Abhijit Sinha: Re-evaluating the current education system, quitting a well paying job and building social sustainable Zero to One startup
In today's podcast, Abhijit takes us through his journey from realizing how disordered our current educational institutes are to building something that can challenge the system and disrupt our way of learning in a few years.
Episode #84: Sandeep Dutt in conversation with Abhijit Sinha, the creator of Project DEFY, enabling underserved communities to create an education for themselves through self-learning spaces called Nooks. At Nooks, individuals (children and adults) learn what makes them curious and caters to their needs and interests. Nooks are Schools without Teachers, Exams or even any curricula. They are controlled and managed by the learners themselves, who take complete charge of their own learning. Through DEFY, Abhijit has worked with over 17 communities and enabled 7000+ individuals to become self-learners. He has set up Nooks in 3 countries such as India, Uganda, and Rwanda and is now looking at setting up a Nook Hub in Zimbabwe. Abhijit believes that education should bring education back into the learners' hands, and the onus to choose what, when and how they learn should be a decision left to them. Nooks are cost-effective, self-learning environments where the learners design & define education for themselves. A community space that fosters curiosity, innovation, creativity, and critical thinking. A safe space where people from abject poverty, vulnerable communities, at-risk environments can come and create relevant life goals. In this podcast, he reflects on his personal experience and how dissatisfied he was living in the industrial age! Chasing a material life and not living one complete day, he says we need to slow down, think and work to become complete human beings. This is only possible when we live for the present moment and not keep working for the future under the pretext of getting educated. Abhijit doed not want education to be merely a transfer of instruction. Education is a much more interesting process of self-discovery and understanding of local and global surroundings.--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/learningforward/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/learningforward/support
A Revolution In Education - Abhijit Sinha, Sandeep Dutt and Catherine Fraise
Season 2 Episode 8: We LOVE this episode because it is so AMAZING what Abhijit Sahni has been able to create (Project DEFY: Design Education for Yourself). His story itself is amazing. He was taking the typical path, school to career, and realized he was much happier creating and making amazing things, so left the typical path and started a new one. And began to create spaces where community members could do the same. Sandeep Dutt, social entrepreneur, author of My Good School, Learning Forward podcaster, and HundrED ambassador, adds his thoughts. And our very good friend, Cath Fraise, founder of 100 Roads and Workspace Education, adds to the fun. Hear how Abhijit has created self-directed, community-driven spaces of “creating, making, and doing,” where the community is creating their own learning and making their own solutions. A big thanks to Chris Unger, Jim McCue and the team at A Revolution In Education.--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/learningforward/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/learningforward/support
Show guest - Abhijit Sinha - a young innovator, and the founder of Project DEFY. He has designed many social innovations in India and Africa, including Bodacart – a $500 Ambulance, a waterless urinal, an accident detection app and more. Abhijit believes that high-quality education should be accessible to all and that each person should be capable enough to customise it, to their needs and interests. This episode was recorded inside a nook - meaning a self-organized community learning space, hosted at Protovillage, 100 km away from Bangalore, in India. We dive into the story of project Defy, take a critical stand on the schooling system and imagine the future of education in India. Music credit: @My-Sleeping-Karma Show notes link --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/experimentq/message
Founder and CEO of Project DEFY Abhijit Sinha, talks about creating learning centers without teachers, raising funds, Building teams, Starting a social enterprise and defying conventional understanding of education. Questions from the Episode What is Project DEFY and who is it for? (02:06) What is wrong with teachers driven education system? (03:57) How is DEFY solving the problem of choice in existing education system? (06:50) Have you ever been told kids are dumb and can’t make choices? (11:12) Have students from your learning centers been able to earn a living after acquiring skills at the learning centers? (12:15) How do you financially support Project DEFY? (17:03) What were the major challenges in raising Funds for DEFY? (19:01) How did you reach out to donors in Corporates for funding? (21:30) How did you build your team? (29:19) How do you decide what salaries to pay? (34:20) How did you measure your progress? What were your feedback loops? (39:18) How do you balance between standardizing your processes and allowing each nook to operate based on local conditions? (42:13) Were there moments when you wanted quit DEFY and just go back to a regular Job? (45:26) What kept you going despite all the lows in your journey (48:34) Why did you move to the village (50:08) 3 Big Take aways from the episode Your Team is your Feedback Loop – This was a jewel in the entire conversation. I have always believed your team is your greatest resource but I never thought of each member in my team as a powerful feedback loop. As Abhijit mentioned, bringing in people who give you uncluttered, hard headed feedback, offer solution and are also willing to execute those, can go a long way in building sustainable organizations in the long term. It is important to find Donors to fund your social enterprise but it is equally important to ensure they don’t influence your core values and beliefs, let alone compromise on them. At Project DEFY, one of the core beliefs is you don’t have to be paid unfairly low just because you work in a social enterprise and no donors could dictate what they paid their employees. Learning rooted in curiosity is far more powerful than learning rooted in curriculum. When you learn something to solve an immediate problem or fulfill an immediate need, you get immediate feedback. If what you are learning solves your problem, you retain and build on that solution. If it doesn’t, then may-be you are not learning well or you need a different solution. Well, You may ask, Itis possible to let every person decide what they want to learn when there are limited students but can you do this for all the kids in the world? Honestly, I don’t know! I’m just hopeful, with the increasing penetration of internet and availability of knowledge, this should be possible for a lot many kids in the times to come. Resources Mentioned in the Episode Project DEFY - https://projectdefy.org/ Kanthari Fellowship - https://www.kanthari.org/
In this episode, Abhijit Sinha from Mumbai share his story. Abhijit is a young social innovator, and the founder of Project DEFY. Listen to know more about how he is spreading maker culture in rural areas of India by setting up various nooks basically a school without teachers. #makerstories #india #projectdefy #teacher #school