6 episodes

There is a Chinese proverb that says “a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”. Through impact-driven conversations, we are highlighting individuals who are taking small steps within their sphere of influence to change the world. It's time to spotlight such individuals and listen to their stories. Through impact-driven conversations we hope to inspire the individual. Each of us has the capacity to make a positive impact on this planet. Let’s start.

Impact Driven Conversations Karthiga Ratnam

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 22 Ratings

There is a Chinese proverb that says “a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”. Through impact-driven conversations, we are highlighting individuals who are taking small steps within their sphere of influence to change the world. It's time to spotlight such individuals and listen to their stories. Through impact-driven conversations we hope to inspire the individual. Each of us has the capacity to make a positive impact on this planet. Let’s start.

    Addressing Bias and Inequality

    Addressing Bias and Inequality

    Bias and inequality are experienced by those working as sex workers as they are not protected and not that recognized by the government and society. The inequality has resulted in over-policing and worse, harassment of those in the sex workers community.  It also resulted in right deprivation and sex workers have been treated with violence and discrimination. 
    Hareesh will join us in this episode of the Impact Driven Conversations Podcast. He will share how he gets into the field of social work and helping people, what drove him to do the job. He will also discuss the bias and inequalities experienced by sex workers and those that belong in the LGBT community. 
    You are about to hear an episode that will surely enlighten you and make you aware of the inequalities experienced by sex workers. This podcast will reveal the disparities towards sex workers, and what the community and government are capable of doing to eradicate the inequality and establish fairness, and gender equality.
    The difference in how the sex worker community is being treated:
    Hareesh’s journey as a social worker made him witness the transition as to how the sex workers are being treated all over the years. According to him, there were changes throughout those years. Biases, harassment, and inequality have been experienced by many and it took years for them to stop the unlawful activities done towards those in the said community.
    He also said that 60-70% of government and society perceptions have changed through time. 
    Harassment encountered by the sex worker community: 
    Harassment from police officials Trafficking Gender inequality Unsafe workplace Problems and struggles faced by sex workers
    According to Hareesh, 20% are getting into the profession by force or trafficking. Some get to do sex work by force because of different family situations and lack of education. But on a brighter note, Hareesh has also witnessed those that left and stopped as sex workers after they were able to get a different job or due to the fact that they have been able to educate their children to be doctors and engineers.
    How sex workers cope with their mental state
    The mental state of the sex workers depends on whichever phase they are in. He also stated that the proper use of condoms affects how they can control their minds since it affects them both physically and mentally. Incidents such as clients not using the condom could affect them and disable them to speak out with the fact that the client is the one paying them. 
    When the client and situation are good, they will be able to accept the work and it changes their mental state in a positive way. 
    How can people help the LGBT and sex workers community?
    Things have been hard for those in the marginalized communities and have been experiencing negative impacts economically. However, people can still help in ways available. They should be offered more opportunities that generate good income, they should also be offered loans that they can use to set up small businesses and other options that could benefit them.
    How the government addressed the inequality 
    As stated by Hareesh, the government has now provided opportunities for those in the sex work and LGBT community. Transgenders have been selected as police inspectors, sometimes they are accepted in the jail courts to work.  To conclude, change is visible though it is still gradually progressing.
    What changes would Hareesh wants to see in the future
    According to Hareesh, he wants people to be smart and use technology wisely. He also wants people to become financially literate and become aware of their rights, their properties, and many more. Hareesh is looking to build a regenerative community. One that supports itself through the assets that it has. Instead of using outside investment as a means to uplift the community, Hareesh’s model uses local assets for local reinvestment. Thus creating a regenerative community-driven economics model. One t

    • 48 min
    Perspective from Female Sex Workers in India

    Perspective from Female Sex Workers in India

    Sex workers are often deemed or labeled low in society because of the nature of the work that they do.  However, sex workers are just like any other people who are trying to put food on their tables. They work to earn, live, provide for the family’s needs and survive. 
    Join us in this episode of Impact Driven Conversations Podcast, as sex workers talk about how they were able to get into the field, what pushed them to do the job, and what they deal with every day. 
    You’re about to hear a very special and delicate podcast that may help you in understanding those who are living on as sex workers. This podcast will show the daily struggles of sex workers, the reason why they were pushed to do the work, and how they deserve to also be treated as normal workers who are just trying to thrive and survive despite the difficulties of life. 
    We recorded this podcast under trying circumstances, as the sex workers didn’t have access to proper internet connectivity. Please bear with us over the quality of the audio. The first bit is in Tamil, as Megana doesn’t converse in English. Her story is a harrowing one. But not altogether different from countless others. 
    Common Problems Encountered in the Sex Worker’s Industry: 
     
    According to the speakers, Megana and Maltilda, they faced problems in the workplace such as:
     
    Clients who do not give the proper payment Illegal individuals who don’t pay the sex workers Harassment and clients who ask for personal details  
    To deal with it professionally, the speaker said that she needs to consider it as work and work alone, and the constant self-reminder that she needs money to provide for the needs of her family and to survive from her daily financial dilemma. 
     
