Posts Tagged ‘Add new tag’

Video Blogging

October 27, 2008

As part of the fellowship program, we will be video blogging every month from the field.  For our first assignment, we answered questions about training highlights, preparing for the field, and our hopes and fears for the year to come.

Premal Desai

Sophie Forbes

Ramakrishnan Hariharan

Joanna Harries; or see my blog

Mubarik Imam

Karthik Janakiraman

Heidi Krauel

Joel Montgomery

Nicole Orillac

Suraj Sudhakar

Stay tuned for our next episode…

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Acumen Fund Fellows 2009

October 27, 2008

Welcome to the Acumen Fund Fellows Blog.  We are the 2009 class and obviously, we have huge shoes to fill.  Thank you to Jon Yates, John Tucker, Catherine Casey, Chris Walker, Jawad Aslam, Tricia Morente, and Wangari Muchoki for teaching us from your experiences.  As the previous class did, we will be writing about all our adventures in the field.  Check out our bios below…

Premal Desai

Premal is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft Corp, India, responsible for strategy, planning and delivery of software to enterprises. He has volunteered for LV Prasad Eye Institute and is a former owner of a Gymboree Play & Music franchise in California. Premal earned his MS in Computer Science from University of Texas.

Sophie Forbes

Sophie is a consultant to economic development and microfinance projects in Africa. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer and has worked in ten different countries in senior management and technical advisor roles. Sophie earned her MS from Carnegie Mellon in Public Policy and Management.

Ramakrishnan Hariharan

Ramakrishnan is a consultant in the development and banking sectors with a background in consumer banking and industrial goods. He has served as Head of Operations for Pratham, an NGO working in primary education in India. Ramakrishnan earned a Masters in Management Studies and a BS in Chemistry from Mumbai University.

Joanna Harries

Joanna is a Brand Manager at Unilever in Toronto, where she also leads community focused projects. She has previous experience in natural resources at Conoco Oil and Gas for their UK Division and in hi-tech marketing with Microsoft. Joanna earned her MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University with a focus in Sustainable Strategy.

Mubarik Imam

Mubarik is an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company and the President of the Association for the Development of Pakistan. Mubarik founded the Mobile Science and Computer Labs Project, which provides rural schools in Pakistan with science and computer facilities. She graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BS in Electrical Engineering.

Karthik Janakiraman

Karthik is a Senior Engineering Manager at Applied Materials in Santa Clara, California, responsible for new product development. He has been awarded five patents in the area of semiconductor design. Karthik holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Heidi Krauel

Heidi is the Director of Employee OnRamp at Pacific Community Ventures in San Francisco, California. Previously, she was a founding member of AOL Time Warner Ventures and worked in Investment Banking at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and Credit Suisse First Boston. Heidi earned a BA from Princeton and an MBA from Stanford University.

Joel Montgomery

Joel was recently a consultant with the Business Development Center in Amman, Jordan and Endeavor Global in Istanbul, Turkey. He has experience in 18 countries, in the areas of Business Development, Strategy, and Operations. Joel earned his MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management with an emphasis in International Development.

Nicole Orillac

Nicole is pursuing her MBA and Msc in Development Management from HEC, Paris and LSE, London. Previously, she was the Manufacturing Plant Manager and Continuous Improvement Team Leader for Frito Lay in Panama and a volunteer for Plan International in the UK. Nicole earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

Suraj Sudhakar

Suraj is currently working on a variety of consulting projects in market research and healthcare. He has served as a Team Leader for Rural Innovations Network and as a programmer analyst at Cognizant Technology Solutions. Suraj earned a B. Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from Cochin University of Science & Technology.

Visiting Oxford

April 8, 2008

The last week of March, I got to do something I probably never would have done, unless I was in the Fellowship–I went to Oxford for the first time in my life.  Strangely enough, it was the first time visiting England (beyond the airport).  The experience was quite nice, but the weather was exactly what they say about England–unpredictable.  On the first day, as Jon, Catherine and I were walking around Oxford (the pre-tour-tour that Jon forced us to go on 🙂 it was a beautiful day as we stepped out of the Bates Motel, (Oops, I mean the Best Western).  Twenty minutes later it was a beautiful day again.  In between, there was extreme wind, rain, sleet, hail, and snow–then sunshine!  Quiet odd, indeed.

Anyhow, being in Oxford gives you one feeling (besides the feeling that you are on a Harry Potter film set).  It is the feeling of wanting to leave all that you are doing and come study philosophy or literature or history at Oxford–it is a very powerful feeling.  Not sure if others feel the same way when they first come to Oxford, but you just get a strong urge to return to school.

Anyhow, the week at Oxford was really enjoyable.  The highlight was reconnecting with the Fellows and hearing about their experiences, challenges, highs, lows–and how plans of life might drastically be changing for some, and remaining the same for others.

Also, the Skoll World Forum ending up being more interesting than I thought it would be.  It was a great time to connect with people from different parts of the world, hear about new ideas, what is working, what is not, etc.  With all the positive take-aways from the forum, I had one reservation:  SWF didnt realy seem like a ‘World’ forum…more like a ‘Western World Forum’ or ‘Developed World Forum’.  Dont get me wrong, there were people there from the developing world but it seemed as they were definitely in a minority, almost seemed like a handful.  Several of the speakers (people well known in the SE cirlces) on the panels were from the developing world, but a poor showing in terms of participants. Adding one step further, judging from the participants list, I could probably count the number of people from the ‘muslim’ world on my hands.  I do not think it is the end of the world if the conference was not as representative as a world conference should be, but my concern is that we need to involve people from ALL over the globe if we want to begin to engage, understand, and then, solve the problems of the world.  Maybe the folks at SWF did try and reach out to the developing world/muslim world and they did not feel like paying the 300 pounds registration fee (or maybe they just couldnt afford it), but we need to start thinking of ways to increase the diversity in such conferences/forums.

Maybe that is just me….but I did hear similar voices amongst some of the participants as well.