Little did we all know that a small session would provide us with an insight of a colossal world of social entrepreneurship which is perhaps a little gruelling to fathom. However, on the March 14, 2016 MashKots were fortunate enough to conduct an interactive session with Mr. Yashveer Singh from Ashoka who visited MASH’s office in New Delhi (EpiCentre). Mr. Yashveer is one of the pioneers in the sector of social entrepreneurship in India and founded National Social Entrepreneurship Forum and now leads Youth Venture Program of Ashoka.
A man of his words, Mr. Yashveer, with all his inner contained zeal and a desire to divulge enlightening facts about social entrepreneurship mainly talked about various factors which build up social entrepreneurs in a country like ours. According to him, finding a purpose becomes a matter of priority while carrying out any task. He also emphasized on the fact that one should enjoy the things in which they indulge. This certainly helps people in gaining a vision of what they are doing and moulds their directions accordingly. Among other things which he said he also urged the youth to push themselves in what we do and devote 100% to it.
Asserting himself, he defined a social entrepreneur as “an individual who has a unique system of ideas” and whose ideas can surely leave behind a profound impact. Imparting fragments of knowledge, Mr. Yashveer also talked about the four stages to create a social impact anywhere across the globe. Commencing with direct service and taking the problem into consideration, the stage swiftly escalates towards its replication and scaling the impact of the idea. The next stage largely deals with the question of how ideas can become more effective at a system’s level and last but not the least, how the absence of that particular idea or initiative makes a difference to those around.
Inspired from the life history of the Ashoka fellows, the Youth Venture Program led Yashveer majorly focuses on the youth between the age of 12 to 20. To fabricate a ‘changemaker‘, according to Mr. Yashveer, there are four major virtues or skills which should be deeply embedded in a person, affecting his/her cognitive processes altogether. The four qualities of empathy, creative problem solving, distributed leadership and team spirit define those skills. The Youth Venture Program by large emphasizes on the skill development which in a way contributes towards the building of a culture of that of social change. Following a pragmatic approach, this particular venture encourages individuals to ‘thrive’ and not just ‘survive’ within the system.
As he proceeded with vigour, Mr. Yashveer expressed that in order to become a visionary in the long run, it is very important to take these thumb rules into contemplation:
- What others can copy from me? – this question mainly elucidates upon the notion of modeling.
- Mindset shift- to change the mindset of the people and instigate them to think within the framework of a larger picture.
- When will I stop? – the idea of letting things go is certainly vital.
Taking his inspiration from the Father of the Nation, Mr. Yashveer believed that Mahatma Gandhi was an absolute champion at engineering social movements and bringing people together from all walks of life. This totally justifies the statement that he mastered some of the crucial virtues which are essential in the making of a ‘changemaker’.
To conclude, this session allowed us to constantly bother our wits and think of things in general with a larger perspective; finding out a purpose of every action we do. The session ended with a traditional #MashSelfie and smiling & inspired #MashKots!
Thank you, Yashveer 🙂
Culture Team, MASH Project