2013 Conscious Capitalism Conference

April 5episode

Teju Ravilochan's Unreasonable Institute Has Something to Teach Us All


Teju Ravilochan is unreasonable.

“I want to live in a world where every human being can be the master of their own fate, unbound by the chains of poverty, oppression, or injustice,” says the CEO and co-founder of the Unreasonable Institute.

“To me entrepreneurship—coming from French for ‘to taking into one’s own hands‘—gets at that fundamental human drive to rule our destinies. And when that drive is combined to empower others to do the same, I believe no force can be more powerful.”

In this podcast interview we learn how:

  • From a young age, Ravilochan wondered what we could do to tackle problems like global poverty.
  • Frustrated that this BA in International Affairs wasn’t preparing him to do so, he obtained a University Grant to conduct research about the effectiveness of nonprofits in India.
  • Ravilochan discovered that traditional charity-based models are not effectively combating poverty. He became inspired by Paul Polak, whose entrepreneurial work has lifted more than 19 million farmers out of poverty, and began working with him as his assistant at D-Rev: Design for the Other 90%, which he eventually left to co-found the Unreasonable Institute.
  • The Unreasonable Institute is a mentorship program for entrepreneurs tackling global challenges.
  • Every year, Unreasonable Institute handpicks 25 entrepreneurs from around the world to unite in Boulder under one roof for six weeks.
  • There, they receive guidance from 50 mentors, like Tom Chi, the head of user experience at Google; Paul Polak, who’s lifted millions of farmers out of poverty; and Hunter Lovins, a TIME magazine Hero of the Planet. They build relationships with more than 25 investment funds, scores of other funders, and a network supports them as they work to scale to 1 million beneficiaries.

Are you ready to be unreasonable?

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