07 November 2016

Student venture: C4SI, collaborate for social impact

Lydia Greve and Mansi Kabra are directors for Collaborate for Social Impact 2016, the flagship programme of Just Innovate. They decided to volunteer for the position after being participants in the 2015 programme.

"C4SI was very influential on our first year of graduate studies, and we loved being able to feel like we were putting our skills to practical use, while simultaneously engaging with and learning more about a real-world issue. As the co-directors we try to make sure that all parts of the programme are coming together smoothly and that all the stakeholders involved are satisfied with the work we're doing."

Lydia said that "my favorite part of the C4SI program is the people I've met through it; some of my best friends in Geneva are my project teammates and fellow programme organisers, and I think we generate a lot of positive energy and help motivate each other. I also appreciate C4SI for helping me feel more connected to the city of Geneva; it's a very international and transient place, but through C4SI I feel like I've been able to learn more about the local community and some of the issues they face, and I feel more grounded as a resident here."

"What C4SI does is make you rediscover that child-like curiosity that you often lose as you grow up, and inspires you to reflect on and let go of your biases and assumptions in the process of becoming a skilled problem solver. Uniting students from different disciplines, C4SI tries to foster collaboration and hope for a better tomorrow, not only for ourselves but others as well. In our journey till now, we have learnt beyond what words can describe. C4SI has given us the opportunity to meet some of the finest people working in the field of social innovation today. The conversations over cocktails have been just as enriching as the conversations over coffee. We have learnt a lot with a team that has now become family," added Mansi Kabra.

They hope that the C4SI program will facilitate interaction between many different populations: students and professionals, locals and internationals, liberal arts folks and hard science folks, and others. Ideally, exchanges between these groups will create fresh ideas to help solve some the problems facing our society.