini with the help of her aunt, prevailed over Smita to let them approach Mallika and that’s how we got to know about this opportunity.

It was in October 2016, this scouting exercise happened over a few mail exchanges with Mallika’s portfolio that I had shot, with their specifications of looks. Then her voice test etc happened before they finalized her. The producers had some reservations about Mallika’s countenance, as She was 5’7″ at the age of 13 two years ago. Though they were looking for a 13 year old, her personality was much beyond what they had expected. What clinched perhaps is her background in theater (highest level of TIE at National School of Drama that a child can reach) and her national scholarship in classical dance, Bharatnatyam. They were delighted to hear her voice over too.

In November 2016, the filming happened over four days across the slums of Delhi and at the National Stadium, the premier olympic hockey stadium of the nation. What was most taxing for Mallika in the entire film making was the fortnight long training in understanding the basics and playing the game of hockey, under the tutelage of the national women’s hockey coach Saini sir, a Dronacharya awardee. Though Mallika is sporting enough and is a sought after athlete in the events at school, She has never had any sports training of the intensity that Saini sir put her through. Everything, from holding the stick to keeping the ball in play, to repetitive practice of the dribble for a 3-4 hours every day, was tough for Mallika.

Finally the film has been released this month, June 2018. All in all, the whole exercise of making the film gave enough insights to Mallika about the involvement that goes into making of any film – purposefulness, passion, patience, perseverance, hardwork, productivity, effectiveness in delivering in the first go etc… I am sure it will stand in good stead as she embarks upon her journey of life and career.

 

Need to revisit the curriculum at design schools, including NIFT/NID : Be Entrepreneurial

It was a pleasure and privilege to be part of the Jury of the finals of the first All India #NIFT HG #business plan competition at @n.i.f.t national HQ in Delhi. It is indeed an honour and joy to start a new journey of contributing to the #design #education and fostering #entrepreneurship in design schools of the country.

Today, we have 16 NIFT campuses across the country. Five finalists emerged from the six month long competition that started from each of the 16 campuses. This initiative by #HarishGupta, an #NIFT alum of 1991 batch is praiseworthy and has the potential of #transforming the #design #education in #India.
In the pic include the visionaries who have given shape and are still giving to not only NIFT but also design as a edu-vertical and industry in the country. first DG Mrs Rathi (IAS) and current DG Mrs Sharda (IAS). Also seen are pioneer in #womenentrepreneurship @cwei Mrs Shashi, the founding CEO of Lacoste in India, Jayant, Harish Gupta of fashion learning, Praveen of Pincap fintech and other eminent roleholders in the NIFT fraternity Prof Sibichan, Prof Prabir, Prof Sudha, Prof Sohail…

The Jury was chaired by Mr Ganesh Natarajan, now an entrepreneurial mentor and investor, who has been known for spearheading Aptech at one point of time.

My few take aways from being part of the Jury..

A. The students taken in by the NIFT/NIDs may be creative, but the institutions need to invest in their personality transformation. You can present yourselves, create opportunities and clinch deals only if you are articulate and are convincing.

B. There is a dire need for instittutions to create a larger vision for themselves that can impact society in various ways, not limited to churning graduates. The four years of education needs to integrate with the external world. Break the insulated existence.

C. Then comes the need facilitate students to create their vision for life. Greater the integration with the external world through excercises of bringing outside world into classrooms and taking classrooms to the outsideworld, higher will be facilitation of students to have a better vision.

D. Need to foster entrepreneurial mindset as part of evolution of a student during the four years. This happens only when the institution is entrepreneurial, faculty is entrepreneurial, the processes are entrepreneurial. The institution should think of a few challenges/problems in its city as projects that could add immense value to the society, and solve them through their expertise; bring in relevant corporates to sponsor (csr), integrate these projects with the curriculum, at least in the 3rd and 4th year. Initiate the students into a structured entrepreneurial curriculum in the second year.

E. Of course embrace and institutionalize the competitions like NIFT HG business plan competition to help students participate, validate their ideas, create incubation possibilities. The funds will pour in. I am sure there are many investors like me who want to bet on the horses with potential.

F. The institutions need to tell themselves that they will incubate half a dozen endeavours/companies every year.

A stitch in time saves nine, as they say. It is time for NIFTs and NIDs to restitch in time to infuse energies.

Time to take off.

#careerlauncher

Where is that imaginative, creative, energetic, vivacious child lost?

Smita, a teacher from one of the sought after schools in Dwarka, N K Bagrodia public school, has been chasing me for the last couple of months to visit her school. She confessed that, ever since she heard me speak at an education leaders conference conducted by ITIHAAS, she wanted to invite me to her school. She would call me to grace one function or other, as a guest. Most of the times, I was on the move. One thing about Smita I always felt when she spoke to me, is her energy and enthusiasm; that transcended the medium of phone. Last week when she called, I acquiesced to be the guest for their annual festival of creativity – Trishna, wherein about 30+ schools from across Delhi were participating.

The real pleasure being in a school lies in the children’s space.  On arrival, I was ushered into the Principal, Dr. Rajee N, Kumar’s room to meet her and a few more school leaders were called too. Dr. Rajee was sharing her experience of watching the children pushing boundaries since morning, in one creative activity or the other. Here I was, so keen to see the children in action, more than distributing the prizes, I was feeling incarcerated, though the interaction with the leadership was invaluable. The real learning is in experiencing the process, not in seeing the final product. I insisted on watching the children in action. The principal was graceful in facilitating me to watch a couple of activities.

