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Amani-Institute

Soft Skills and Leadership: A Shift Towards Impactful Learning

This is a sponsored partner post on PCDN.

Blogpost by Gaurav Dewani

The Future of Work forum was a series of talks and webinars organized by Arthan Careers. The event ran from 16th-18th December 2020 and included several insightful sessions about the future of the social impact economy. One of the webinars featured Co-Founder of Amani Institute, Roshan Paul, in conversation with Founder of Arthan, Satyam Vyas, about skills, leadership & work in post-Covid world. In this blogpost, I highlight the key takeaways from the session while also reflecting on my journey as a recent graduate and an Amani community member.

My final year of college was the same year as 9/11”, said Roshan Paul, Co-Founder of Amani Institute, when prompted about how he kicked his career off as a social entrepreneur. Pensively, he went on, “here I was looking at going into consulting or investment banking and it just didn’t seem to make sense to me”. As I listened to the webinar and made notes, an uncanny familiarity aroused my senses.

My final year of college was the same year as the peak of the novel Covid-19 pandemic. At face value, Covid seemed like one of the many fissures in the perpetual human history that drastically altered the fate of the future. And indeed, here I was with an Econ degree looking to get into consulting or venture capital – the equivalent of investment banking today. After all, much hadn’t changed over these two decades.

By March 2020, as countries started imposing nationwide lockdowns, it was clear that the coronavirus does indeed discriminate amongst it’s victims. The pandemic exposed the class and racial inequalities of several nations. Suddenly hit by the mandate to stay at home, we noticed that many people did not have homes. Or as the scholar Judith Butler argues, “the virus alone does not discriminate, but we humans surely do.” It didn’t help that we were already existing in times with climate change denialism and post-truth politics on the rise. A paradigm shift in education was knocking on the door, fiercer and louder than ever before. Regardless of whether we would respond, the future of work was on course to be redefined.

Historically, critical junctures have served as inspiration for people from various walks of life to do something different with their careers. As we enter 2021, with a vaccine in hand, the private sector is being pushed by millennials to get more involved in being good corporate citizens. However, as much as people are driven to contribute towards social causes, they lack the relevant skillsets to excel as changemakers. Case in point, me. Given that I did not really know how I could increase my impact imprint, I decided to work as a Global Communications Assistant at Amani Institute, an educational organization that taught exactly that, developing professionals who create social impact.

As the conversation between Satyam Vyas, CEO and Founder of Arthan, and Roshan Paul moved forward, I realized how little I knew about the importance of soft skills in the impact economy. “Leadership is the act of helping people to get to somewhere that they wouldn’t otherwise get to”, succinctly articulated Roshan. As a fresh graduate, I could clearly see the gaps in my education. Although I attended a liberal arts college, one that prides itself on diversity and interdisciplinary learning, there wasn’t much I had acquired in terms of hands-on application and implementation. Understanding one’s own needs and aspirations is crucial to being a successful changemaker and I wasn’t provided with the time and space in my college to ponder over mine. Neither did I have a community that held me accountable for my actions and a network that was committed towards similar goals as mine.

My rather short stint at Amani Institute has allowed me to look at the future of education and impact-driven work from a more mature perspective. If you are a recent graduate like me interested in effectively addressing social issues or someone who is looking to pivot to an impact-driven and meaningful career, Amani’s award-winning Social Innovation Management (SIM) – Digital Edition is your calling! The 5-month online certificate transcends borders and is the ideal opportunity for you to engage with a diverse community of social entrepreneurs in a time when travel is unsafe.

When asked about his advice to young and aspiring changemakers, considering 542 people from 64 countries have already graduated with Amani Institute, Roshan stated, “social change is difficult. It takes time and it takes a lot of determination to stick with it for the long-haul. He wisely continues, “one of the ways to stick with it is to know why you are in it”. The SIM – Digital Edition program will give you the space and resources to align who you are with what you want to do, and create a new strategy for your career. As the world’s forecast democracies dwindle and systems of oppression continue to persist, it is more important than ever to initiate a societal shift. And a societal shift is inevitably rooted in an educational shift.

Find the entire webinar here:

https://www.facebook.com/ArthanCareers/videos/706534466663604

Next Program Dates: March 1st 2021 – July 30th 2021

Locations: Global – Online

Scholarship Deadline: January 31st, 2021

Application Deadline: February 15th, 2021

For more information on the program click here

Register for our info sessions https://www.eventbrite.com/e/social-innovation-management-info-session-apprenticeships-tickets-134785640479

Craig Zelizer

Craig Zelizer

Dr. Craig Zelizer is the Founder of PCDN.global, which connects a global community of changemakers to the tools, community and opportunities to build careers of impact and scale change. He has strong experience in the development sector, academia and social entrepreneurship. From 2005 to 2016 he served as a professor in the Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University (where he still teaches). He has led trainings, workshops and consultancies in over 20 countries organizations including with USIP, USAID, CRS, Rotary International and others. Craig is a recognized leader in the social sector field. He has received several awards including George Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s alumni of the year award and an alumni career achievement award from Central European University. Dr. Zelizer spent two years in Hungary as Fulbright Scholar and was a Boren Fellow in Bosnia. He has published widely on peacebuilding, entrepreneurship, and innovation in higher education.
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