Examples of Systems Change

Elena  0:00  

People are thirsty, for examples and best practices that they can explore further to, I think deepen their understanding. And so the question is to you, and maybe you can mention, and thank you for mentioning Tostan so many times as a good example of what we are trying to do in terms of systems change. So what collaboration where you have seen this working really well? From communities to philanthropy, government to tech, just really, one minute each to close, to and give your closing remarks. Best practices, where shall we look at? Thank you, Sanjay.

Sanjay  0:39  

Alright, so very quick one. So one of the systems change platforms at Societal Platform that we’re working on is called ShikshaLokam (shikshalokam.org) which works in the area of developing leaders in the education sector. So working with head teachers, principals, government officials. The 1.5 million schools of India are managed by about 4.5 million leaders of different types. And this is an interesting combination of civil society organizations. We have some amazing partners who are very, very strong powerful NGOs in the education sector, people like Kaivalya Education Foundation, or people like you know, Peepul Foundation or organizations like Mantra4Change which is an amazing organization driving transformation in education leadership or Sanjhi Sikhya working in Punjab and so on, I could just keep on listing them and on the other end is the government. State government actors, education departments, in Punjab, in Andhra Pradesh, in Goa, in Delhi, in different states of the country, and the people who are working in different other sectors who are interested in coming. And so because of this digital infrastructure that they have built out, all these actors are coming together and solving problems of education at scale in different parts, and finding a better balance for all the different systems. So I would certainly urge you to look it up sometime when you have time. 

Elena  2:15  

Thank you Sybil, your last minute remark.

Sybil  2:28  

You actually got me thinking on this question. So thank you to the participants who posed it. I think the development is still ongoing. I gave an example of the abolition of slavery. Sanjay gave examples in terms of technology and industrialization. So we’ve reached the point where we’re not going back. Most of us don’t even have house phones anymore. We just use cell phones, right? So that we were reaching these points where we’re not going back to certain things because systems change has been affected. In terms of the development work that we’re doing around the world, but more particularly in Africa, I think it’s still ongoing. So in terms of systems change for agriculture or education, or women, we’re still on that journey. We’re still on the path to driving systems change for gender equality. And I think we see it in so many facets in our lives. This could actually be another discussion with this. We drive for systems change, but there’s always another system that needs to be changed as we progress. We’re seeing this play out in democracies across the world where the notion of democracy is changing and the leadership to lead that, the core principles of democracy aren’t measuring up to those basic tenets. The notion of democracy needs to also change given our changing times. This to me is actually, I don’t know that I have an answer, other than I feel like we are on this journey more on this path. We’re all contributing. We’re going to see a point where certain aspects of the system are changed, but there’s still going to be a new frontier. Women’s women’s rights for example, this has been such a long journey and I don’t even know before in the middle of it.

Elena  4:38  

Thank you Sybil, thank you Sanjay. I also feel that we have done a little journey together today, an hour and a half journey, but it was so rich. Thank you to our wonderful panelists, Sybil and Sanjay, thank you for bringing so much so much wisdom to this discussion and thank you for your great questions. And, you know, we will be sure to follow up on your question and some of those were requests for information. We will make sure to respond to you. I feel we covered so much micro to macro. We cover individuals at the community level, we cover government, the private sector, and the role of technology. I feel very grateful for this conversation. I feel my take and would be my last sentence is that it is really critical to continue this learning journey together. It’s as you said, Sybil, we are in the middle, we are we are navigating, and it’s clear that we need to deepen our strategies to be able to address the complexity and I think together we can continue the practice and so I’m so excited for all of you to continue the journey in the next two webinars of the series. Together we can continue the journey and I think we feel the urgency and the rest of the possibility to do so. So thank you for joining. And stay tuned. Watch your inbox and you will soon receive an email talking about the second date and two wonderful more panelists joining us for this conversation. And so good afternoon, good evening. And thank you once again for joining us.

Sanjay  6:19  

Thank you so much.

Sybil  6:20  

Thank you so much. Bye, everyone. 

Elena  6:24  

Thank you.