What I learned from my 5 days at Edumentum Bootcamp!

In a country like India, with such a diverse education system, the problem has to be understood at the micro level and they should be customized. This should be the way to design the interventions. We have to give it a flair of biology, rather than thinking in terms of physics. Nurture and co-creation should be the ideologies of all the organizations who want to impact the education sector.” Such were the words of inspiration from Sanjay Purohit Sir, EVP of Infosys and mentor at EduMentum.

Someone has said, “stick with the people who bring out the magic in you, not the madness” How would you feel if I tell you that my last week was about people who were a magic in themselves.
They were a community of passionate individuals driven by the common vision of school transformation, irrespective of age or place. The bootcamp at EduMentum (an initiative in partnership with Advaith Foundation and Mantra4Change) was just that. I, as a young founder, feel very fortunate to be in the company of such incredible people who create an amazing wave of positivity around you.

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The first day itself was a day packed with energy and performance. Once all the organizations shared their recent achievements and challenges with the team, we had an interesting discussion about the significance and difference between Activities, output, and Outcomes, all of which play a major role in defining the impact of a social enterprise.
Before we began our initial pitch, the session by Ruchi Ma’am (Ruchi Ghosh) really gave deep insights to us on shared meaning making and Change equations.

“Less is more!” This phrase rings in my ears every day and has also been one of my major learning from the boot camp. Often when we are excited, we tend to put out hands on a lot of things and then end up doing nothing of significance. We need to pick and choose our battles and understand what is more important.

When the day got over, little did we know how heavy the next 3 days were going to be? Embrace this sleep because a lot more energy is going to be consumed in coming 72 hrs.

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One of the biggest mistakes an organization can do is to not map its activities with the outcomes. Often in life, we get so involved in our day to day operations that we don’t care to think if it’s actually helping us reach towards our objective i.e the strategic plan. And this was the lesson which we learned in great detail from Shashi Sir. I have seldom met people who have such clarity in the words and humility in their wisdom. An absolute brilliance in himself, Shashi sir explained us about the program theory and outcomes chain in such manner that I think helped design our outcomes and then our interventions in a seamless manner. You ask him a question and there are only 2 things that happen. Either he will give a perfect answer or he will say, “I don’t know, but this is my perspective on your question.” I have come to appreciate this because not many people have such clarity of thought. The whole stepwise process of how we designed interventions for our work made us felt like we were just getting started which in a sense we actually are! 🙂

Sharing I think is our biggest strength. At EduMentum, thanks to Khushboo ma’am and Santosh sir, the way we help each other grow and the way mentors selflessly work with us is simply amazing. And I think these were the principles on which our other sessions were also planned. Be it the cluster transformation Session or the PANEL DISCUSSION by Mekin Maheshwari (ex CPO Flipkart, and founder of Udyam), Ritesh Dwivedi (CEO Justeat.in and Petoo) and Gurumukh Maheshwari, the way ideas and experiences were shared was stupendous and overwhelming.

It was really the genuinity of the stories and the acceptance of mistakes that made all the difference in making us understand the process of entrepreneurship.

Toward the end of the boot camp, we had a delightful session on storytelling and I was surprised by the sheer intricacies of the whole process. The myriad ways of expressing your self and telling a story have clung to my brain and I will never forget about it.

Well, as I am writing about this boot camp, there are certain things without which this gratitude article will always be incomplete. And I would like to mention above 2 things in particular. 1. Reflection sessions where we literally poured our heart out and had quite deep conversations. And 2. The post-dinner fundaes sessions with Khushboo Ma’am and Santosh sir. This was my stress buster for the day, listening to their piquant stories and words of wisdom. Oh, how I wish those days never ended.

So thanks a lot EDUMENTUM for making us a part of it. We are fortunate, to say the least. 🙂
Special thanks to Poonam, Rucha, and Aileen for planning it in such a beautiful way and give us a lot of memories!

-Divanshu

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