Stargazers In The News

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The_Stargazers_Foundation_Healthcare_And_Pre-School_Education_Centres_PilotThe first automated medicine vending machine has been installed

15 February 2014

The Anantara pilot centre in Makloor Village, Nizamabad, Andhra Pradesh was successfully launched in its final format on February 14th, 2014. The medicine dispensing machine has been installed in the renovated Anganwadi. Consumption data is captured and registered electronically and powered by a solar panel. This automated medicine vending machine provides subsidised iron supplements that cater to the issue of anemia for pregnant women in rural India, along with sanitary towels and condoms. The Anantara centres will also soon be providing visual technology aided education for children aged 2 to 6 and to their mothers.
Five additional Anganwadis are also beeing renovated. The new centres are located in Nizamabad and Karimnagar Districts, creating the first cluster of Anantara Maternal Healthcare and Pre-School Education Centres. Our Stargazers team visited the other centers in Nizamabad District. Work in Pentakurd is almost complete, only the cupboards need to be constructed. The Anganwadi center looked great, colourful and a lot of activities seemed to be undertaken there with many wall hangings and charts.
Swapna, who is our first fellow for The Stargazers Grassroots Education Fellowship, will be deployed to monitor the Anganwadi centers. This young indian girl, native from Nizamabad, will mobilise the community to use the vending machine to access medicines. She will visit each center once a week, showcase a Tab tool every week, and play educative stories and poems for the children.
Bringing quality community healthcare through technology and education to Indian villages is now a reality thanks to our partners Lebara Foundation, Bafna Pharmaceuticals, Cisco, Ecube, Gensol, Reconstructed Living Laboratories, Madhu Yashki foundation, and the Anganwadi workers.


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Update on Anantara Initiative
17 November 2013

Update on Anantara Initiative by Miniya Chatterji Founder of The Stargazers Foundation

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Anantara Initiative News from the Ground

30 November 2013

There have been a series of exciting developments for the Anantara Centres through November 2013.
The pilot centre in Makloor Village, Nizamabad, Andhra Pradesh is close to final launch in its new format. Renovation has been completed. Solar kit to power the centre, medicine dispensing machine and first batch of medicines have reached the site, in readiness for installation and launch of operations. Parallel with the technology inputs, the installation process will involve extensive interface between the technology providers, community leaders and representatives, healthcare outreach workers and local authorities. This interface will be facilitated by the Anantara team through a focused approach, for building ground capacity for smooth operation of the centre to benefit the target community, and putting monitoring systems in place from the outset.
As a huge step forward in the Anantara Initiative, four additional locations (existing anganwadis) have been identified for the set up of the Anantara Maternal Healthcare and Pre-School Education Centres. The new Centres will be located in Hasankothur (Karmapally Mandal), Pentakhurd (Bodhan Mandal), Jaithapur (Yedapally Mandal) and Manchippa (Nizamabad Mandal) in Nizamabad District, creating the first cluster of Anantara Centres. The collection of baseline data, mapping of service delivery arrangements and interaction with local education and healthcare outreach workers has been initiated in these locations.


The Anantara team was also happy to host Mr. Satheesh Chandran, Country Director, Lebara Foundation India, on a site visit to the pilot Centre in Makloor as well as other proposed locations. We thank him for his feedback and look forward to working together towards making the Anantara Centres a sustainable model for effective healthcare and pre-school education through use of technology solutions and community capacity building.

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Education is the key
17 November 2013

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Stargazers' Anantara pilot centre
28 October 2013

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Stargazers' Anantara pilot centre design
20 October 2013

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Stargazers' Anantara pilot centre
16 October 2013

The Stargazers’ Anantara pilot centre is being built in Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh (India) as part of the Anantara initiative, a new model for community healthcare through technology and education. The architects team from Brussels Alice Boudet-Dalbin and Alexis De Bosscher just finished the project. The pictures speak for themselves:

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A new model for community healthcare

13 October 2013

The Stargazers’ Anantara centre is being built in Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh (India) as part of an initiative that proposes a new model for community healthcare through technology and education. The engineering team is developing an effective and sustainable solution to place automated medicine dispensers in the Anantara centers which will be run by solar energy panels. Architects from Brussels Alice Boudet-Dalbin and Alexis De Bosscher are also on site in Nizamabad to design and create the space. Their plan is to have spaces painted in strong colors like orange or red, while keeping the rest of the centre in neutral grey or white. Colored spaces for the kids have carpets on the floor to keep it comfortable even in the winter and allow them to crawl and play.

