AFI Updates 2015

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At Action For India, we have had a busy 2015 thus far – we are glad to share these recent updates:

  1. We are making good progress with AFI’s “Vision 2020”, our initiative to build a pan-India network of 20 regional hubs of social innovation, patterned on the Deshpande Foundation’s initial Sandbox in Hubli – earlier this summer, Asha Jadeja (widow of Prof. Rajeev Motwani, thesis adviser to the Google Founders Larry & Serge at Stanford) of the Motwani Jadeja Foundation, has committed to launch 2 new Sandboxes – one in Ahmedabad, Gujarat & one in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.
  2. Gen A K Bakshi, a four decade veteran of the Indian Army, whose last assignment was with the President of India,  Pranab Mukherjee, as his Military Secretary at Rashtrapati Bhavan, has come on board as the Executive Director of AFI.
  3. We are getting ready for Silicon Valley Challenge Trek 2015, where we fly 5 of India’s leading Social Entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley for a couple of weeks in the Fall and enable interactions for them with leading investors, entrepreneurs, executives and academics in the Valley. Please find attached their brief bios.
  4. We are in the initial stage of exploring the feasibility of launching an impact investment fund at AFI
  5. We will be launching a Debt Funding service (upto 1 crore of collateral free debt from Banks / Government agencies) for the relevant social entrepreneurs in our network
  6. Prof. Rajeev Gowda, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha, Congress, Karnataka); and Prof. Tom Kailath, Professor Emeritus, Dept of Electrical Engineering at Stanford have accepted our invitation to join AFI’s Board of Trustees.
  7. Recent additions to AFI’s Board of Directors. include AnandShah, Founder of Sarvajal & currently with BMW Impact Ventures (he also led the epic reception at the Madison Square Garden in New York for PM Narendra Modi last Fall; his sister, Sonal Shah, was the former White House Chief of Social Innovation); Ravi Mantha (his last book, “A Journey: Poems by Narendra Modi.” with a foreword by PM Modi. Ravi translated Modi’s poetry from Hindi & Gujarati into English verses. He is also actively engaged with the Prime Minister’s Office on Sanitation related projects); Cynthia Lang, a member of the Humanities & Sciences Council at Stanford; Tralance Addy, former Executve Director of the SEED program at Stanford; Neelam Chibber, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Mother Earth and Schwab Foundation’s India Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011; and C VR Rajendran, the former Chairman & Managing Director of Andhra Bank
  8. Cole Wilbur, Honorary Trustee Emeritus and former President of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, has joinedAFI’s Silicon Valley Leadership Circle.
  9. Padma Vibhushan Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairman, Reliance Innovation Council and former chief of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR); Prof Ashish Goel, Professor of Management Science & Engineering at Stanford, and Dr. Anant Jhingran, an IBM Fellow and VP, Data & Analytics, at Apigee have joined AFI’s Technology Advisory Council.
  10. And, finally, here is a brief 1 minute AFI video that we developed for sharing at the recent Pan IIT conference in the bay area: