Taking Off: MBL Laddership Circles
Over the last few years, ServiceSpace has hosted Laddership Circles, and it has become a dynamic part of their service offerings on their online engagement spectrum. It is getting very clear that a deeper learning journey around ServiceSpace values and processes holds a lot of value for change-makers and community organizers.
There has been remarkable interest around such circles from the lot of Educators, Social Entrepreneurs, Community Organisers and MBL volunteers during last few months in various Moved By Love (MBL) retreats. These interactions led to the idea of hosting MBL Laddership Circles; and inspired by the volume of applicants within our ecosystem, we have decided to host our first Pilot circles with the total crew of 11 fellows and 5 enthusiastic and internally motivated volunteers. There are a few more invisible advisors who helped to shape the curriculum and continue to provide oversight.
Laddership Circle is a space for project initiators to dive into our gift ecology processes, learn about the nuances of leading with inner transformation, and hold space for new designs to come to light. Every week we will focus on a particular theme that progressively builds up from the personal to the systemic, as all fellows engage in pre-assigned readings and practices, spend 90 minutes on a video conference, share reflections and project design updates on the group feed.
I am delighted to welcome our first inaugural circle, and looking forward to having some good time together. Here’s more on the inspired posse that will be diving deep into gift-ecology ideals over the next six weeks — and creating ripples (which are likely to be waves :)) of goodness into their local communities around the globe.
Rupali Bhuva is a passionate mother of 2 teenagers, an Artist by heart wears a loving smile all the time when you see her. She is a very popular Drawing teacher and teaches around 100 children on day to day basis. Over the years her cup got full of gratitude and thought of integrating Art with spirituality and started hosting heART Circle on gift basis.
Raghu Padmanabhan is hard to frame in a particular profile, as he is a Technologist by the mind, a Farmer by hand, an Educationist by heart who whom schools his son, and a naturopathy doctor to most of the folks in ServiceSpace ecosystem. He lives on a farm with his wife Nisha and son Aum, leaving a life which is genuinely aligned with Nature. He is a lifelong student of Vipassana, Yoga, Naturopathy, Simplicity and Gratitude.
Pranita Bhat is the CEO – Chief Everything Officer :) – of KnowYourStar.com, and is based in Bangalore, India. She quit her job in IBM as she had her calling at KnowYourStar, which she had started in September 2012 as a hobby weekend project with three friends. In addition to ensuring the original inspirational content on almost daily basis, she anchors an educational outreach program called Mentor India with the help of volunteers, where spoken English classes using value based stories are taught in rural schools. She wants to make this world a better place and master the spirit of service, gratitude and generosity.
Trupti Pandya, the youngest of the very famous :) Pandya sisters, is holding questions of Laddership and how its functions brought her to Laddership Circle. At a very young age, she has very varied experiences of volunteering and has co-created a very vibrant local community of youngsters who are dedicated to service. She is working with a government home, which is composed of a diverse crowd, including women and children with various mental, physical and emotional issues. She is keen to cultivate values in the most vulnerable class of society in such homes.
Shivaya Ruth came from Switzerland to India in 1978 to explore the country as well as some deeper questions she was holding within herself. What started as a bicycle trip across India ended up in her visiting Auroville and dedicating herself as a lifetime volunteer to serve the divine and humanity. For more than 35 years, she has been serving in countless ways towards realizing Auroville's vision of human unity. She is one of the key driving forces behind setting up and running of the Unity Pavilion which aims to promote understanding between individuals, cultures and nations. While the vision is lofty, Shivaya has offered her life towards it and keeps serving in a very gentle and subtle ways.
Vinit Gujarati, is a Civil Engineer at an intersection of structural engineering and software development. Food lover, Cricket and Tendulkar fan just like every other Indian!! This is how his Twitter homepage describes him, but unlike every other Indian he has a heart of service. :) since last three years he has co-founded 'Meals on Wheels,' which has been renamed to ‘Karma Meals’. His labour of love project has moved from just serving people to connecting with people while serving and making friends on streets. He is also a very dedicated volunteer of MBL and the local community in Pune.
