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2023 Rewind: Navigating Change, Inspiring Stories, and Future Horizons

Rishika Gopinath

2023 Rewind: Navigating Change, Inspiring Stories, and Future Horizons

Fun fact: Did you know that rabbits’ teeth never stop growing? I bring this up because 2023 was the year of the rabbit according to the Chinese lunar calendar. It is also reminiscent of our journey this year. In 2022, we took a step back to reflect, engaging with over 150 people from the ecosystem to explore our journey, knowledge evolution, and the diverse manifestations in the ecosystem. This reflective journey set the stage for transformative shifts in 2023. 

The first transition was the move from ‘Societal Platform’ to ‘Societal Thinking’ – recognising the need for diverse pathways to drive exponential change. Along with Platforms, Open networks and AI are emerging areas that empower change leaders to learn, reimagine, and catalyse network effects, enable co-creation ecosystems and leverage technology infrastructure. We reframed our own role and mindset to unlock impact@scale.

The next transition was to become better storytellers. We recognise that knowledge spreads faster through stories, and understanding this power of storytelling, we introduced Societal Muse – a collection of stories by and from change leaders in our ecosystem. We also curated a 2-part Udemy course that simplifies what Societal Thinking is for audiences that are unfamiliar with it. This storytelling philosophy extended to our weekly blogs. Each piece was a narrative on topics ranging from the theory of Societal thinking to co-creation from the ecosystem to inspirations from the field,  that offer readers a glimpse into our experiences, trials, and triumphs with our co-travellers. If you resonate with our stories, consider contributing your narrative to our ecosystem through blogs or in Societal Muse.

Our journey also led us to streamline efforts for deep learning. We identified 5 key domains – Climate, Education, Equity, Health, and Livelihood – and 5 countries – Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and South Africa for in-depth exploration through the Scalers programme. This initiative aims to showcase “What works at Scale” over the next few years in these domains and countries. 

Continuing our emphasis on fostering collaboration, we launched the Leader’s Lab. Leader’s Lab cultivates audacious leaders who patiently build and sustain impactful momentum at scale. They excel in inducing network effects, inspiring diverse ecosystems, and creating unified infrastructure across digital, physical, policy, and institutions. This lab provides a space for these leaders to reflect, experiment, and contribute to the field of Societal Leadership, aiming to create a better society where vulnerable communities enjoy agency, dignity, and choice.

Leader's lab 2023

Finally, in our journey of growth, we said goodbye to some colleagues as they ventured into new journeys of their own and welcomed new colleagues with a brand new office space. Our 2023 has been a year of transformation, in more ways than one. 

Our 2023 has been a year of transformation,Curious to know what some of my colleagues want to nurture in the upcoming year on a  personal and professional front, I asked them to share what they look forward to at work and in their personal lives in 2024. Here’s what they had to say:  

Sanjay Sreekar Ascharya“I want to continue enabling exponential change with System Orchestrators and consolidate my experiences and learning by writing. Personally, I eagerly look forward to recording and releasing our long-awaited music album.”
– Sanjay

“Work wise, I want to make Societal Thinking’s social media the yardstick for marketing for non-profits and learn about early childhood education in depth. Personally, I want to become self-sufficient on all fronts and grow as a content creator.”
– Sreekar

“I am looking forward to a year where I grow inwardly curious in a way that enables joy and exuberance at work.”
– Ashcharya

“At work, I want to curate Societal Leaders to foster a sense of community, forge deep connections and explore diverse dimensions of Societal Leadership. I also want to foster collaborations within a broader global leadership ecosystem, promoting mutual learning and shared insights. I also look forward to supporting and celebrating the advancement of livelihood Scalers on their journey towards impact @scale. Personally, I would like to travel and have more concentrated reflection time for myself and spend more time with my parents.”
– Aruna 

“Professionally, I want to learn about many ideas of exponential change and learn how to induce it. Dig deeper into what it would take to build a strong care economy that empowers women to participate in the economy. On a personal front, I want to explore new art mediums and publish a children’s book.”
– Priya 

“My professional aspirations for 2024 are to imbibe, internalise and practise Societal Thinking principles, standardise and streamline the Scalers process and enhance the Scalers team’s capability to be exponential change facilitators and leaders. My personal aspiration is to continue the focus on fitness and revive some parked hobbies like painting, reading and gardening.”
– Varsha 

“With work, I look forward to curating and co-writing ecosystem stories and exploring new ways of storytelling such as zines, podcasts, comics and more. Personally, I’m excited to meet my reading goal (30 books!), travel with my friends from college and build strength and flexibility.”
– Anjali

“As it is my first year I look forward to soaking in and learning about Societal thinking and deep-diving into journeys along with change leaders. I also look forward to the different interactions and learnings from within my team and with people from across the globe. Personally, I enjoy being in a learning environment and hence I want to read and listen a lot more. I want to ensure I give enough time for my dancing as well.”
– Preeti

“In 2024, I look forward to hosting the first global Societal Thinking meetup. Also, I look forward to facilitating the Scalers journeys towards exponential change.”

– Mangalam 

“I am looking forward to new opportunities, challenges and growth. Personally, I am looking forward to solo travelling. I am hoping to start a new chapter with myself in 2024.”
– Heena 

“I am excited and looking forward to working with my new colleagues. Personally, I have a list of To-Do things for 2024. I look forward to accomplishing all of them.”
– Sumitha

“In 2024, I look forward to witnessing and learning more about how change leaders are driving exponential change in the climate action space. I want to revive some of my old hobbies and look forward to collecting newer hobbies.”
– Rishika 

“I want to develop new habits like reading more books, completing HR courses and keeping track of industry trends. I’m looking forward to connecting with more people in my ecosystem and fostering meaningful relationships. On a personal note, I am committed to getting healthier by reintegrating football into my routine. Drumming is a personal passion and intentional daily practice is my approach to reaching the next level. Additionally, I’m planning nature visits and more bike rides, seeking adventure outside of work for a well-rounded and fulfilling lifestyle.”
– Jerry 

As the year draws to a close, and we enter the year of the dragon – we will carry the unstoppable momentum of a rabbit’s teeth and embrace the power of the dragon – the power to continue nurturing a space where ideas flourish, dialogue thrive and change is created at scale, with speed and sustainably.

Here’s to the journey ahead! Take a breath, relax and rejuvenate, for next year is the year of exponential change.