Letter from Atul Satija
The/NudgeFoundation is just past its fifth year, and we’ve grown faster and morediversely than we had ever envisioned – thanks to you – our ecosystem ofpartners, stakeholders, friends and supporters. As we enter a new chapter ofgrowth, we’re delighted to bring to you a quarterly newsletter to talk aboutour organization’s work, priorities and impact.
Ourfirst letter comes to you just as we’re starting to step out of a pandemic thathas ravaged the entire world. 2020 not only made visible the cracks in globaldevelopment systems but also highlighted suppressed imparities across theworld, reinstating the urgency to address needs of people who are trapped ingenerations of injustice and poverty.
However,it has also been a year where we witnessed unparalleled scope of both globaland local collaboration. We have begun to forge strong partnerships,recognizing our shared humanity, and our strength to solve complex, large-scaleproblems when we unite with a common purpose. 2021 is here, bringing new hopeof a stronger, more equitable and just society.
Lastyear turned out to be an orbit-shifting year for The/Nudge. Our organisation,that has taken on poverty alleviation with a deep sense of urgency, has grownto a 400+ team across 3 Centres. Here are some of the transformations we wentthrough.
Centre for Skill Development andEntrepreneurship: we moved from residential ‘Gurukuls’ to an entirely online modelcalled ‘Future Perfect’. Given the existing partner commitments, we had toscale rapidly, while figuring out both the model and product in parallel.Today, we stand at 12,000+ enrolments per quarter, across 10 states. That’s a12X increase in our reach, compared to our previous years and residentialprogram. We’re running 300+ parallel online classrooms every day and havegraduated ~2000 students already! In 2021, we will continue to build on theimpact of Future Perfect.
Centre for Rural Development: we launched an ambitious social protectionand livelihoods initiative - to serve 5 lakh covid impacted families in UP andDelhi NCR over the next 3-5 years, and grew our existing ‘Ultra Poverty /UP’program to generate livelihoods in Jharkhand (which has served 1200+households, 5000+ individuals- mainly the women-force we call as ‘didis’, in 80+ remote villages, in 2years). As the evidence of the impact of /UP program ('graduation approach')comes in, we want to start investing in adoption in other states for scale,with government support.
Centre for Social Innovation: along with deepening our incubator,accelerator and Project Pioneer (research grant for land rights/propertyinclusivity) work, we also went live with multiple very large impact-potentialproducts - Saamuhika Shakti for waste pickers, Cisco-Agri Challenge for farmer-centric agri innovation and Indian Administrative Fellowship (IAF).
The/Nudge Forum: We created a global think-tank andcollective-action platform to come together for India’s development. In May 2020- we organized one of India's largest convenings in the development sector, afree-for-all virtual event lasting 3 days - global gathering for world leadersand senior stakeholders to come together to solve social challenges. The Forumwas conceptualized and executed in just 3 weeks, in response to the paralysisevery sector was suddenly facing due to covid. We convened 560 speakers amongthe world's biggest thinkers and doers, 180 sessions, 26 partners to supportthe event (including funding, technology and event partners), 16 differentsustainable development topics addressed, and 20,000+ participants. We intendto continue Forum as our flagship event. Development is a shared agenda, butthere is a lack of active, sustained, shared spaces for dialogue forcross-industry stakeholders. Forum will address this need.
1. We doubledthe amount of funds closed year-over-year.
2. We grew from 175 to 400+ Nudgesters. We were also ‘Great Place toWork’ certified for the second year and are fully committed to providing a workculture that is inducive to top talent.
3. Talentis the most upstream engine and given our fast pace of growth, we've beenbehind our talent needs, despite the hiring we saw last year. In 2021, we wantto change the game, invest upfront and early, in solving for capacity acrossall programs, roles and levels. (If you’d like to join us/ refer someone,please click here)!
4. Building upon the learning and impact of the last 5 years, we’reup-levelling our impact aspirations many-fold, embarking upon a long-termjourney to play a catalytic role in poverty alleviation, by evolving The/Nudgeinto a development 'action' institute. Our aspiration is to catalyse socialtransformations and create 100,000 crore of economic value for 50 million poorover the next 15-20 years. You will be hearing more on this from us over theyear ☺.
We could never have imagined the amount ofdisruption and change we went through last year, and the growth & expansionof our work and impact. Each and every Nudgester should be super proud of whatall we managed to achieve together in 2020.
With these priorities, this year feels likeone where we'll be shedding the past and embracing the future. We are veryoptimistic and super excited for 2021 and look forward to working with all ofyou to serve our larger purpose together.