My name is Elisha Clark. A little over a year ago, I was in the process of completing a fellowship with the Deshpande Foundation in Hubli – the same city, by matter of happy circumstance (and a partnership with DF), where NextDrop is running their pilot. I was working as an instructor and program manager for the Deshpande Fellowship Program, a program geared towards young Indian professionals and recent university graduates which provided training in social entrepreneurship.
Although our work was relatively unrelated, I had the pleasure of spending time with members of the NextDrop team and getting to know the project as it was in the beginning of summer 2010. Since returning to the United States last July, I’ve been able to keep up with NextDrop’s progress, not just through continued contact with the team but through the NextDrop website and, more recently, this blog. Perhaps more than anything else, I’ve enjoyed the perspective offered by the blog – a mirror for the changing face of NextDrop. I believe it to be a great resource, and not just because it allows for an open dialogue between NextDrop and its readership (a fantastic resource in themselves, and one not often tapped in this way). It’s great, also, for the story it tells: a humble, but ambitious student project gaining momentum and decisively changing the lives and plans of those involved.
Recently, Anu approached me with an offer to join the NextDrop team in the role of Media and Communications Associate. One of the tasks that I am most looking forward to is taking on this blog. I believe that documenting this project in the way that Anu envisioned and described in her first post is an important task – one that will allow others to learn from NextDrop’s successes and failures, and hopefully, through engaging with our community of readers, allow us to learn as well. As I begin to take over this task, I am committed to continuing NextDrop’s mission of documentation, transparency, and knowledge-sharing and will work hard to build our community and our network of participants. And, as always, if you see ways in which we might be able to improve, or things we can do to more effectively work towards these goals, we want to hear from you.
It’s a pleasure to meet you all, and I very much look forward to seeing where this conversation takes us.
All the best,