The Essence of Education
Anurag Behar, Connie K Chung, Pramath Raj Sinha with Vishal Talreja
Anurag Behar is one of India’s leading educationists and social-sector leaders. For over twenty years, he has led efforts to improve education in India—from the grassroots level to national policies. A deep commitment to building a just, equitable and humane society motivates his work.
Anurag derives his understanding of India’s realities from spending almost half the year, every year, in some of India’s most remote regions, with some of its most vulnerable communities. Bringing his expertise and experience to bear, he was key to drafting India’s National Education
Anurag is the Chief Executive Officer of the Azim Premji Foundation, one of the world’s biggest philanthropic institutions. He was the founding Vice Chancellor of Azim Premji University. In an earlier life, he led a successful global business in precision engineering.
He is a regular columnist for Mint, Hindustan Times and other publications.
Connie K Chung
Dr. Connie K. Chung is a researcher working with policymakers, researchers, and practitioners who are equipping young people to thrive in a rapidly changing world and to build more caring, just, and sustainable communities. She most recently served as a Foster America Fellow, leading strategic planning efforts at a child welfare government agency to improve young people’s outcomes.
Her expertise includes community-centered program development, with experiences in community organizing and co-designing programs with young people.
In addition to co-authoring with Dream a Dream, the book, When We Thrive, Our World Thrives: Stories of Young People Growing Up in Adversity (Notion Press, 2022), she has co-designed and managed multi-country comparative research projects and co-edited three books about teaching and learning in the 21st century in her former roles as lecturer and associate director of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Global Education Innovation Initiative: Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century: Educational Goals, Policies, and Curricula from Six Nations (Harvard Education Press, 2016); Building Bridges to the Future: Global Case Studies of Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century (Smashwords, Inc, 2018); Preparing Teachers to Educate Whole Students: An International Comparative Study (Harvard Education Press, 2018).
She was part of a 5-year national study about how strong community organizing groups can create transformational change in individuals, communities, and educational institutions, the results of which were published in A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform (Oxford University Press, 2011).
She was commissioned by Australia’s New South Wales Department of Education to contribute to the book, Future Frontiers: Education for an AI World (University of Melbourne Press, 2017). She also co-authored a curriculum resource for global citizenship education, Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016). From 2016 to 2019, she worked with the OECD Education 2030 Project, conducting curriculum analysis of 34 economies, a national education policy review, and leading a working group on the study of attitudes and values.
She is a recipient of the W. E. B. DuBois Fellowship with Children’s Defense Fund and a recipient of an Oxford University Scholarship in Comparative and International Education for an essay written about education, uncertainty, and the changing nature of society. A former foster parent and former high school English teacher, she was recognized by students as an influential teacher, including a winner of the Stanford University Terman Award. She received her BA (English and American Literature and Languages), EdMs (Teaching and Curriculum, 1999 and International Education Policy, 2007), and doctorate from Harvard University.
Pramath Raj Sinha
Pramath Raj Sinha is the Founder and Chairman of Harappa. He has built two world-class higher education institutions in India: the Indian School of Business (ISB) and Ashoka University.
With the aim of creating industry-ready graduates and future-ready institutions, Pramath has been engaged in setting up more universities, including Anant National University in Ahmedabad, Sai University in Chennai and the Nigerian University of Technology and Management in Lagos. He helps various higher education institutions with organizational transformation, like JK Lakshmipat University and the Shri Ram College of Commerce. In addition, Pramath helms the efforts to create the National Rail and Transportation Institute (NRTI) for the Government of India.
Pramath started his career with McKinsey & Company in Toronto in 1993 and returned to India with McKinsey four years later to begin working on the establishment of ISB. His book on the making of ISB, An Idea Whose Time Has Come, is considered required reading for anyone building a higher education institution in India.
Vishal is an Educator and Social Entrepreneur. He co-founded Dream a Dream ( www.dreamadream.org ) along with 11 others. Dream a Dream a Dream is a registered, charitable trust empowering children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and flourish in the 21 st century using a creative life skills approach. Currently, works with 10,000 young people a year through two innovation labs – After School Life Skills Programme and Career Connect Programme; has trained over 35,000 teachers/educators impacting over 875,000 children and young people and impact over 3+ Million children through various state government partnerships in Delhi, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Nagaland and Karnataka.
Vishal has co-authored 4-research papers with Dr David Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennedy related to Life Skills in the Indian context and has written a host of articles, white papers, policy briefs related to Education Transformation. He has also co-authored a book, ‘ When We Thrive, Our World Thrives ’ along with with Dr Connie K Chung and Dream a Dream staff and participants. He has also published a book of poems called, ‘ My Soul Stirring ’.
Vishal is an Ashoka Fellow ( www.ashoka.org ), an Eisenhower Fellow ( https://www.efworld.org/ ) and a Salzburg Global Fellow ( https://www.salzburgglobal.org/ ). He is a Board Member at Goonj ( https://goonj.org/ ). Previously been the Founder Director of Unltd India and Board Member of PYE Global ( www.pyeglobal.org ) and India Cares Foundation ( https://www.icfn.in/ ). He is the Executive Committee Member of Karanga – The Global Alliance on Life Skills and SEL ( https://karanga.org/ ) and Cofounder of The Weaving Lab ( https://weavinglab.org/ ). Vishal has been recognized as an “Architect of the Future” by the Waldzell Institut in Austria and as ‘Innovator of the Year’ in 2019 by HundrED.
He also mentors and advises a host of emerging social entrepreneurs and changemakers while contributing to global education narratives through participation in various steering committees and working groups with the likes of WISE, G20, Catalyst 2030, Big Change and OECD.