Large-scale change begins with large-scale planning.
These programs look at the big picture and find ways to turn vision into reality by providing the know-how to navigate a city.
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Helping other cities in India
McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, argues that urban expansion in India will happen at a speed quite unlike anything the country or the world has seen before. It took nearly 40 years (from 1971 to 2008) for India’s urban population to rise by nearly 230 million; it will take only half that time to add the next 250 million. This expansion will affect almost every state. For the first time in India’s history, five of its largest states will have more of their population living in cities than in villages.
To mitigate the strains that will develop as cities expand, India urgently needs a fresh, proactive approach to addressing the challenges of urbanization. Such an approach is what the Catalyst Leadership Foundation in Delhi and the YuvaLok Leadership Foundation in Bangalore have developed where both the spiritual and social concerns of their city are being contextually engaged as well as a broader strategy for other cities in India.
Catalyst, under the leadership of Abhishek and Angelika Gier, built a model in 2007 for spiritual and social engagement by working with young women caught in the horrific sex-trafficking industry that strangles the city of Delhi. Since this time they have continued to add to the menu of services they provide the city of Delhi by creating theological conversation tables, working with young men, and job creation just to name a few. As their work has stabilized they have begun to engage other cities in Northern India where they provide strategic consulting to implement a similar approach to other cities. On a monthly basis Abhishek is now engaging individuals and groups in cities like Indore.
YuvaLok, under the leadership of Sam Rajshekhar, has engaged the city of Bangalore since 1993. Beginning with programs for underprivileged street and slum children they have built a school, developed the capacity of other groups who work in the greater Bangalore metropolis, and created a training strategy to develop the next generation of leadership. Similar to Catalyst, YuvaLok has become a model of spiritual and social renewal of cities in Southern India. Increasingly Sam now operates as a strategic consultant to cities in the region such as Calcutta.
While the process can be painstakingly slow, both Abhishek and Sam see their roles not only for their cities, but cities throughout India, where they can assist in strategically consulting others with a fresh and proactive approach that the continent of India so desperately needs.