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My first impressions of Societal Thinking

Varsha Verma

My first impressions of Societal Thinking

My decision to join Societal Thinking was one of the swiftest, yet the most emotional and intentional decisions I’ve ever taken, driven by the promise of serving a meaningful purpose. 

Having spent 30+ years with a mindset of problem-solving and solution-building, I had initially visualised Societal Thinking as a  solution provider. My initial understanding was that Societal Thinking helps sow a seed of change to help tackle large and complex social issues. I thought Societal Thinking would nurture this seed, or mission, till it is ready to grow and hand it over to a suitable change leader, who would then take this audacious mission forward. In fact, because of this understanding, I even started researching the domains Societal Thinking works in to be able to gauge problems that need solving! 

But, my misinterpretation soon got resolved, thanks to Sanjay’s clear articulation and thought process as well as the team’s passion and openness to engage in conversation about anything and everything. Very early on at Societal Thinking, I got the opportunity to interact with a  variety of change leaders such as Sunil Tadepalli from Avanti Finance, Santosh More from  Mantra4Change, Medha Krishnan from Tan90, Khushboo Awasthi from ShikshaLokam and Manish from eGovernments Foundation and see the work they do on ground. Through these experiences, I learnt that Societal Thinking is not about sowing the seed for a mission, but travelling alongside change leaders who have already sown this seed and are seeking to move from a farm to a forest – towards solving a problem at scale, with speed and sustainably. 

I’ve come to understand that reimagining solutions to induce change that enables more and rapid change comes with many shifts in the way we think about transformative change and in how we solve for it. It takes deep knowledge of the problem, figuring out what solution can work to solve it at scale and enabling an ecosystem to come together and solve it, since the problem is usually far bigger than an individual organisation’s ability and resources to tackle. This is the journey Societal Thinking embarks on, alongside change leaders. 

My role in this journey is two-fold:

  • I join the dots and connect change leaders who can learn from and co-create with each other and, 
  • I curate a repository of re-usable building blocks (such as methodologies, frameworks, processes and practices as well as technology components such as data architecture and strategy, microservices, algorithms, protocols) change leaders can leverage to make their journey time- and resource-efficient. 

I am excited by the possibilities of learning diverse realities, the challenges change leaders face and the opportunity to leverage my knowledge and experience in working with change leaders to reimagine and realise exponential societal change.

Learn more about what Societal Thinking is and how it can enable exponential change.