Nonprofits in the US traditionally operate from a paternalistic view, telling folks what it is that they need or should care about, including evaluating the impact of our work with top-down, prescriptive notions of success. As nonprofits, reliant on charity, we are usually driven by the dollars of wealthy individuals or corporations who adopt our organization’s cause as a pet project whose work they can claim as a moralistic reflection of themselves. This often leads to our organizational choices (including our evaluation efforts) being dictated by what the funders see as important, rather than the beneficiaries’ needs or desires. But…


Partnership, in its purest and simplest form, is when multiple people join together for a common purpose. In the world that we live in, however, there are often unspoken power dynamics at play within a partnership. One partner may have more money than the other, or one partner may have had more education than the other partner. The partner who is thought to have more is assumed to be the final decision maker. It’s sometimes believed that one partner has more to bring or offer than the other.

But what if, when we join a partnership, we come with the…


Imagine an educational institution that invests in you rather than you investing in it. Imagine a college that guarantees you a job with a solidly middle class entry level salary, and you never pay a penny to them in tuition fees.

Imagine students, largely from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, picked purely for their aptitude from a massive applicant pool, that will go through the computer programming equivalent of the military boot camp — Long days beginning early in the morning and ending late at night, stretch goals, a variety of courses, a hands-on curriculum, and rigorous exercises. Did I mention that…


Humour and taboo, or being humorous about taboos, this is personally one of the provocations I find myself most attracted to, especially around people who take seem to themselves way too seriously. I find respite in David Fleming’s entry on humour and its role in conversation and congruence building…allowing people who engage with it to relax enough to speak freely, as through humour, as he says, there is an invitation not to take oneself too seriously…

What comes up to me is cultural differences affecting humour or what one might feel one can be humorous about. When David Fleming refers…


The word ‘teach’, comes from the Old English tæcan, which means “to show, point out, or demonstrate’’. The root meaning of the word teacher allows for anyone of any age, at any time to take up the position of being the teacher. I questioned why my mom never saw herself worthy enough to be a teacher to me (specifically looking at why I needed to go to school) . As my mother is in every aspect a teacher, a healer, a provider, an economist and so much more (see Re-Imagining Grandmothers as Gurus).

Yet, I went to school as society…


According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), more than one billion out of 6.5 billion people are affected by hunger globally. In fact, it is estimated that 690 million people sleep hungry every night! On the other hand, it is estimated that we 6.5 billion people generate at least 2.01 billion tonnes of biodegradable waste every year.

Waste isn’t waste, until we waste it — Will.I.Am

I, as a microbiologist do not see this as waste but as a tool to combat global food scarcity. I believe there are various ways of harnessing the nutrition hidden in this so-called…


Almost everybody writes. Almost everybody identifies themselves as a writer. This is the beauty of writing, the power of words. It could be a work of fiction, a poem, an article or a page in someone’s diary — almost everyone must have written something or the other over time.

Words bring solace to the writer. Words bring comfort to the reader.

There is an unknown magic understood by writers who write poetry and readers who read them. Poetry allows the writer to share wounds inflicted upon them without explicitly mentioning the incident. …


Why do democracies fail and nations decline?

Cicero’s analyses and reflections led him to conclude that the Roman Empire’s decline was a result of a decline of morality and ethics, beginning with leadership. Extravagant spending, a lust for wealth, abuses of power by corrupt officials at all levels of government, as self-interest overrode public interest, individual rights were trampled on — fuelled the moral decline. Tinkering (too little and too late) happened when radical transformation was needed.

French historian Alexis de Tocqueville’s 19th century assessment of democracy (which he favoured) included an honest assessment of its shortcomings — including inefficient, incompetent and corrupt public officials, wealth and…


Photo by Aniket Bhattacharya on Unsplash

Seasons change, and with the seasons, activities, smells, ideas, feelings. Acknowledging, and honoring, these cycles and transitions enables opportunities for reflection, gratitude and re-orientation.

We are all part of the same cycles of the universe, while at the same time having our own, entirely unique set of cycles that are a product of our unique circumstances. Connecting to these cycles requires deep listening and faith.

As chief-editor, and co-author of all of the posts published in this series thus far, I (dan) have been able to notice my personal cycles more closely. Certain times, I have infinite energy to write…


“The future depends on what you do today.” — Gandhi

Historically, civilizations grew around rivers in their valleys (i.e. Nile and Indus valleys). It is relatively very recent in human history that we now dwell and thrive in spaces that are far away from river bodies. I (Deepak) have read earlier that the city of Mumbai, with its population of 20 million people, draws its water requirement from large reservoirs and rivers that are more than a 100 kms away from downtown city. …

Reimagining our Future

Can you imaging a more harmonious future?

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