The Future of Social Sector Storytelling

The next step for storytelling in the development sector is “democratization” – enabling more people to capture and share narratives.

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Why do we tell stories? It’s a basic human need, and you can trace it right back through history – through oral traditions, art and literature. Storytelling through the moving image, or video, is a more recent phenomenon, but speaks to the same part of the human spirit. Seeing action unfolding visually before you can have a very profound impact on the viewer.

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Beyond the Bottom Line: Making CSR Sustainable

What should we be asking ourselves to enable Corporate Social Responsibility funds to tackle complex problems in 21st Century India?

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“In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder, but is, in fact, the very purpose of its existence” — Jamsetji Tata

August 2013 turned out to be harbinger of sorts. With the President’s assent, the Companies Act 2013 came into force, mandating voluntary spirit on part of Indian business, thus giving it a dedicated space in the development ecosystem, and accelerating the shift from foreign aid to corporate resources, as a direct result of India’s economic growth. Estimates say that close to INR 15,000 – 20,000 crore will be contributed towards CSR by Indian business in a given year. But is CSR only about channelizing financial resources towards a noble cause or is there something more to it?

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The Life Cycle of Online Communities

How do you make an online community thrive? It sounds simple in theory, but bringing people together around a particular topic or cause, and creating a space in which they can provide real and sustained support to one another, is not easy. As we at Quest strive to take Trainer Tribe, our online platform for 21st Century teachers, to the next level, we asked Danny Hutley, Impact & Learning Advisor at the Change.org Foundation, to share some of his experiences.

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On November 29 Danny spoke to our MasterCoach Digital Learning Circle, via videolink, sharing failures, breakthroughs and routes to success from five years of curating online communities for Change.org.

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Design Thinking to Stay Learner Centred

Design thinking and innovation studio Quicksand has worked with Quest Alliance since its inception. Here, Quicksand’s Kevin Shane & Babitha George explain why sustained engagement is at the heart of designing something with the ability to meaningfully improve the quality of life of the individuals being designed for.

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Design thinking has become a favoured methodology for innovation and user-centered design in recent years. While there is a lot of interest and excitement, the nature of this process requires sustained engagement and commitment, in order to allow for sustained change. At its core, design thinking is about empathy and a deep understanding of people’s needs — and designing for those needs.

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Anandshala: Working Within the System

As Quest’s State Head in Biar, Amitav Nath has been instrumental in the development and implementation of Anandshala, a program which works closely with the district education system to create stronger relationships between students, teachers and parents. Here he shares his insights on partnership, and working within existing government frameworks.

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Working on Quest Alliance’s Anandshala (literally translated: joyful schools) program in Bihar, our job is to define the theory of change for the program. Our team ensures that the design strategy functions on the ground, and works out how plans get translated into action at the field level. One very important aspect to achieve this is making sure that the program is institutionalized by the district through advocacy.

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