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04-07-20 Radical Transformational Leadership: What does this imply? Guest Speaker: Muthu Kumaran

The human aspect in trans-disciplinary approaches for transformative results

We invite you to a discussion with Muthu Kumaran, a person who dons multiple professional hats and works with children, youth and women, fostering their agency with underlying values of dignity, empathy and fairness. Currently he is the Programme Lead for the ‘Girls in STEM’ portfolio at Feminist Approach to Technology and Geo-spatial Consultant with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. He has a B.E. Civil Engineering & M.Tech Remote Sensing and M.A. Globalisation and Labour from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India.

Muthu and I will discuss how transdisciplinary education programs and learning dismantles the artificial boundaries and barriers, professionals and experts may have created, unknowingly or intentionally, by breaking the power politics through technology. What does it mean to democratize science & technology, AND always with a human touch, based on universal values. He integrates technology ,eg spatial technologies like Cartography, Geographical Information System, within a social science environment through an universal value based approach.

Muthu will share examples from different settings— a village in the remote Himalayas, in coastal areas, in Urban Delhi, in rural India–of how he created enabling environments by fostering agency, among children, youth and women. He worked with them to be the change agents who are value based and self reflective. He applied transformational templates and tools such as, the Conscious Full Spectrum Response template where, self; system and solutions are aligned based on universal values, to create, equitable and sustained actions and results.

Muthu says “The current world systems are filled with many challenging issues; and we all have a choice to work to address them in ways that are fully transformational; and we have the principles, templates and tools to do so. What’s important is, that our thoughts, actions and results must be imbued with. the deep human aspects of universal values, at all times and all places”

We emphasize that the solutions to our problems should not be only technology based, but use technologies along with shifting unworkable systems based on universal values. Both experts and community members can together use, science and technology to address issues, when science and technologies are demystified.

Most importantly, Each one of us, have the potential and possibilities to generate equitable change in this world – what matters is our choice to do so.

Muthu KumaranBio: Muthu Kumaran, a Civil Engineer by education, a Development Professional by choice, a Cartographer by profession and a Leadership Practitioner Coach by practice. After his Civil Engineering, he earned his M.Tech in Remote Sensing and later, M.A. in Globalisation and Labour from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) where he had first hand professional experience in societal studies and developmental practices. From here, he started working extensively in social and ecological initiatives across India and currently engaged with trans-disciplinary educational practices. He loves working with children and youth especially to foster their agency and leadership and also likes to volunteer with value based initiatives. He designs and delivers initiatives integrating science and technology as well as critical cartography with social sciences; and engages in various projects with multiple stakeholders in the domains of education, ecology, labour and disaster management across India.

He is also a consultant and leadership practitioner coach for the past 7 years for various projects across India in the domains of disaster relief and recovery, education, environment, gender, Geographic Information System and fostering leadership. He is been involved in many aspects of Organisational Development (OD), policy making, Project Planning and Management (PPM) and with multiple stakeholders from the community to the government. Currently, he is a consultant and Lead person for the ‘Girls in STEM portfolio’ for Feminist Approach to Technology, where he supports, mentors and coaches the team of young women with technological and managerial skills and competencies. He is an Asian fellow of Asia Centre, Japan Foundation for creative disaster and environmental education working on inclusive and community centred disaster management. He strongly believes in lifelong learning and always eager to learn, de-learn and relearn as part of the commitment to actions and results for change. He is very passionate in working with the vulnerable and marginalised communities of the society, be it from the remote areas or from conflict environments or those who are disadvantaged based on socio-economic and cultural prejudices. He stands for the universal values of agency, empathy, equity and dignity for himself and all.

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