    The Sex Worker’s Dilemma
     
    Their work requires physical interaction and it takes courage to do so.  Most of the time they are underpaid, sometimes people are being cruel to them, and if unlucky, they will not be paid by illegal clients. The hardest part is that they have to keep it from their own families and they just continue to work to provide for them and give them their financial needs. 
     
    The Importance of  Empathy and Understanding for Sex Workers
     
    We are all doing our best to survive every day. To pay our bills, to be able to eat good food, and to alleviate financial problems. Sex workers are just like any of us. They are just good people who are trying to survive despite the everyday struggles of life, which is why we should not condemn them but rather understand them more and become more compassionate about their circumstances.
     
    What Pushes them to do the Work
     
    As said by the speaker, she stated that she started working as a sex worker because of poverty. Poverty is mainly the reason why they are pushed to do the work without their family knowing since their families believed them to have work in a factory or somewhere else. She has to do the work to deal with financial problems, bills topping up and to provide for her family’s needs. She said that she wanted to take care of her children and save money, and one way to do it is to work as a sex worker. 
     
    What can the Government and Society do to help the Sex Workers? According to the speaker, one way to help them is to make their work legal. To make people understand that they are working legally. If their work is legal, there will also be more chances of earning more and having decent and high-profile clients. 
     
    They also want to highlight that working as a sex worker is not cheap and they can earn better if it is done legally.
      More about this podcast:  We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Impact Driven Conversations Podcast!  Stay connected by following us on our social media handles!

    • 53 min
    Empowering Marginalized Communities During a Pandemic with Shiv Kumar

    Empowering Marginalized Communities During a Pandemic with Shiv Kumar

    The pandemic severely affected people globally, but those that are in the marginalized community are weighing more than just the burden of the virus.  The world has focused statistically on developing and rich countries,  not realizing how it affected marginalized communities.
    People in the marginalized community often experience exclusion and prejudice that resulted in long-term negating effects.  These people are those that are migrants, members of the LGBTQ community, daily laborers, sex workers, and many more— these communities should be considered as the central focus during these times. 
    Shiv Kumar joins us in this episode of Impact Driven Conversations Podcast, as he talks about how the pandemic affected those in a marginalized community and how the predicament should be addressed, and how he and his organization helped in battling the crisis in India. He also discussed social entrepreneurship, impact canvas, and the certainty about the challenges faced by both the system and those responsible for handling the pandemic. 
    You’re about to hear a very special podcast that may help you open your hearts to help those who are marginalized that are greatly affected by this pandemic. This podcast will also show you the importance of empathy and kindness in times like this. So, sit back and listen to Karthi and Shiv’s heart-warming discussion on this global crisis.
     
    Shiv’s System for India's current situation
    When asked about their response to the pandemic, Shiv said that the COVID response surely requires certain things to happen such as giving vaccines and providing medical instruments ( oxygen cylinders, beds, flow meters). He also stated that India is in a heightened emergency which means more numbers of infected people are popping up. 
     
    Problems Shiv Encountered  when Dealing with the Pandemic and How he Handled it:
    According to Shiv, he encountered many  problems during the crisis and 3 of these are:
     
    Viral infection looms in wave The underestimated struggle of vaccinating a country with 1.4 billion people People being hesitant or reluctant of getting vaccinated  
    Challenges Faced for Administrators and COVID-19 Responders
     
    Putting people in the center and what does it mean to focus on them Having an efficient system that caters to the most vulnerable in the community  
    To deal with it, he said that they should not focus on the problem but on the people who are in the middle of the crisis. 
     
    How Shiv Coordinates with a Social Justice-Centered Response:
    Shiv shared his ways on how he coordinates with other responders especially those who focus on social justice. He stated that it is necessary to do this to allay their problems and vaccinate the highly vulnerable communities. To do this, he presented these 3 measures:
     
    Identify your vulnerable communities and their partners Understand their needs Develop high impact response  
    The Sex Workers Difficulties Amidst Pandemics
    According to Shiv, sex workers are among the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic because they require physical interaction for their trade to function. Luckily, some communities are willing to respond and help them.
     
