Next up, we are thrilled to announce our newest oncoming member of our board of business and technical advisors, Deepa Prahalad. As an advisor, Deepa will be focusing a majority of her time on design, storytelling, and communication in order to build a more tight-knit community around the Mifos Initiative. Deepa believes that paying attention to aspirations can often create a faster adoption and widespread impact which is usually overlooked in the process of making things affordable. What motivated Deepa to become an advisor was the mission behind the Mifos Initiative: “Creating tools for financial inclusion for billions of unbanked and under-banked people around the world”. She believes that this is a crucial part of creating opportunity and prosperity for future generations.
With a political science and economics background, a specific skill-set Deepa plans to bring to the Mifos Initiative is combining the macro-level understanding of trends with deep dives into consumer mindsets and aspirations. Deepa says that “bringing both of these elements directly into the design of an organization’s products and services is what can maximize profit and impact”. Deepa’s deep knowledge in strategy and design will go hand in hand to reach these goals.
When asked about the most critical action we can take to end global poverty, Deepa responded with:
“It’s natural to want to provide ‘solutions’, but most social challenges like poverty are extremely complex. I think Muhammad Ali made a great point when he said, ‘It’s not the mountains in the distance that wear people down – it’s the pebble in your shoe.’ People are not waiting passively to be ‘saved’, even when they are in desperate circumstances. They are usually trying to solve their own problems. A lot of the inequality we see around the world reflects a lack of choices, not a lack of awareness. The impact that organizations have on society is huge because they expand the range of choices we have. This is where business can really make the world a better place.”
In the short time we’ve been working with Deepa she’s already stimulated some great ideas and creative strategies to grow our community. One such project that she’s helping us launch is our Mifos 2030 Vision Campaign. We will paint a clear picture of how we envision the world as we see it in 2030 and invite the rest of the community and ecosystem in sharing their own commitment to how they personally can make that vision a reality. We will be formally unveiling it soon but it will be a powerful campaign and strategic vision for our initiative that will tell a powerful story of what we’ve accomplished to date including testimonials from our community, set key milestones and benchmarks our community will aspire to in alignment with the UN SDG of No Poverty by 2030, and establish an actionable roadmap with commitments from partners which will guide our community.
A bit more about Deepa:
Deepa Prahalad is an author and innovation consultant. She has worked with start-ups and large multinationals, and co-authored the book, Predictable Magic: Unleash The Power of Design Strategy To Transform Your Business, which was selected by Fast Company as one of the “Best Design Books of the Year”. She writes frequently for the Harvard Business Review, strategy+business, Businessweek and other magazines. Deepa is an elected member of the International Academy of Management and was ranked #34 on the inaugural Thinkers50 India list. A frequent speaker on design and innovation strategy, Deepa also serves on several nonprofit boards and mentors leading social entrepreneurs. A certified coach, she is part of leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith “100 Coaches” program, selected from over 16,000 global applicants.
Additionally, Deepa speaks on innovation and design strategy at leading companies and business schools and mentors social entrepreneurs around the world. She is on the Advisory Boards of the Global Peter Drucker Forum, ArogyaWorld and ModRoof, an innovative, sustainable roofing company in India. Deepa is also a Board Member for South Asian Art collection at the San Diego Museum of Art and actively supports several global efforts in memory of her late father, Dr. CK Prahalad. She has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
An interesting fact about Deepa is that she loves building and crafting in her free time. She originally started with small projects, but can now handle demo, light construction, and interior design. Currently she is designing the interior for a museum opening soon in San Diego!
Help us in welcoming in Deepa to the Mifos Community as we thank her for putting forth her time and knowledge to further the initiative!