2019 APLP Launch and Chennai Leadership Symposium

A big shout-out to a core group of APLP alumni based in Tamil Nadu—Shreya Nagarajan Singh (2010-2011), Phanikumar Kadambari Nageshwara Rao (2016-2017), Sharanya Dilip (2014-2015), and Ramnath Chandrasekhar Krishnamoorthy (2017-2018)—who worked closely with EWC staff to plan an engaging and educational program in Chennai that introduced the Gen 19 APLP Fellows to the EWC ‘Ohana in India and to key issues in the region, as well as prepare them for their leadership learning journey. The did a fabulous job!

The Asia Pacific Leadership Program Generation 19, in collaboration with Shreya Nagarajan Singh Arts Development Consultancy, launched in Chennai on August 17 with 26 Fellows from 17 countries. In teams of three, Fellows explored the city, visiting significant cultural and historical sites.


The Cohort met Consul General Robert G. Burgess at the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, who echoed the thinking of the EWC Leadership Program, such as the importance of context, observing, listening and paying attention in leadership. They spent an incredible evening at the Amir Mahal (200 year-old palace) with Nawabzada Mohammed Asif Ali, Heir-Apparent of the Royal House of Arcot. He continues his family’s legacy work of interfaith harmony in India through arts, sport, and dialogue. The highlight was an impromptu invitation into his private music room to listen to his original music and to sing a few songs.

Everyone was inspired by a field visit to Hand in Hand India with their schools for street children, resource recovery center, and social enterprise academy. Invited by co-founder and EWC alumna Dr. Kalpana Sankar (Changing Faces 2009) who wrote, “It reminded me about my EWC days and how well structured your programmes are! Sandip (Mopokerjee) and Sahaana (Sankar) joining me in saying that we enjoyed all three days of the events—each diverse in its own way. We hope to continue fostering this relationship with EWC.” G 19 also visited with Vasanthi Ranganathan (Open Grants, MEd 1987-1989) at Lake View Learning & Development Center. Vasanthi writes, “I will carry good memories of the little world here at Lake View on August 22nd 2019 and I am sure each one has taken back some good learning.”


The EWC Chennai Leadership Symposium for Alumni and New Fellows sponsored by the EWCA Chennai Chapter got off to an amazing start with a welcome dinner hosted by Roopa Nagarajan (Open Grants, MS 1983-1985) and her daughter Shreya Nagarajan Singh (APLP 2010-2011). Kicking off the night was Thilaga, the first-ever female Kattaikkuttu performer, breaking the stereotype that this theatre-form is in the domain of men only.


Listen to this powerful conversation between Swarna Rajagopalan (EWCW, 2006), founding trustee of the The Prajnya Trust and Jane Sloane, senior director of the Women’s Empowerment Program, Asia Foundation, on The Gendered Reality of Insecurity. The EWC Chennai Leadership Symposium came to a fulfilling end with a Futures Cafe projecting possible futures and its implications on our work based on likely drivers in the fields of Innovation, Education, Arts & Culture and Environment. Participants ended the day with field visits to work being done in these four areas, including to the Centre for Innovation, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.