This year, we are a group of 19 students from the University of Washington. We will be led by Professor Cate Goethals as we build on the work done by the 2011 group to help the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) improve the collective businesses they have created to lift women and their families out of poverty. SEWA is one of the leading non-profit organizations in India and they are headquartered in the City of Ahmedabad. The consulting group is organized into five teams and will travel to Ahmedabad to work on projects including, a green energy initiative that will help workers to increase their productivity, a manager’s school that will help collectives perform better, an agribusiness expansion project, a group of women construction workers which provides tools and training to its members, and a program to help former waste pickers build a business that uses recycled goods to manufacture and sell stationary. These projects will be challenging and enlightening and our hope is that we can offer as much to SEWA as we will gain from this amazing and inspiring group.
This blog will serve multiple purposes:
- To provide documentation of our project as we go – “field notes” with photos and videos as well as personal observations
- Provide raw material for literature and presentations for each team and for SEWA
- Additionally provide materials for fellow classmates, the Foster School and potentially other organizations and individuals
- Provide the basis for a white paper written jointly with SEWA
- The blog will also allow friends and family to follow you from home.
- Create a book at the end of the winter quarter
- Most importantly, it will serve as a record of what promises to be an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience for us all.