USFSP OPEN "Aresty Speaker Series":
Vimlendu Jha, Founder, Swechha Foundation (India)
Ever meet a true "Change-Maker", one whose work impacts young people, improves disadvantaged girls’ education, advocates environmental protection, builds urban forests, lives sustainable development, and harnesses the power of social enterprise? Vimlendu Jha is just that change-maker.
As founder and Executive Director of Swechha, a youth-run, youth-focused NGO operating from Delhi, India, he has become one of India’s most influential leaders on youth matters. He's produced multiple award-winning documentaries, launched Green the Map, a fair trade initiative that produces innovative, sustainable, up-cycled products from surplus and waste materials, and is championing tree planting throughout the country. Focusing on education, environment and enterprises, his mission is to inspire, create and support – a just, equitable and sustainable society, for everyone and forever.
As part of its collaboration with USFSP “Open Partnerships Education Network”, World Partnerships was honored to bring one of its founding Advisors and IVLP Gold Star, Vimlendu Jha to be the December “OPEN Aresty Speaker” at the USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business.
Speaking on the topic of “There Is No Planet B”, Vimlendu offered his insights into making change, and building the capacity of young people to be part of making that change.
In addition to his formal speaking engagement, we organized a weeklong series of engagements with organizations that are directly related to his work in India. Sharing experiences with like-minded people gave birth to some new ideas and possible collaborations: An Up-Cycling project, urban farming, and educational initiatives. As he said of his visit: “While I am here in the US…my hosts from World Partnerships have organized some fabulous interaction with communities and schools. I spent whole afternoon yesterday in St Petersburg at a Community Centre run for/by African American community, interacted with several students who come from distressed backgrounds, economically and socially, and loved every bit of my time there.
"It's not the fancy auditoriums or Board Rooms that get me excited, it's the work on the 'ground' that's most inspirational.”