For us young architects, building a project with our bare hands and making a concrete change in the life of a village are some very enriching experiences. The human exchange involved has brought a lot to us. Children, villagers always come to see us work. Once, the children wanted to do the same as what we were doing. They took the shovel and filled the pits with sand. They were so proud to help us prepare the pile of sand to make the cement mix. An other time, after having worked a whole afternoon without speaking the same language, communicating only with gestures and smiles, a villager insisted in offering us some tea and introducing us to his whole family.

Alice & Alexis The Stargazers Foundation

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Stargazers welcomes its new Director for the Anantara Initiative

26 September 2013

The Stargazers Foundation welcomes its new Director, Anusha Lall. Anusha has joined the Stargazers team to manage the Anantara Initiative, a large scale initiative that uses technology driven innovative models to deliver healthcare and education in rural India.
Anusha has nearly ten years of experience covering the areas of policy research, development programming and knowledge management, as well as teaching and capacity building activities. Previously, she has engaged with international development agencies, universities, government think tanks and non-profit organizations.
While a number of outreach programmes are aimed at women’s health and children’s education in the present development scenario, there remain many challenges to last mile service delivery as the current system struggles to serve the needs to overcome infrastructural and procedural hurdles. On the other hand, technology innovations, underpinned by education and appropriate capacity building can provide simple, practicable solutions at the grassroots especially in rural India. In the first phase of implementation and scaling up, the Anantara Maternal and Pre-School Education Centres will operate through Anganwadis (courtyard shelters provided by the Indian government to provide basic health care and pre-school activities in villages), also supporting the mandate of the Integrated Child Development Scheme sponsored by the Government of India.

I am extremely excited to be a part of the Anantara Initiative, working towards establishing Maternal and Pre-School Education Centres as a new model for community healthcare through technology and education in rural India. Our intention is to go beyond a top-down, centralized approach to development and essential service delivery, towards building effective partnerships between the community, technology innovators, local governance structures and development partners. Such partnerships will be further sustained through community ownership, by way of nurturing leadership among young girls and facilitating their education and capacity building.

Anusha The Stargazers Foundation

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Stargazers is hiring a Project Manager

9 September 2013

The Stargazers Foundation is looking to hire an enthusiastic candidate with basic hardware experience and strong project management skills for running a large scale initiative in India of using technology driven innovative models of delivering healthcare and education at the grassroots.
The candidate will be responsible for liasing with various project partners and vendors, ensuring delivery of products, installation, and smooth functioning of health and education related gadgets, as well as reporting to the funders. 2 years or more work experience is ideal but we also love young fresh graduates with loads of cool ideas to carry forward this important initiative. Office space and infrastructure provided in Chennai, but can work remotely from anywhere. Some travel required within India. A good opportunity for anyone who wishes to use hardware knowledge and strong management skills for large scale social good. Travel expenses covered.
About Stargazers:
The Stargazers Foundation works in the domains of education and health, focusing on women in economically backward regions. The objective is to ultimately include healthy and skilled women from these backgrounds into the mainstream economy and governance structures. Stargazers works closely with agencies of the government and the private sector, towards co-creating innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions. Stargazers runs its programmes in the Middle East and in India in close collaboration with the International Labour Organization, 100 Women in Hedge Funds, UN Women in Egypt and in India, Whypoll in India, King’s College London in United Kingdom, Winentretien in France, Reconstructed Labs in South Africa, Lebara Foundation UK.

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Stargazers Anantara initiative’s team meets RLabs in Capetown

July 2013

As part of the Anantara Initiative, The Stargazers Foundation’s Nimit Jain, Abhishek Ambastha, and Swapna Gaini went to Capetown on 15th July, 2013. They received incubation, mentorship, business, and product development support from Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs) South Africa, an incubator for creating socially relevant technology solutions.
Nimit and Abhishek spent 2 weeks discussing about the project with the team at RLabs. In the meantime, Swapna, who is our first fellow for The Stargazers Grassroots Education Fellowship, began with her 3 month program to learn about technology and project management. This visit helped them in critically analysing the approach from various standpoints.
The Anantara Maternal Healthcare and Pre-school Education Centres are a new model for community healthcare through technology and education, located in several parts of rural India. The first Anantara center is located in Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh, India. RLabs is a global movement that provides innovative solutions to address various complex problems. It was founded by Marlon Parker in 2008 as an environment for community driven innovation and reconstruction.

Our discussions at RLabs helped in critically analysing our approach from various standpoints and also exposed us to further possibilities. This helped us to see how can the effectiveness and sustainability of our solution can be enhanced. In totality, it was a great opportunity to share our ideas with a diverse audience and get more clarity on our plan of action. Plus, it was fun seeing around the beautiful city and meeting up with the warm hearted Capetonians.

Nimit The Stargazers Foundation

Abhishek, Nimit and Swapna
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Miniya featured by the World Economic Forum

July 2013

The World Economic Forum newsletter page 6 features Miniya Chatterji.

I had to run away from home for a year to complete my basic education. I was never the best student in class but I knew that education was the key to choice. A decade and a PhD later education gave me the strength again to move out of my professional and personal comfort zone towards identifying and doing all that I truly loved to do and was passionate about. Life is too short and beautiful to live trapped.
After growing up 21 years in about half a dozen cities in India, I moved to France for my university studies at the prestigious Sciences-po in Paris. There alongside my studies I was fortunate to work for a few years with President Chirac’s office first as an intern and then advising on relations with India and Africa and writing speeches. It was the most fun thing to do and I think I often forgot to sleep. The only person disappointed was my PHD Director who sent me off to the United States hoping to bring me back to academia and finish the PhD thesis at Columbia University in New York. His plan did not work as I returned to Europe within a year. I initially joined Goldman Sachs in their London office and then the following year returned to Paris to manage a fund of hedge fund. Despite growing up amidst thriving socio-economic disparities in India, I have never witnessed more gaps related to income, gender and status than in the finance industry. So starting with volunteering for non-profit organizations and contributing where I could to the lives of women in the industry and back home in India, consequently I created my own non-profit company dedicated to the cause. It is said that often you want to give to others what you yourself wanted as a child. That same year, I was 29 years old at that time, I completed my PhD and also quit the finance industry. I also left Paris to live in Brussels, Berlin, Cairo and then in Beijing. Further I started writing again, mostly editorial opinions pieces in leading newspapers and also a fiction book manuscript that I have yet to feel comfortable enough to take it to a literary agent.This was the point where I joined the Global Leadership Programme and the Young Global Leaders team, to manage Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia regions at the World Economic Forum.
By this time I was clear that I wanted to make a difference in the world – on people and on important issues in whatever way I could. Moving from big politics and banks, I was indeed happy to impact a few people’s thinking or changing a few lives via my non-profit company and my writing, but also I realized this was not enough to achieve what I really wanted. Scale, I understood, is important to drive substantial social change.
The Global Leadership Programme and my role at the World Economic Forum is a rare opportunity to broaden my perspective of the world and to learn how to build major multi-stakeholder partnerships towards indeed improving the state of the world. It gives me the chance to observe how leaders think and act from close quarters, and then use those lessons in my role at the Forum, and also directly in my Non-profit company and writing that I continue to pursue alongside.
The biggest impact of the Global Leadership Programme for me comes from the incredible relationships I have shared with some of the other fellows in my GLF cohort – They have allowed for the most cherished friendships and the toughest learnings in self-awareness. The Programme is rare in bringing together such a powerful peer group, offering an unparalleled academic programme combined with hands-on experience, and for continuously encouraging me to drive change via the World Economic Forum, in my endeavours towards that objective outside of my Forum role, and in the future.
In a few years I would like to return to live in India, where playing a role in politics focusing on the social sphere would be a next step. This would probably be to ensure that girls of the country do not have to run away from home each time to avail of what must be their basic rights.