    Can the Situation Grow More Worse in Marginalized Communities?
    Shiv mentioned that the people who can gain the best response during this pandemic are those who have cell phones, those who can gain the attention of the masses. And these are things that the marginalized communities don't have access to. According to his observation, the people who receive assistance in hospitals are those who are in the primary and middle classes.  The inequity of society will probably worsen this crisis.



    The Importance of Kindness in Times Like This
    It is during these trying times that kindness is least likely to be felt. However, the most vulnerable communities need the empathy, kindness, and assistance of others. If humanity prevails in the middle of this crisis, things will be

    • 47 min
    How pandemics affect marginalized communities with Tarun Cherukuri

    How pandemics affect marginalized communities with Tarun Cherukuri

    Social workers are the ones who assist in people's well-being. They are the one who provides the basic and complex needs of the community. With the nature of their work, they are one of the primary witnesses of how biased and unequal our society is.
     
    In today's episode of the Impact Driven Conversations Podcast, we will listen to a social worker’s perspective, Tarun Cherukuri, on bias and inequality. We will dive deeper into how social workers manage to assist people amidst the global crisis and what the government has learned from the problem and their plans to resolve it.



    Social Workers in India During Pandemic
     
    “We didn’t need to learn this lesson about public health and public goods in the
    cost of three and a half million lives”. - Tarun Cherukuri
     
    As an empathetic person, Tarun perceived the importance of caring for others. He mentioned the difficulties and helplessness he felt as he saw the effects of pandemics especially to those who have the least. At the same time, he mentioned all the things they learned from the situations they encountered and their countermeasures for it.
     
    As to why he discusses this issue, he elaborated the following reasons:
     
    Proper Distribution of Food Supplies Fair Administration of Opportunities in Health, Education, and Labor Force Compounding Effects of the Pandemic in Marginalized Communities


    The Equality Brought by the Pandemic
    According to Tarun, the pandemic served as an equalizer for everyone, the fact that the virus attacks anyone regardless of age, gender, wealth, and social status. With this in mind, he is hoping that people will acknowledge fair opportunities for health and education.



    The Current Situation of India
     
    Tarun elaborated on the proactive measures that the government is doing especially in periods of lockdown. He also mentioned that they learned many lessons from last year’s food security system. At the same time, he also talked about their anticipation of the distribution of the food supplies as well as the vaccines. As an idealist who sees the reality of the situation at grass root levels, Tarun stressed on the need for a new category of capitalism called enlightened capitalism. 



    Bio Tarun Cherukuri is the Founder CEO of Indus Action, a public policy do-tank in India. Indus Action's mission to enable vulnerable families, sustainable access to legislated rights. He is passionate about community organizing, active citizenship, and system leadership to realize social justice goals in India. He has served in multiple roles at TeachForIndia (Fellow, City Director, Advisory Board Member) during the last decade. He graduated from Harvard Kennedy School in 2013 and is a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow.  
    Links:
     
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taruncherukuri/
     
      Bright Spots Report 2020
      Status of Welfare in India during 2020 Lockdown
      Careers: If anyone is interested in engaging on the mission



    More about this podcast:
     
    We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Impact Driven Conversations
    Podcast! Stay connected by following us on our social media handles!
     
    LinkedIn:  
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/taruncherukuri/

    • 44 min
    Bias and Inequality in Technology with Matthew Mahmoudi

    Bias and Inequality in Technology with Matthew Mahmoudi

    The pandemic severely affected people globally, but those that are in the marginalized community are weighing more than just the burden of the virus.  The world has focused statistically on developing and rich countries,  not realizing how it affected marginalized communities.
    People in the marginalized community often experience exclusion and prejudice that resulted in long-term negating effects.  These people are those that are migrants, members of the LGBTQ community, daily laborers, sex workers, and many more— these communities should be considered as the central focus during these times. 
    Tarun Cherukuri joins us in this episode of Impact Driven Conversations Podcast, as he talks about how the pandemic affected those in a marginalized community and how the predicament should be addressed, and how he and his organization helped in battling the crisis in India. He also discussed social entrepreneurship, impact canvas, and the certainty about the challenges faced by both the system and those responsible for handling the pandemic. 
    You’re about to hear a very special podcast that may help you open your hearts to help those who are marginalized that are greatly affected by this pandemic. This podcast will also show you the importance of empathy and kindness in times like this. So, sit back and listen to Karthi and Tarun’s heart-warming discussion on this global crisis.