Albeit it was at the fag end of the day, I could experience the theatre / acting performance, wherein the students were given 30 minutes to conjure a scene, write a script, select the performers, prepare and present. The students were from classes 7-9 and it was a delight to watch how they went about presenting. Children observe everything, absorb like a sponge and synthesize making meaning out of every action around them. This activity gave me one more opportunity to watch their thought process; how well they could project their learning. Needless to say, I really enjoyed every presentation, reinforcing my beliefs about children and their infinite capabilities.

IMG_20180505_134719_752

Post the event, I was now keen to interact with the school leadership. Thanks to Dr. Rajee, she too was keen to. I was sharing that the ingenuity of children that we witnessed in the activities of the event can be stoked every day, in every class and home; and who are we to restrict to one event or two in a year.

Very unfortunate that in most of the schools in India, in general, the child comes last. Schools need to exist for the child; she must be the center of all activities that schools plan. It is far from being so, the way we operate – the curriculum designed, the courses offered, the syllabus, the pedagogy, the planning to finish syllabus….. the list is endless. Everything is designed to help the school and the teachers to have peace of mind and to enable ease of execution. An imaginative, creative, energetic, vivacious child, bubbling with ideas ends up being a morose, thoughtless, aimless, fearful youth devoid of confidence and self-belief by the time he or she ends schooling.

If only each one of us, every adult – teachers, parents, schools, universities, educational leaders – can believe in every child, put the child first, acknowledge the needs of the child, really bring the openness to create exciting learning environments at schools, universities and home, I think the world will be a far, far better place to live in. The children and youth will be keen to solve the problems that the society in their neighborhood is facing. Every education institution can be at the fore-front of transformation of the society. Alas!

I am a culprit too. It takes immense effort to be open and facilitating. I am trying and have been on that journey for quite some time. Still short-comings come to the fore. I still need to keep my EGO aside. Working on being humble, pleasant, purposeful is still a huge ask, even with all good intentions and awareness of the outcomes.

My personal endeavour has been to be conscious and work towards making every child’s space an exciting one. To this effect, we, leadership at CL Educate, have been proactive to work with schools, institutions, universities to stoke jigyasa (curiosity, inquisitiveness) among children and youth; create an environment to help them explore, research in areas or subjects of their interest; have belief in their capabilities. Over the years the outcomes have been rewarding as we see the Ananda (joy) among children and youth. This facilitates the institutions and families to also realize where the inclinations of the child is and this has lead to remarkable breakthroughs for the progress of children and youth ahead in their careers and life. Many a child has presented his research and innovations in the global conferences, got her work published in prestigious journals; has had confidence to present oneself for an interview to reach the portals of a world class institution or university. The quest is to enable every child, irrespective of the outcome, gain a great deal of belief in oneself for one’s life. The process makes them so.

I welcome anyone who is keen to facilitate his child or children in schools, and youth in college, to write to me. We will be more than happy to facilitate.

keynote: #Creating #Innovation #Ecosystem in Institutions to enable learners for the future

IMG_20180507_162559

#Electrifying day it was; #TEDx style keynote on #Creating #Innovation #Ecosystem to enable  learners for the future; @ #Vision2030EduConference @MMUMullana. Of course, my TED cannot be staid and straight jacketed 🙂 Theatrics runs in the blood as the body, mind and soul get into action!
With the disruptive world gaining pace, the three things that we need to facilitate the child imbibe are – Keenness to learn, courage to push boundaries and not be worried about making mistakes and humility that can facilitate to build teams and lead. Each one of us need to be welcoming more and more abstractness in problem solving, and take every such opportunity as one to learn and discover, solve and impact.

 

 

It was day well invested with over 100 leaders of schools, colleges, universities interacting and sharing.  It was a pleasure listening to a few speakers too, who were also talking about need of learner-centric environment in the institutions.

The panel discussion that followed on #TEACHERSofFUTURE, seemed to be a corollary to my talk on innovation.

I am delighted to see very youthful education leaders emerging across the country, who are keen to create best of the learning environments; each one has had an exposure to best of the educational institutions within India or abroad. The entire event has been a brain child of Mr. Vishal Sood, an IIMA Alum, who is now at the helm of the Maharishi Markandeswar University in Haryana. With such young leaders, soon the hinterland too will have very meaningfully engaging learning environments that will integrate the outside world into the class and also take the class out to the realistic external world to engage and impact.

An institution would have served its purpose if and only if it is integral to solving the problems of the society within its vicinity. Imagine if every institution, school or university, solves half a dozen problems every year, what will the nation be. I was delighted to see a few of the principals of schools coming to me and talking about how they intend bring this change in their respective schools.

Feel blessed, for such moments. Life is Fruitful.  @careerlauncher @CLEducate @satyaumanandu
#education #educator #mentor #learner #student #changemaker #travel #Educational #Leadership #Transformational #workshop #Learning #Courage #Humility #career #careerchoices #careercoaching #Lifecoach #coach #Dynamism
%d bloggers like this: