WhatsApp for Constituents Engagement and Businesses!

Today, at our office, we had an interesting brown-bag presentation on how we can increase constituent engagement with WhatsApp, which I think is worth sharing on this blog.

We are a part of one billion users who send and receive messages with Whatsup daily. But, what makes it the second largest messaging Apps globally, the first being Facebook messenger? Some of the reasons are trust, cheap, low bandwidth, more secure with an end-to-end encryption (that means your messages are safe and not displayed to others but only by the person you sent). Also, it provides Group chat with a limit of about 256 Whatsapp Members.

It’s same everywhere!

The year 2017 will be the most memorable year in my life both in terms of professional and personal. Personally, I had an overwhelming experience in the US meeting people from all around the world, learning their culture, celebrating American holidays, and much more. Whenever I used to see Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration in Hollywood movies, I would always imagine how it would be in the US for holidays. This year, my dreams come true. And, I had an amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Reflection #1 : Global Leadership Lab

Building, Managing and leading effective team

My learning from this session on effective team management are as follows:

  • Respect Diversity – Diversity in terms of values, skill sets, culture, experience. Leaders must appreciate commonalities and make an effort to set an environment to share diverse values which often add on the team values. Incorporating people with diverse backgrounds and making them feel part of a team is crucial for team success.

Stop discriminatory cultural practices and traditions against women

Each year, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is observed all around the world starting from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to 10 December, Human Rights Day. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

This year, the overarching theme of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”— reflect the core principle of the transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Internet Access – A Development Priority

What is the Internet? How does it work? Who controls the internet and how? While these might seem like simple questions, but the answers are not easy. Or, rather we are not really bothered to know how does it work or who owns it. We know what the internet is, but defining the Internet isn’t easy.

Defining in a simple way, the Internet is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. Today, we use the Internet for almost everything, and for many people, it would be impossible to imagine life without it. Most importantly, we use the Internet to connect people, communities, and countries around the world.

Dalits – The Oppressed in South Asia

Though the term ‘Dalit’ is most common in Nepal, India and South Asian countries, it is not a common term in western countries and USA. To begin with, Dalit literally means “oppressed” and is a term for the members of lower castes which are often subjected to untouchability in South Asia including India and Nepal based on manusmriti- an ancient legal text based on Dharmashastra of Hinduism.

Learning about leadership skills

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I attended my second Atlas Corps Leadership Lab from Sep 18-22, 2017. The training was designed by Atlas Corps and Deloitte focused on enhancing our knowledge and skills in business chemistry, emotional intelligence, and social entrepreneurship to improve participants’ decision making and leadership skills.

I enjoyed most of the sessions and the best was the last day session by Prof. Sam Potolicchio, director of Global and Custom Education at Georgetown University‘s McCourt School of Public Policy Executive Education program. The training was very thought-provoking and engaging not only because of its intriguing content but also the remarkable ability of Prof. Sam to grab the attention of all participants. A sign of great teacher indeed. No wonder he was Princeton Review in 2012 named Potolicchio one of the “Best Professors in America”, the only professor chose from his field.

What I learned in the first two months in DC !

I am learning new and expanding my horizon of understanding, knowledge, and information, though I get bit confused sometimes. I am adapting to new work environment and culture slowly. I want to share my learning through the process of adapting to a totally different environment in DC, and are as follows:
1. Be open and ask. Until you are honest and open about yourself, nobody will come to help you. If you don’t know anything, just say ‘I don’t know, but I am here to learn’, which gives an impression to others that you are very much willing to learn.
2. Seek support. If you need any information or help, just ask your colleagues/ supervisor/ fellows. People around you are really kind and willing to support if you seek help.
3. Overcome cultural barriers. We are from a different world with different cultures, values, languages, and ideologies but these should not hinder our learning process. At some point in your stay, you are going to experience culture shock. So, when you find something is not working, admit yourself that you are experiencing culture shock. Once you admit it, you will try to work on it and overcome it eventually. But, the first step is always admitting that you are experiencing culture shock. As for me, the first couple of weeks have been so hard to comprehend what the colleagues are talking about, I tried to get along with them but could not. I started feeling alone. After a week, I realized that I am experiencing culture shock and I worked on it.
4. Communicate. Try to communicate with your colleagues, teammates, other fellows, people you meet at events, local ambassadors and atlas corps staff. For instance, I was confused with my training plan, I sought help from fellows’ fellow and they are so kind that they helped me how can I plan my training plan. Fellows have been through the experience so you can learn so much from them.
5. Be proactive. You are here to learn and make a difference in your own life and other peoples’ lives in future. So, come up with ideas, share and be proactive to act.
6. Try to do a new thing which you have not done before. I have tried to learn riding bike in DC and I am proud to say that I can now ride a bike confidently. I am hydrophobic but I did Kayaking to overcome my fear of water. I kept on reminding other fellows that I don’t know swimming and they made fun of me. The moment I started to paddle a Kayak, it felt awesome. It is true that fear is a mental construct, it’s just in our head. Doing these stuff, made me feel empowered and happy.
7. Enjoy and have fun. Atlas Corp Fellowship is not only about gaining professional experience. Don’t be too serious about your professional career. Try to make this opportunity for a life-changing experience. Try to explore and learn from the people, cities, culture. Build a network, explore the cities, make friends, learn and have fun.
8. Be positive and optimistic. We are learning every day and we have a great future waiting for us. With positive and learning temperament, you can achieve what you want.

Experiencing New Transitions In My Life

 

My journey to the US began after much-awaited anticipation of being an ‘Atlas Corps Fellow’. When I received the news of my selection as one of the Atlas Corps Fellow through email, I set my journey that moment ready to chase my dream of being a non-profit leader and I am very thankful to Atlas Corps enough who made my dream come true.