In 1995, the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park unveiled the astonishing power of a small catalyst to reshape an entire ecosystem. This captivating story stands as a metaphor for the profound impact that individuals and ideas can have on complex systems.
Much like the wolves transformed the behaviour of deer and rejuvenated a depleted landscape, entrepreneurs incubated by The Circle, have emerged to ignite a transformative revolution in education.
These extraordinary individuals, driven by courage and commitment to redesign and launch innovative learning experiences for India’s children, possess the ability to reshape the educational landscape for India's most underprivileged. With a burning passion to challenge the status quo, they boldly disrupt traditional approaches, forging inclusive learning environments that unlock the untapped brilliance within every child. Through their unwavering dedication, they unleash a tidal wave of innovation, empowering children to surmount socio-economic barriers and thrive.
Just as the wolves' influence reverberated far beyond their immediate surroundings, these visionary entrepreneurs set in motion a chain reaction of change that extends well beyond the realm of education. They ignite hope and unlock the dormant potential of marginalized communities, championing equity through an extraordinary education. By nurturing each child's inherent talents and passions, they leave an indelible impact that transcends their individual presence.
The wolves' story stands as a testament to the transformative power of seemingly insignificant catalysts. Similarly, these trailblazing education entrepreneurs, building schools, after-school programs, and gap-year interventions, possess the imagination to reshape environments, ignite change, and pave the way for a brighter future for India's underserved children. Let’s celebrate their unwavering commitm
ent, and rally behind their missions to create an India filled with love and rooted in a more just social contract.
The Circle Lab Forum: Eric Scroggins and Jai Mishra
Inspired by the transformative impact of reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park, we wanted to delve into the idea of schools as catalysts. We firmly believe that schools have the power to breathe new life into their surrounding ecosystems and create a profound ripple effect on society as a whole.
Eric Scroggins is the founder and CEO of The Opportunity Trust in St. Louis. The organization invests in educators and school systems, working to transform public education in St. Louis. Eric's passion for educational excellence and equity stems from his own experience as a Teach For America corps member. Over the years, Eric held various positions within Teach For America, including leading the organization's St. Louis region and spearheading a major expansion in the San Francisco Bay Area. Eric's visionary leadership has driven strategic philanthropy and investment across schools and districts. More about Eric here.
Jai Mishra is the Co-Founder of Ummeed Community Centre and serves as the Project Mentor of FunScool. With a deep passion for education and community empowerment, he established Ummeed Community Centre in Wadgaon Budruk, Pune, India. Jai and his team are dedicated to providing excellent education, academic support, life skills training, and community outreach programs to children and their families, with the aim of breaking the intergenerational poverty cycle. More about Jai here.
Eric and Jai have individually and in their own very different contexts, changed the 'rivers' (so to speak) of St. Louis and Budruk. They continue to be ecosystem engineers and spoke to 60 educators across the country, contexts, loci of control, and experience on how each can be the wolf in their own Yellowstone.
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