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Discussing leadership, exponential growth and women empowerment with Aruna Venkatachalam

At Yuvabe, one of the ways in which we want to support the holistic growth of the youth, is by creating opportunities for them to interact with experienced people from different walks of life. In this spirit, we invited Aruna Venkatachalam, who is a lecturer on social entrepreneurship in the US and a strategist for the Societal Platform, to give her views on leadership, creating exponential change and the importance of women becoming wealth creators.

Yuvabe youth in talks with Aruna Venkatachalam

In the hour-long chat with the team, Aruna provided some very useful insights on the three levels at which people create change in any society; as social entrepreneurs, as systems thinkers and as societal leaders. According to her, while social entrepreneurs create solution-focused innovations, a systems thinker develops an understanding of the entire context and landscape of a given problem, including all the actors and stakeholders.  Finally, a societal leader is one who is able to keep their focus on the problem, while looking at all the multiple, possible solutions, with an understanding of the larger context and society. To create any exponential impact, therefore, it is important to develop societal leadership.

Yuvabe member Bhuvana in talks with Aruna Venkatachalam

As an organisation, developing leadership within our youth has been one of the core goals of Yuvabe; leadership, not merely as a workplace quality but as a mindset that they can use in any sphere of their life. With Aruna, we discussed how this is a layered, inward process that one can start working on at any age. For far too long leaders were thought of as people of a certain gender and a certain age. Fortunately, we live in a time, where these status quos are no longer relevant and things like age and gender do not confine us from becoming leaders in our own right. What matters is our conviction and belief.

Aruna is also invested in the cause of women empowerment and is keen to support women becoming wealth generators. To the young women of our team, she emphasized on the importance of having a sense of agency over their own life, including the decisions women make with the wealth that they generate. Some of the young women in our team felt that they could connect with the things she touched upon.  

Finally, Aruna also introduced us to the Societal Platform, which is an initiative by the Nandan Nilekani and Rohini Nilekani’s EkStep Foundation, that works to support growth of social enterprises in India. To know more about the Platform visit their website:

We are very thankful to Aruna for the time and learnings she shared with our team!


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