Kiran Bir Sethi
Founder, Design For Change
Founder, Design For Change
Hailing from a family of designers and with a degree in Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Kiran always nurtured a strong belief in the transformative power of Design Thinking. But it wasn’t until her own children started going to school that she realized something needed to change.
Unsatisfied with the way modern schools didn’t place enough emphasis on imagination, emotional well-being and choice, she channelled her knowledge and experience into creating a simplified Design Thinking approach that placed academic learning in a real-world context.
What followed next was a series of social entrepreneurship initiatives starting with The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, an Ashoka Fellow award-winning initiative (aProCh) to make our cities more child friendly and culminating in Design for Change (DFC), the world’s largest movement of change of and by children.
Thanks to her far-reaching vision and boundless energy, DFC is now in 60+ countries – impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers.
CEO, Design For Change, India
Also an alumnus of the prestigious National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Nandini’s background in Communication Design coupled with her passion for and varied experience within the Education sector made her the most natural choice for CEO of Design For Change, India.
While she began her career in advertising and film-making, she eventually realized that she did not find her calling in creating campaigns, but rather in driving movements capable of seismic positive change. Over the last 14 years in the Education sector, she has excelled across multiple domains including but not limited to Education Management, Brand Management, Curriculum Design and Teacher Empowerment.
Under Nandini’s watchful eye, DFC India has progressed in leaps and bounds, her integrated approach essential in maintaining Program excellence along with constant innovation. Her inclusive nature and openness to experiment with, and incorporate new ideas makes DFC India an amazing place to work.
After completing her Masters in Psychology, Sumedha has worked extensively in the field of Education. She has been instrumental in the design and development of numerous workshop modules spanning across experiential learning, life skills (including teamwork, leadership, effective communication) and has worked with organizations, youth groups, school children and college students across various platforms.
Highly trained in the performing arts fields of theatre and ‘clowning’, Sumedha puts a lot of stock in the power of collaboration and you can see this ethos come to life in the programs we develop. She is a strong believer in the idea that individual energies when put together in a group, increase manifold and can truly create magic. She embodies DFC’s emphasis on collective development and has been instrumental in making sure the holistic impact of our programs is exponentially more than the sum of the parts.
Tina is our resident Master Story-Teller and is even a trained Drama Coach. Having worked on numerous award-winning television shows for over two decades where she directed, produced and conceptualized scripted infotainment and edutainment shows, life took a fresh new turn for Tina with motherhood. In this new role, she rekindled her passion for theatre and storytelling, channelling this energy into a keen pursuit to engage young minds.
As a parent, what bothered her was the lack of empathy, compassion and tolerance all around us. It just didn’t sit right. Design for Change then represented a personal journey for her; finding purpose in trying to remedy her generation’s lack of emphasis on a better way to live and learn.
A self-proclaimed ‘life enthusiast’ and lifelong learner herself, Tina understands that children are very impressionable and is in constant search of experiences and stories that can send the right message today and set the right value system for tomorrow and beyond. Her mantra: The world we build tomorrow is born in the stories we tell our children today!
Rubina brings with her yet another invaluable complementary skill set to the DFC core team, and has passionately been working on gender and youth rights issues since she graduated from law school in 2010 – playing an active role in movements like Hollaback! Chandigarh and I Break My Silence, which bring the stories of survivors of gender-based violence to the forefront.
She has worked with a number of development sector organizations ranging from grassroots initiatives like Chhoti Si Asha, Chandigarh, to international organizations like the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Commonwealth Secretariat.
These diverse experiences have given her a unique perspective on DFC’s global vision, which she uses to drive home the importance of imbibing compassion, empathy, and peacebuilding processes in our everyday lives – principles that anyone, anywhere can embrace.
Silky brings with her a wide array of experience – putting to good use her various professional trainings in Design at NIFT (Bengaluru), Craft Management & Entrepreneurship at IICD (Jaipur) & Sustainability by Design at Pratt Institute (New York). She teaches sustainability by design and has 10+ yrs of experience in the commercial interior design and construction sector with a focus on F&B spaces and airports. She is a LEED Green Associate.
Silky’s artistic explorations became a guiding force for her to discover her keen interest in the exploration of natural environments, climate change and imbalanced human activity, and she gravitated quite naturally towards Sustainable practices and its application in nearly every aspect of life. This is where her personal and professional interests intersected with DFC’s global mission.
At DFC, Silky plays the role of our in-house design thinking expert. Her interventions include design strategy, communication design, curriculum and training optimisation, digitising the DFC framework and inclusion of sustainable design and living principles in the DFC curriculum. Silky is a strong believer in the joy of continuous learning, the power of design and the change it can drive!