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Stargazers Anantara project now part of RLabs InnovIA class of 2013

February 2013

The Anantara Maternal Healthcare and Pre-school Education Centres are a new model for community healthcare through technology and education, located in several parts of rural India.
The first Anantara centre is located in Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh, India, and will receive incubation, mentorship, business, and product development support from Reconstructed Living Labs South Africa through 2013. The Anantara centre in Nizamabad will be part of the RLabs InnovIA class of 2013, an incubator for creating socially relevant technology solutions. Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) is a global movement that provides innovative solutions to address various complex problems. It was founded by Marlon Parker in 2008 as an environment for community driven innovation and reconstruction.

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Using social media to give people hope

January 2013

The Sunday Times in South African published an article about RLabs Founder and Head of Mxit Reach, Marlon Parker. Marlon is also advisor to The Stargazers Foundation.
While just a few years ago, he was pushing trolleys at the airport in Cape Town, today he has implemented the RLabs (Reconstructed Living Lab) model that is now operating in 18 countries including Portugal, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Kenya. RLabs launched officially in 2009. It uses digital and social media to link people to help solve problems, transfer skills and teach entrepreneurship. It also provides counselling and has provided jobs in social media.

I saw there were some students that never had access to a computer but were now able to engage around certain topics using a mobile phone and it improved their grades. I started thinking … what if we could use the same thing for support? Technology is only the enabler. Seeing that enablement was unique.

Marlon Parker RLabs
The Stargazers Foundation

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Will India stop tolerating the abuse of women?

January 2013

Here is an article written by Miniya Chatterji for the World Economic Forum. Miniya is the founder of The Stargazers Foundation.

Ultimately, both men and women in our society need to change how they perceive human relationships. Only weeks after the World Economic Forum on India, and following the vicious gang rape of a female Indian student in New Delhi, thousands of men and women poured onto the streets to express their outrage – not just for this one heinous crime, but for their general anger at an ongoing, prevailing societal mindset that ignores, if not condones, acts of violence and aggression against girls and women. This brings some hope that perhaps each one gathered there would be an inch more wary of their own disposition towards women in the family, workplace and public space. That would, indeed, be the start of moving towards the solution.

Miniya Chatterji The Stargazers Foundation

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The Stargazers Grassroots Education Fellowship

January 2013

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Year End Message

28 December 2012

It has been a spectacular year 2012 for The Stargazers Foundation.
We came together as a team, stood up on our feet, and began to scale up our impact. Our presence within a year spread to India, Egypt, France and United States. Thanks to strong Partnerships with the International Labour Organization and United Nations Women, as well as Advisors Marlon Parker and Madhu Gaud Yaskhi we were able to be creative and effective in turning small ideas in to large meaningful change.
In 2012 Stargazers created the Gender Equity Self-Assessment tool that quickly got adopted by UN Women to be implemented in 60 companies in Egypt, and we will be implementing it globally in 2013. The GES tool is free of cost, and it empowers and pushes organizations to bring in to the economy aspects of human capital that otherwise is often excluded i.e. the true aspirations, authenticity, creativity, leadership potential of their employees, via a self-assessment of the various gaps in this context that exist between men and women employees. Early this year Stargazers also launched the Stargazers series of videos. Each month we suggested a new way to Stargaze – Teach a child, Allow yourself to be free, Make a fabulous mistake – so many ways to be authentic, meaningful, impactful. In 2013 Stargazers is launching a unique Telethon on a major TV channel to raise awareness and funds for The Girl Child – we can’t wait for it to begin! We also sponsored talks on leadership, one such was the 100 Women in Hedge Funds ‘Women on Board!’ event in Paris. This apart, in 2012 Stargazers created the Stargazers Fellowship at King’s College in London for below poverty line girl students in India to benefit from an intensive mentorship and education Masters programme. We are still short of only $15,000 so donate here. In 2013 we will see the returns of our investment in this one young woman to her community. Led by this young woman Stargazers will transform education and health services by creating spaces for creative learning and installing automated health and medicine services. With our small endeavours to bring about real change towards meaningful living, we hope to encourage those around us to also do the same. We hope to transform a few lives, a few communities, and a million mindsets.
We believe that this is just the beginning for us… we are looking forward to 2013. And in this journey we wish that you come with us.
Happy New Year!

