CRISP: From Scholars to Influencers of Change

As we walked down the Thames one chilly London evening, we were at peace, far away from the troubles of a distressed lifestyle back home and the growing responsibilities with age. We laughed, we observed, we captured but still knew, we’d be leaving this soon.

We were 12 scholars chosen from India as part of the Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (“CRISP”). Conducted by Oxford University, CRISP is a fellowship programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Rolls-Royce for 12 mid-career top level people in the field of science and innovation - with links to public policy - in India and Sri Lanka. It offers an invaluable opportunity for Indian and Sri Lankan professionals to establish their own networks of contacts in the UK, which would be beneficial towards their career development.

Brain storming sessions were particularly insightful and were an encouraging part of the three month odd course. It was during one such session, that the notion towards establishing a unique Alumni association in support of other social entrepreneurs in India had come to being. The diversity and culmination of culture and knowledge inspired the formation of Crisp Social Ventures India (CSVI), with a mission to bring about a measurable social change in India.

We were lucky to receive our first assignment, post starting up real soon. Challenging as it may be, this concept possesses the ability to provide solutions for the Housing shortage India is currently facing. The project titled ‘PowerHouse’, a house which earns, and empowers its occupants, is a global collaborative mission to design not only a house, but even the process of enabling such a solution for the potential end users. The wish-list involves renewable sources of energy powering up the low cost home and generating more than the required quantum. The excess will be sold back to the grid, securing earnings for the occupants. Earnings from the house can then be used to pay back loans/ mortgages taken up by the owners for its purchase.

Since a holistic solution is the need of the hour, it is believed that a consortium comprising of a wide spectrum of industry experts will be effective in finding a viable solution.

A global competitive bid is coming up; for which expressions of interest from global consortiums are requested. Applications for the same are available on the Powerhouse website.

A year back, we were hard- working professionals striving at individual levels for professional excellence. Today, we are a strong coming together of successful yet humble individuals who believe that we can create positive and measurable impact in the lives of the underprivileged.  Nothing brings more joy than that one smile you receive in return.

An earnest animal lover and a keen supporter of sustainable living, Nicola Joseph is the Marketing Coordinator with Crisp Social Ventures India, a startup which undertakes mentoring and incubation activities for social entrepreneurs in India. 


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