E6-S1 On Identifying your Case with Elsa Marie D'Silva

Summary & Key Takeways

Elsa Marie D'Silva: Identify Your Cause

Born in Mombay, India from working class parents who never forced her to follow on Indias’ societal expectations of womenhood, Elsa Marie D’Silva literally grew wings and for two decades became a successful employee in the aviation industry. But she had to follow her passion and commitment to solving the epidemic of sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces. She founded and created Safecity, an app that is effectively, one dot at a time, reducing violence against women and girls in many countries. A Rotarian Peace and Vital Voices Fellow, (among others) Elsa’s work has been globally acclaimed. Find out more about Elsa Marie’s career and her successful and widely acclaimed app in Episode 6 of the Social Change Career Podcast.

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Listen to Anne Marie here

In this episode we discuss:

  • On growing up with liberal Indian parents who never forced their expectations on her
  • On being a strong women and flying solo: her two decade aviation career
  • On how Elsa transitioned from private sector to the social change career working on women’s rights
  • How Elsa learned about CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and technology to solve social problems in Sweden
  • Elsa did a 6 month leadership program by the Rotary Peace Fellowship where she learned about an Egyptian initiative: crowed mapping for sexual violence
  • The 2012 incident of the death of a young Indian women that shook Elsa and the whole country of India
  • Elsa decides to focus on safety and security for women and launched a crowed map with some friends
  • How on 2013 Elsa combined her private work while developing SafeCity (her app)
  • How she started Safecity and started seeing results
  • The impact of Safecity in India and also in Kenya, Cameroon, Argentina, Nepal, Trinidad & Tobago and Nigeria.
  • Elsa’s career advice on choosing your path
  • On being open to change and people around you
  • How Elsa uses the skills of her past career to make Safecity a success
  • Elsa’s take on failure and how she is a perfectionist
  • Three tips for starting your career on social impact


Elsa Marie D’Silva

Swedish Institute Management Program Asia

Vital Voices

Aspen New Voices

Rotary Peace Fellowship 

Chevening Gurukul Fellowship 

U.S. State Department's Fortune Program

SE Forum Outreach Accelerator

Fast FWD Philadelphia Accelerator for Public Safety

Related topics

Become a member of the PCDN Career Campus to get daily access (to job opportunities) community(network with other impact professionals); learning with sector-experts and receive guidance from PCDN Career Coaches. 

The fully funded Rotary Peace Fellowship increases the capacity of current and emerging peace leaders through academic training, field experience, and professional networking. Up to 100 leaders are selected globally every year to earn either a master’s degree or a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies at one of six Rotary Peace Centers at leading universities around the world. Applications go live in early February and the application deadline is 31 May.
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