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Growing up to be ‘Leaders Who Care’

November 2012

On 9 November 2012 The Stargazers Foundation was at a local school in Gurgaon, India, to speak with children about growing up to be ‘Leaders Who Care’. We would like to show you what they had to say to us in pictures.

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Donate to Stargazers

November 2012

We are raising funds for a Special Grassroots Leadership Education Fellowship that would transform the life prospects of one young Indian girl from the poorest parts of the Indian society who has demonstrated the capacity to bring positive change to her community. She will register at the King’s College London and complete a Master’s Degree focusing on nurturing leadership during the academic year 2013-2014. As part of the fellowship program she will participate in mentorship, have the experience in living in Africa and contributing to a social cause there, then return to India and give back to her community locally. King’s is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, based in the heart of London.
The Fellowship is designed to shape future women leaders from the grassroots who contribute locally and think globally. When young women thrive, everyone around them thrives as well, and standards of living rise for the entire community.
We need your help in changing a life and a community, one at a time.

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Persevering Through Extreme Uncertainty

October 2012

Here is an insightful article written by Miniya in the Harvard Business Review this week. Miniya is the founder of The Stargazers Foundation.
She tells a short story about three women she met in Kabul who had the strength to appreciate the complexity of the situation they were in, look inward despite it, and do a very primordial thing… they listened to their gut and trusted it.

In the world where there are no precedents, you have to trust your own judgment. There are multiple ways of getting around each challenge, and a variety of consequences that can come from your actions. Scenario planning is impossible. So instead you simply move forward in the way you know in your heart to be right.

Miniya Chatterji The Stargazers Foundation

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King’s College London and The Stargazers Foundation Sign MoU

8 October 2012

Today in London, King’s College LondonOne of the world's leading research and teaching universities based in the heart of London. and The Stargazers Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding defining their partnership in the creation of a special Fellowship for low-income youth in India.
The Fellowship is designed to shape future leaders who contribute locally and think globally. It will equip scholars with the skills they need to benefit their local communities, at the same time ensuring their own long-term future as educated, employed, and financially independent members of society.
Fellowship candidates will be of Indian citizenship living in India, belonging to a low-income group, and with a substantial record of driving change in their local community. Female candidates will be especially encouraged to apply, on the basis that they are the most likely agents of change for their local communities. Many development organisations now accept that when young women thrive, everyone around them thrives as well, and standards of living rise for the entire community.
The Fellowship is offered for an 11 month Master’s Degree in a subject of the student’s choice at the India Institute, King’s College London. It will include a three-month English language and technology orientation course prior to departure for London; an in-year mentorship programme in London; and two six month social service internship programmes, the first in the student’s community in India, and the second in a community in Africa after completion of the degree.
The concept for the Fellowship was spearheaded by Miniya Chatterji, founder of The Stargazers Foundation, and realized in collaboration with Marlon Parker Founder RLabs in South Africa, Madhu Gaud Yaskhi Member of Parliament in India and the team at King’s College London.

