Five minutes with Jeroo Billimoria and Urvashi Sahni, Catalyst 2030

We sat down with Jeroo Billimoria and Urvashi Sahni of Catalyst 2030, a key partner of the #LearningPlanet Festival, to hear more about their thoughts on social entrepreneurs’ place in learning ecosystems, and their hopes for the Festival!

Tell us briefly about 2-3 initiatives that you would like to celebrate and that have given you hope.

Jeroo: First, I celebrate our collaboration with #LearningPlanet, and everything that is happening in education. Second, from a collaboration point of view, we have beta tested the world’s first marketplace, which has all small entrepreneurs coming together to share their products on a common platform through Catalyst Markets. And third, I’m proud of Catalysing Change Week, the first entrepreneur-led, entrepreneur-initiated, and entrepreneur-co-created event sharing innovative solutions from around the world.

Urvashi: The first initiative to celebrate is the size of the Catalyst 2030 network. There are more and more country chapters – this gives me hope that it is a movement that will continue. I’d like to also showcase The 2021 People’s Report, which is truly historic. It comes from the ground: it is by the people, of the people, and for the people, and it’s a truly democratic report. It’s unique and proves that we can have a participatory, democratic movement. And thirdly, I see a beacon of light because social entrepreneurs are teaming up. Social entrepreneurs can truly mobilise everyone on the ground to make real change.

What needs to be creatively invented afresh to evolve our learning ecosystems?

Jeroo: In one sentence: all the solutions exist, but we need to start working together to accelerate the impact.

“In one sentence: all the solutions exist, but we need to start working together to accelerate the impact.”

Urvashi: We need a 360 degree democratic, grounded, people-driven, and inclusive approach: we need to put people at the center and it needs to become a movement.

What can the role be of social entrepreneurs be in this, and how do you see this role evolving?

Jeroo: Social entrepreneurs and innovators have the most cutting-edge solutions, and if the government took them on and adapted them, and we all worked together, then we would be able to take it forward. The closer we work together with governments, the better it will be.

Urvashi: Social entrepreneurs work at the grassroots; they work with people. Therefore, there is a way to mobilise everyone and to make this a movement. It’s important that we learn to work collaboratively with governments and policymakers, and to get us a place at the decision-making tables.

What do you hope to see, learn and experience at the #LearningPlanet Festival?

Jeroo: I’m excited to hear about what new is happening and experience the vibrancy of the field! There are so many people who are participating, so it’s great to meet fellow people in the sector.

Urvashi: I hope to learn a lot from all of the wonderful voices and people who will be presenting. I also would like to give our own work more visibility, influence more people, and get feedback from other participants.

“This festival talks about the kind of education that teaches you to love yourself, the planet, and others in it. I’m delighted to be a part of it!”

We hope to take our message into the world as well as strengthen and enrich our messages and our work by listening to other people. It’s inclusive festivals like these that are helping deepen and widen the perception of education – it’s been too narrow so far. This festival talks about the kind of education that teaches you to love yourself, the planet and others in it. I’m delighted to be a part of it!

About Catalyst 2030

Catalyst 2030 is an unprecedented global movement and inclusive network of social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all sectors who share the common goal of creating innovative, people-centric approaches to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Joining forces with diverse communities, governments, businesses and others, Catalyst 2030 members are changing systems at all levels through collective action and bold, new strategies.

Find out more about Catalyst 2030 by visiting their website here, and discover their members here who are specifically working on SDG 4 (Quality Education).

You can also discover and join a diverse range of sessions involving Catalyst 2030 members here!