Shalini Srinivasan, with an academic background in Chemical Engineering, A lifetime volunteer with so many different ecosystems, a very passionate mother, class Photographer, invisible Co-Editor of MBL newsletter, lives a very simple life. She is Looking forward to expanding her understanding of gift ecology, the labour of love, volunteerism and laddership to be able to serve wherever with more awareness. Values in a Box is her labour of love project, which focuses on very pertinent questions on education: "How do children learn values?" and "Can values like gratitude be taught or practiced?" She is holding all such questions, looks forward to explore these topics, and all their edges, in the circle.
Jaimit Vaidya, with a mechanical Engineer background, is part of a very committed young volunteer and service ecosystem of MBL from the city of Baroda. He spends his weekends doing compassionate clowning in hospitals, and also cooking and serving meals to the underprivileged living in the slums. To understand the nuances of gift-ecology, and to learn what it means to be a ladder brings him to the Laddership Circle. He is looking forward to connecting with kindred souls.
Manoj Pavitran has dedicated his life to the study and practice of integral yoga based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. In 1995, he joined the Auroville community to explore collective evolution and since then has offered his talent in film-making, computer software, design and education in numerous ways. Some of his recent work involves the Swadharma program for youth to find their true calling and creating a series of films on Evolution Fast Forward. For an educational initiative called Telos, he is keen to leverage the many-to-many potential of the internet in bringing people together for learning integral yoga. He is very excited to be a part of Laddership Circles and collaborating with the ServiceSpace community.
Smita Navare is the co-founder of Drishti, founded in 1990, is a non-profit, non-political and non-religious, voluntary non-government organisation. She has devoted her life to service, with an educational background of Masters degrees in Social Work from Tata Institute Of Social Sciences. Drishti works towards achieving public good by promoting education for the underprivileged children, women and disabled. Drishti also provides direction and support to other voluntary organisations working towards the same. They have served numerous group for last ten years and continued to do so in the field of Service. Smita is also a very humble, fun loving, committed volunteer of the MBL eco-system and hosts retreats for NGO’s with a focus on transformation philanthropy.
In addition, our enthused volunteer crew include a stream of invisible mentors and advisors, as well as...
Meghna Banker is a dedicated servant “ladder” based at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India. A talented filmmaker, graphic designer, and artist, to many of us, she’s perfected the art of invisible service—whether in supporting “heARTists in action” with Wisdom Crafts, hosting weekly meditation gatherings in her home (with some remarkable stories!), or as a down-to-earth mother, where she continually inspires with many profound lessons from her 5-year-old daughter.
Swara Pandya carries a heart of service in all she does, whether sharing presence with a rural village woman’s soft soul, visiting Gandhian elders and capturing their stories of simplicity, or anchoring a pay-it-forward restaurant in her hometown of Baroda, India. Most recently, she engaged a 6-week laddership internship with 20 college students!
Mihir Kaji's steadfast sincerity has been known to shift the tone of an entire train compartment. :) He recently galvanized his entire community in a 21-day Kindness Challenge, during which he spontaneously gifted the shoes off his feet to a homeless person, reflecting, "in that split-second moment, I saw the situation without any duality-- and the act was a by-product of that." Mihir lives in Surat, India with his wife, and works in financial advising and IT.
Parag Shah gets lit up by infusing the spirit of giftivism in all elements of his life-- whether in launching a Wisdom Book Store, galvanizing his IB school to pilot Karma Kitchen, bringing a Gandhian ethos into his diamond business, and holding space that ignites powerful ripples in his community. He's also an avid reader of Krishnamurti and lives in Surat, India with his wife and sons.
Audrey Lin is constantly amazed by the field of possibility that emerge from these spaces. She gets grounded by the power of kindness, and grateful for opportunities to cultivate compassion quotient.