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New Partnership between Stargazers, UN Women, International Labour Organization

13 September 2012

The Stargazers Foundation is pleased to announce the formation of a partnership between The Stargazers Foundation, the International Labour Organization (ILO)The UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights., and UN WomenThe United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women and girls., for the implementation of the UN Women Gender Equity Seal (GES) Initiative in Egypt.
The three organizations have coordinated efforts to together facilitate the UN Women GES Initiative. As part of the initiative 45 companies will begin conducting self-assessments to determine how they rank in terms of gender equity in 31 different areas of assessment. The Stargazers Foundation will work with companies on how to conduct the GES Self-Assessment Tool and will be responsible for reporting the results of the self-assessment to the individual companies. Later this month, representatives from each organization will meet in order to finalize the details of the plans for the deployment of the initiative.
The UN Women Gender Equity Seal self-assessment tool is an in-depth scientifically developed tool calibrated to the social, cultural, and legal context within which each company operates. The tool consists of an online psychometric gender sensitivity test, an instruction manual, and a unique software for data analysis. Implementation of the tool includes training on how to use the tool, a report of results, in-depth assessment, recommendations for improvement, and scores.
The UN Women Gender Equity Seal Self-Assessment tool was created by The Stargazers Foundation, and this project was led by Sierra Bayles. The project was fully funded and supported by the International Labour Organization.

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Negotiation Lessons from a Father of 37

September 2012

Here is a cool article written by Miniya in the Harvard Business Review this week. Miniya is the founder of The Stargazers Foundation.
Miniya shows by way of the story of a care taker of 37 children whom she met with in India, that one needs both authenticity and persuasion to get one’s way.
BELIEVE in your end goal. BOND with your counterpart. And then BRIDGE over.

People overestimate how distinct their lives are, so finding others with overlapping biographies can seem like a miracle. Research confirms that we seek — and are gratified by — these bridges, these emotional connections. I certainly felt that way. The young girl was of course surprised at what I had told her but we continued to chat about opportunities for her higher education; eventually, even our speech and body language started to match. At the end, I asked what she wanted from life. “I want to study so that I can help the poor,” she told me, “just like daddy.” And with that, she pointed to Sudarsan, who was watching us from the corner.

Miniya Chatterji The Stargazers Foundation

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The Globalization of Politics: From Egypt to India

June 2012

The founder of The Stargazers Foundation, Miniya Chatterji just published a stimulating article in Social Movement Studies, a peer-reviewed academic journal that covers sociological research on protests, social movements, and collective behavior. In “The Globalization of Politics: From Egypt to India”, Miniya analysis the transferability of recent urban social movements across international borders.
The paper deconstructs the phenomena, focusing on the transfer of certain elements from a pro-democracy movement in Egypt to a lesser known anti-corruption movement in India that also surfaced in the spring of 2011. For the author, such transferability of political action across countries in the form of people’s movements can now be also included in the notion of globalization of politics, along with issues such as global human rights discourses, global governance through the UN, or global trade and investment flows.

We may […] say that globalization’s three pillars—flows of people, money and ideas—have now created a fourth one, that of the globalization of politics where representations of citizenship are transferred from one country to another. Here citizens across different countries, cultures and contexts are influenced by each other. They act in similar ways to initiate negotiations for political change towards obtaining their own objectives with their government, and in this way political activity in the form of social movements has now transcended international borders, instead of first working through their own national governments.

Miniya Chatterji The Stargazers Foundation

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Stargazers begins deploying the ASGGAI tool in Egypt

May 2012

Today in Egypt, The Stargazers Foundation, in cooperation with the International Labour OrganizationThe UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights., began deploying the Arab States Gender Gap Assessment Initiative (ASGGAI) tool.
Over 60 companies around Cairo will receive the ASGGAI tool free of cost. The implementation of the tool includes training on how to use the tool, a report of results, an in-depth assessment, recommendations, score, and rank based on cross-sectional analysis.
The objective is to sensitize organizations to the diversity of talent, aspirations, needs, and leadership potential within their workforce. As well as to capacitate these organizations to reduce the gender-based gaps that exist within them. Stargazers wishes to emphasize that gender gaps within organizations is more than merely a headcount issue.
As part of the initiative, Stargazers will assess each company across a range of factors including gender gaps in recruitment, retention, role distribution, access to resources, aspirations, productivity, skills, potential, leadership via an in-depth scientifically developed tool fine-tuned to the specific context in which each company operates. Companies will receive a Gender Gap score, Gender Gap rank, detailed data analytics on the break down of existing gaps, a qualitative report, and practical ready to use recommendations. All employees of each company will be provided with their Gender Quotient score, the result of a psychometric test measuring their sensitivity to gender-related differences in everyday work life situations.
The ASGGAI tool has been developed by The Stargazers Foundation, led by Miniya Chatterji (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris), Sierra Bayles (Columbia University), Vikram Chatterji (Carnegie Mellon), Naureen Shameem (Harvard University). The initiative is fully funded and supported by the International Labour Organization.

