BB Life Skills Camp – Day 4 – Change, Social Entrepreneurship and BB Alumni Night
Session 15: Conflict Resolution
By Rita Mishra
The workshop dealt with conflict in general and at a personal level. First the audience divided into subgroups and each individual in each subgroup were given a set of differently shaped pieces, in which each individual in the group were to form a perfect square. But he/she would not receive all the pieces required to make the perfect square, so each member of each subgroup much corporate so that every member of the subgroup can build a perfect square. There can be no verbal communication, nor can anyone ask for a piece from someone else, an individual can only give away a piece to another person. All the groups managed to complete the exercise, some fairing better than the others. After which all the groups got into a discussion as to the reasons for the failures or successes. Later all the participants engaged in a self-evaluating exercise which aimed to measure the sort of techniques each individual tries to emulate when faced with conflict. The session was a very fruitful one, and effectively dealt with parts of conflict resolution at a personal level.
Session 16: Social Entrepreneurship
By Lillian Strand,
The workshop began with a brief introduction on social entrepreneurship and we were asked to identify persons who we’d think would be social entrepreneurs. After the exercise there was a discussion on the criteria through which the selection was made, and the definition of the term ‘social entrepreneurship.’ “Ashoka,” a leading organization that works on this subject, defines social entrepreneurs as ‘individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.’
After the discussion a video presentation of social entrepreneurs was shown which featured people like Mohamed Yunnus, who started the Grameen bank in Bangladesh to provide poor people with credit facilities. It also featured Ashoka, an organization based in the US who seek and help budding social entrepreneurs around the world with funding, and initial capital to get started. Ashoka’s Bill Drayton is credited to having coined the term ‘social entrepreneur’.
The workshop was a good entry point into the concept of social entrepreneurship, which is fast gaining ground in the development field.
Session 17: What is change?
By Ankit Pogula
This being the final workshop in the Life Skills Training program, it was also one of the best, with most BB members enjoying the areas covered. Talking about the concept of “change” from a not-so average angle, the workshop made quite an impact on most of us. One particular point made by Ankit about not expecting people to change their opinions and perspectives over night, hit home. He explained this through a scenario where for instance we, as individuals, come to accept social issues such as homosexuality over a period of time, but expect people who think otherwise to change their opinions immediately. The workshop got almost all of the participants thinking along these lines.
BB Alumni night was an event looked forward to by many of the BBites as many of the former members of Beyond Borders were to be in attendance. The Sri Lankans and some of the Indians were dressed in traditional clothes and the event premises were colorfully decorated with flowers. The evening consisted of presentations of activities undertaken by various core groups of Beyond Borders, including a documentary of Connecting Futures. There were few very brief introductions and speeches by most of the participants including the project managers for Beyond Borders Sanjeewani Munasinghe on behalf of Sri Lanka and Neeti Malhotra, and by the Asst. Director of British Council, New Delhi – Les Dangerfield – who pledged continued support for Beyond Borders activities from the British Council.
After the formalities, the night gave away to a live music performance by a band called Jigri coupled with lot of dance and masti (fun) which lasted quite literally till dawn.