WHO IS MOHIT MUKHERJEE?
“There’s no reason we should not expose young students to ideas of of writing a business plan, starting a social enterprise, and also being a changemaker, taking risks, being ok with failure, integrate personal journeys towards happiness with making a better society.”
Mohit Mukherjee is an educator-entrepreneur who in 2006 founded the Centre for Executive Education at the United Nations Mandated University for Peace (UPEACE).
As Director of the Centre for Executive Education, he has developed and taught over 40 seminars in seven countries on themes ranging from ‘Educating in Changing Times’ to ’Social Entrepreneurship’. He is also the founder of ‘Changemakers International’, which focuses on youth and social innovation.
Prior to founding the Centre, Mohit served as Education Programme Manager of the Earth Charter Initiative, which promotes sustainable ways of living through respect and care for the environment, human rights, justice, democracy and peace. He also spent four years at A.T. Kearney, a management consulting firm based in San Francisco.
He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University, and a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
You can connect with Mohit here:
IN TOR 034 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- The educational offer of UPeace’s Centre for Executive Education, weeklong courses, laser-focused on the student’s position, and its impressive track of success
creating organizations with long term impacts.
- Mohit’s increasingly ambitious interest for education, particularly in risk taking for young students; his learnings and how they have informed his career, his curricula, and his advice for education organizations.
- His vision for a more interconnected development classroom that emphasizes but does not depend completely in online offerings; a long term interaction with students and the belief that learning works in both directions.
- Methods, tools, systems and techniques that help Mohit stay on top, and which inform his educational offerings.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- UN University for Peace, Centre for Executive Education
- Earth Charter Initiative
- Martin Seligman’s VIA survey
- Graduate and Executive education
- Online education
- Mentoring and coaching
- Science education
- Curriculum development
- Social enterprises, business plans
- Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding
- Life balance, personal space
- West Palm Beach, FL
- Costa Rica
- San Francisco, CA
- Geneva, Switzerland
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Centre for Executive Education
Operations are mostly in Costa Rica.
Executive Education is moving fast, lots of discovery on how to improve the offer.
First course: Nonprofit leadership. Mohit’s best guess as to what is needed. It included practical skills including grant writing.
After the first one, quick reflection and learning, an effort in having more transformative content.
Focus on making the week long participants reflect their jobs, promote conversations about their challenges.
Participants walk away with a plan of action and a commitment to follow through.
A more formal offer includes a capstone project: business plan. Eligible for diploma.
Online expanses and boundaries
The online space has limitations when it comes to energizing people.
CEE does offer online courses, more skills-based, like Designing Your Life, Innovating from the Inside Out.” Looks specifically to balance and psychology. It involves Skype engagement. But face-to-face interaction is always encouraged.
UPeace Costa Rica
Started as a management consultant based in San Francisco, mentoring and coaching.
Education tickled his fancy. He was qualified to be a high school science teacher in physics.
He used science to inquire about what 17-18 year olds wanted to do with their lives.
Moves to Costa Rica for an Earth Charter Initiative job involving curriculum development, very alike to his interests. Earth Charter’s HQ was at UPeace.
Mohit wanted more than just facilitating content and platforms. He wanted to work with students around solutions. Joins UPeace, gets to launch CEE.
Building a learning community – highlights
Launching a social enterprise, commit despite the risk, is admirable, and Mohit tales no credit for it.
But people do need one last push, have some information or initiative gaps.
It also allows people to talk about their experiences which is helpful, therapeutic.
As a student, Andreas, started RE-volv, a model for crowdsourcing solar panels and energy systems installations, including delivery systems and even funding the set up in the first place. He’s on the news often. Andreas took Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Change, worked on his business plan. After RE-volv took off, he came back for Designing Your Life- he was so stretched.
Takeaways: how to make myself accountable not only at work but at every facet of my life? Mohit and Andreas connect regularly. First Mohit was a professor, then with Andreas’ success the relationship changed.
Where do students come from
Two audiences: UPeace’s yearlong masters students, from all over the world, the courses count as requirements. CEE gets less diverse, still lots of expats, with development experience.
A Mexican student interested in working with undocumented immigrants. After a week in Costa Rica he developed his business plan. Two years after he reconnected, his organization was getting a lot of traction.
Curriculum and career development
Creating a course involves reflecting on past experiences.
Choosing readings, structuring activities and discussions requires minding “what we all share,” and what each student wants to do.
An African American student, only one in the class, wanted to work on racial integration. Half the class is white.
Local issues, things people and his students want to work on, do share things in common. “We’re somehow interconnected, and that is a strong message.“
Evolution and future
Mohit just published a book.
“You don’t need a master’s to become a social innovator.“
CEE students are in their 20s. Master’s students have shielded themselves from taking risks.
Mohit is ready to work with inspiring students, and also consult on reorienting curricula for education organizations.
Tools and techniques change and evolve. They have been agile enough to move.
Writing as a personal activity has been very useful, he practices especially during long flights.
Plug: Martin Seligman’s VIA survey of character strength, will give you immediate feedback.
He insists on this from day one of the course: “Do something that feels right, and then make a rigorous plan off it, not the other way around.” Head-heart alignment
Similarly, “don’t do it if your heart is not in it.“
Knows a lot of people in development who regretted “not having exited earlier,” after years they realize their mid level job did not do a lot for the planet, “they didn’t move the scoreboard.“
Professionals today can make more of an impact than ever.
Be kind, empathetic.
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Mohit, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask me directly, head on over to the Ask Stephen section. Don’t be shy! Every question is important and I answer every single one.
And, if you truly enjoyed this episode and want to make sure others know about it, please share it now:
Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes are very helpful. Please take a moment to leave an honest review for The TOR Podcast!