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Women in the Board room: Not just about the numbers

March 2012

The Stargazers Foundation and 100 Women in Hedge Funds100 Women in Hedge Funds is a global, practitioner-driven non-profit organization formed in 2001, serving alternative investment management investors and professionals through educational, professional leverage and philanthropic initiatives. organized an interactive panel discussion about “Women on Boards: How to Get Board Ready” in Paris at the American UniversityFounded in 1962, The American University of Paris is among the oldest American institutions of higher education in Europe. on 22 March 2012.
Speakers included:
Eléonore de Villepin-LouvardEléonore de Villepin-Louvard is Head of Project Finance and Structured Finance at CNIM, a French engineering and industrial company operating two divisions: Energy & Environment, and Defence & Systems. She is currently Board Director of three UK companies in the waste-to-energy sector., CNIM
Miniya ChatterjiMiniya Chatterji works at an international organization in Geneva, over seeing the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions. She is the founder of The Stargazers Foundation. Miniya is also a writer - she often writes opinion pieces and political essays in newspapers., The Stargazers Foundation
Mairi EastwoodMairi Eastwood is co-founder and partner of Praesta Partners LLP, a leading executive coaching firm in the UK, with an associated firm, Praesta France, based in Paris and offices in eleven other countries. Mairi has Master Coach accreditation and works with senior leaders of both genders around Board level in the financial, professional, commercial and public sectors., Praesta Partners LLP
Alain PronostAlain Pronost joined Global Graphics as Chief Financial Officer in August 1999 and was appointed a director of the Company in June 2000, where he also fulfils the company secretary and compliance officer roles. A member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and of the Institut Français des Administrateurs (IFA), he is also a qualified director (Administrateur de Sociétés Certifié) since November 2011., Global Graphics
Charlotte ValeurCharlotte currently serves on boards and committees of a number of listed and unlisted fund management and investment companies including Non Executive Director of 3i Infrastructure FTSE250 listed private equity fund, Chairman of Brevan Howard Credit Catalyst LSE listed hedge fund and Non Executive Director of Renewable Energy Generation AIM listed company., Brook Street Partners and Global Governance Group


What started out being a discussion on getting women leaders in hedge funds to get ready to enter the board room, eventually took an insightful leap in to the need and practical ways to bring in diversity in general in to perspectives, process, and decisions made in the board room.
It was clear that a woman entering as a board member has little to rely on by way of her gender. Being a woman affects in positive as well as negative ways the skills needed such as smart networking, quick decision making, adding value by diversity and tenacity in perspective. It is an opportunity as well as a challenge, for both the organization as well as a board room aspirant. The criteria of hiring board members must focus on personality, background, qualities, age, experience of the members, towards making sound decisions for the organization. And so instead of quotas, or the politics of numbers, how about giving a chance to young, diverse talent, on looking more at skills rather than mere years in experience?
Being a board member requires tangible skills. Women leaders, especially those who are young, need to be ‘Board ready’ and hone them.

I’m against quotas. I don’t think this is something that is going to help because a lot of French commities will be forced to have 20% of female boad members.

Alain Pronost Global Graphics

The real issue is the problem of accumulation of board mandates.

Eléonore de Villepin-Louvard CNIM

Too many board members do not want to see ‘different’ kind of persons entering the board, not only women but also different kind of men.

Charlotte Valeur Brook Street Partners
Global Governance Group

What is important is not only to be good at your work but also to be good at selfpromoting.

Mairi Eastwood Praesta Partners LLP

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