How do we support young changemakers and little changemakers-to-be?

In order to gain more insight into the social piece of this venture (giving back to youth social entrepreneurs in India), we recently met up with a pretty neat guy from Ashoka’s Youth Venture – Vipin Thekkekalathil.  Vipin is an Associate Director at Youth Venture, which inspires and supports teams of young changemakers to launch and lead their own social initiatives in their respective communities and beyond.

Since Vipin led Youth Venture in India for 5 years, we thought we could get some ideas from him on organizations and young social entrepreneurs in India that we could support.    We got some ideas on that from him.  But just a tad bit more.  And when I say tad, I mean Kyra and I think we saw the whole iceberg!

We will have posts in the future to talk about some of the inspiring young entrepreneurs in India he has nudged us to learn more about.  Here, I want to mention two things Vipin helped us take a step back and realize when thinking about creating our series geared towards the youngest future changemakers and their parents.

1.  Our book series may also be about parenting, and rethinking our parenting roles.    Too often mainstream media relegates the role and importance of parenting to a subgroup of “mommy blogs”.   First of all, mommy blogs are pretty darn awesome in the insights they offer so they shouldn’t be brushed aside!  And the topic of parenting should be a mainstream, global discussion considering we are in fact raising the next leaders of the world.  By exposing the very young reader to the rich diversity around us, we may be opening out their views.  After all, children don’t learn to be close-minded and unkind on their own.

2.   Can we find additional ways of giving back, and integrating values like empathy and empowerment in our Series?  Of course, we plan to give back monetarily, but are there are other things we can do with our book series, website and more, to integrate values that can help cultivate the next young changemakers in the world?  Kyra and I are thinking hard on this and would love your thoughts.  It could even go beyond the book series alone.

Not only was our meeting with Vipin motivating and refreshing, I think it certainly made us reflect on what we are doing as parents to help empower our little ones to be the best they can be.  How can we give balance to our understandable fears while also letting go enough to let them thrive?   How do we evolve beyond or through the baggage we carry from our own upbringings (everyone has something, even the best ones :), and give our kids even better?

This meeting helped me realize that it’s never too early to start thinking and talking about these things.  It also made me feel that this is not just about creating a children’s book series.

Especially in this age where the silos of sectors are coming undone, and the careers of the future for our children will be totally different than we what we know at present – a children’s book venture is now so much more….

Malini Sekhar

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