    Tarun’s System for India's current situation
     
    When asked about their response to the pandemic, Tarun said that the COVID response surely requires certain things to happen such as giving vaccines and providing medical instruments ( oxygen cylinders, beds, flow meters). He also stated that India is in a heightened emergency which means more numbers of infected people are popping up. 
     
    Problems Tarun Encountered  when Dealing with the Pandemic and How he Handled it:
     
    According to Tarun, he encountered many  problems during the crisis and 3 of these are:
     
    Viral infection looms in wave The underestimated struggle of vaccinating a country with 1.4 million people People being hesitant of getting vaccinated  
    Challenges Faced for Administrators and COVID-19 Responders
     
    Putting people in the center and what does it mean to focus on them Having an efficient system that caters to the most vulnerable in the community  
    To deal with it, he said that they should not focus on the problem but on the people who are in the middle of the crisis. 
     
    How Tarun Coordinates with Social Justice-Centered Response:



    Tarun shared his ways on how he coordinates with other responders especially those who focus on social justice. He stated that it is necessary to do this to allay their problems and vaccinate the highly vulnerable communities. To do this, he presented these 3 measures:



    Identify your vulnerable communities and their partners Understand their needs Develop high impact response  
    The Sex Workers Difficulties Amidst Pandemics
     
    According to Tarun, sex workers are among the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic because they require physical interaction for their trade to function. Luckily, some communities are willing to respond and help them.




    Can the Situation Grow More Worse in Marginalized Communities?
     
    Tarun mentioned that the people who can gain the best response during this pandemic are those who have cell phones, those who can gain the attention of the masses. And these are things that the marginalized communities don't have access to. According to his observation, the people who receive assistance in hospitals are those who are in the primary and middle classes.  The inequity of society will probably worsen this crisis.



    The Importance of Kindness in Times Like This
     
    It is during these trying times that kindness is least likely to be felt. However, the most vulnerable communities need the empathy, kindness, and assistance of others. If humanity prevails in the middl

    • 46 min
    Bias and Inequality in Language with David Dylan Thomas

    Bias and Inequality in Language with David Dylan Thomas

    Our society is now clobbered with inequality and language is not an exemption. It is through language that we get to express verbally. If the language that we use is biased, we often tend to hurt and disparage people unconsciously— it is when prejudice is being introduced to the table. 
    Specific word use usually causes oppression as to the word “master” which then incorporates the word “slaves”. There are also certain bias narratives such as assumptions on identity which is a result of incorrect name pronunciations. 
    Language is as important as equality. Equality could even arise through sensitive and unbiased use of the language. Changes are inevitable in society, and because change is always constant, we should also be observant of the terminologies we use as it may create inequality and the impact it brings to the oppressed might become skeptically relentless.  
    Biased language is a one-way civilized conversation that will quickly devolve into uncivil. Bias is commonly described as a predisposition or a  built-in prejudice about a group of people that makes it difficult to be impartial when communicating with others.
    Misunderstanding and oppression as a result of inequality have remained to be one of humanity's most difficult problems. In worse-case scenarios, misunderstandings have resulted in wars. This is why social justice or social movements exist with goals to simplify narratives, cultivate rather than dominate, to reckon and introspect, and to lift people and not discriminate. 
    In this very first episode of the Impact Driven Conversations Podcast,  we are joined by David Dylan Thomas—author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator, and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy, Founder and CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC.
     
    How Language Bias Perpetuated Inequality
    When asked How Language Bias has Perpetuated  Inequality, David talks about attending the event Confab, and the very first topic is on certain bias narratives such as Name Pronunciation and how it has become a form of microaggression, he also talks about how specific words create oppression.
     “People decide with very few people in the room with very limited perspective creating things that they think are for everybody but actually for themselves.” – David Dylan Thomas 
     
    Ensuring that you have the right people in the room
    David also quotes that it is important to know what you want as CEO of a company. He believes that there are two parts of it:  one is healing and the other is introspection in which people believe in restoring trust, rather than punishing the guilty. 
     
    Bio
    David Dylan Thomas, author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator, and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy has already consulted major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. 
    As the founder and CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC he offers workshops and presentations on inclusive design and the role of bias in making decisions. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, An Event Apart, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, IA Conference, IxDA, Design, and Content Conference, Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice.
      Links: LinkedIn: in/daviddylanthomas1
    Website: daviddylanthomas.com
    Podcast: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-cognitive-bias-podcast/id1197648130?mt=2  
    We should also strive to see others and their perspective in a positive light. This will connect the journey to a deeper and stronger understanding. Furthermore, we should still ensure that we do not misinterpret others as they are meant to be understood. 
     
    We hope you benefited something from this episode! 

    • 57 min

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