There's a silent revolution brewing in India, and it's called The Ugly Indian. It is anonymous, faceless and leaderless, and has seen thousands of citizens coming out to fix local civic problems following a simple motto: Kaam Chalu Mooh Bandh. Only Work No Talk. What started off as a series of social experiments in Bangalore in 2011, to see what it takes to change everyday ugly Indian behaviour in public spaces (littering, spitting paan, public urination and more), has now transformed into a nation-wide movement that is spreading virally – both on social media, and on the ground. The centrepiece of the TUI approach is the 'spotfix ' where ugly spots are 'fixed' by citizens. There is no activism, no sloganeering, no lecturing, no finger-pointing and no ideological debates – just a sincere attempt to solve problems by focusing on a spot - using one's own time, hands and money. It is a method that works, which explains the legendary popularity of TUI's methods and actions with all stakeholders. The Ugly Indian (TUI) is paranoid about the anonymity of its volunteers, and wants only its actions to speak for themselves. Anamik Nagrik is one of thousands of anonymous volunteers who has agreed to share rare insights from the inspirational story of The Ugly Indian.
Abhishek is a musician,lawyer, visual effects artist, entrepreneur and a skateboarder. He is one of the founders of the Holystoked Collective which is the first and largest skateboarding crew in India. Currently he is involved in building free skateparks around India ,promoting his company and skateboarding as a sport and lifestyle.
Nitin Pai is co-founder and director of the Takshashila Institution, an independent networked public policy think tank, and editor of Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, a well-regarded publication on strategic affairs, public policy and governance.Prior to setting up Takshashila, Mr Pai spent more than a decade with the Singapore government shaping its media & communication strategies in the age of the internet and social media. He was closely involved in Singapore's national broadband initiatives and liberalisation of the telecom sector. He also set-up and headed the strategic foresight team for two years.
Aditi Gupta and Tuhin Paul are a Husband-Wife Designer Duo. Tuhin is an animator and visual communication designer while Aditi is a user-experience designer. Through their initiative Menstrupedia they spread awareness about menstruation the fun way. Menstrupedia is a small but definitive step to shatter the myths and misunderstanding surrounding menstruation for ages. Together they dream of a future where menstruation is not a taboo but a welcoming change in a girl's life.
Rupsa Mallik is Director, Programs and Innovation at CREA. She is responsible for developing and implementing CREA's strategic initiatives and programmes in India and South Asia region, and at the global level. Over a decade and a half, Rupsa has been engaged in advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equity and justice in various capacities. This includes grant-making with the National Foundation for India; legislative and policy advocacy with the Centre for Health and Gender Equity in the US; and strengthening sexual and reproductive health, including abortion service delivery, in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan at the South Asia Régional Office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Rupsa holds a Masters degree in Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Jadav "Molai" Payeng is a Mishing tribe environmental activist and forestry worker from Jorhat, India. He is commonly known as the "Forest Man of India" because over the course of several decades, he has single handedly planted nearly 1400 acres of forest to save his island, Majuli. This forest is thus called Molai forest after him.
Shobha Murthy is 54 years old and the Founder of the NGO - Aarambh. She is a cost accountant by profession and has worked as an internal auditor with the Tatas and other corporates for 7 years. Shobha then went on to change the course of her life by shifting to the development sector working with CRY and other international organizations. She completed a course in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and went on to set up Aarambh with a group of friends to bring hope and happiness into the lives of underprivileged children in Navi Mumbai.
Social commentator, aspiring social entrepreneur and disruptive-thinker, Adnane has committed his life to work in the MENA region, particularly in Morocco, to enable creative thinking,entrepreneurship and innovation for the common good. He has co-founded the Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship where he currently serves as a Chief Visionary, he leads the country operations for Enactus Morocco, is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and an active member of the Junior Chamber International. Adnane is interested in interfaith dialogue, history and has a business background. He is currently based out of Rabat, Morocco.
Although Tamadher comes from an interior design background, she has participated in several workshops and exhibitions as a solo artist. From art installation and live performance to designing objects her concepts are sometimes ironic, other times serious, or simply humorous. In her MA thesis, Tamadher investigated the idea of creating a new image for Islamic art and design based on philosophical references and by going back to the profound principles of faith. In 2012, Tamadher founded - along with her partner Nada Alaradi- Project Ulafa'a, a team of young artists that is based on reconciliation through the arts. She is currently working as a Teaching & Graduate Assistant in Interior Design Program in University of Bahrain.
Carla Diana is a designer, writer and educator who explores design visions for near-future technologies. In addition to her industry experience at some of the world's top design firms, Carla maintains strategic alliances with academic research groups such as the Georgia Tech Socially Intelligent Machines Lab and the University of Pennsylvania's Integrated Product Design Program. She is a Fellow at the innovation design firm Smart Design, where she oversees the Smart Interaction Lab. She recently completed a children's book about the future of 3D printing and design entitled LEO the Maker Prince.
Ibrahim Nehme is the editor-in-chief of The Outpost magazine. Two years ago, he quit the advertising world and found The Outpost. Published from Beirut and dubbed 'a magazine of possibilities', The Outpost is a quarterly print publication that aims to ignite a socio-cultural renaissance in the Arab world through inspiring its readers to explore a world of possibilities. Soon after its launch in September 2012, the publication was considered to be one of the most successful independent magazine launches in the Arab world and nominated for Best New Magazine and Best Magazine Design at the Magpile Magazine Awards, and later named by the Guardian as a successor to the Economist. Ibrahim is in charge of the magazine's editorial direction and manages a diverse team of thinkers, writers and creatives from across the region.
Zak Greene is an independent web designer, front-end developer, and member of Strike Debt New York. Zak began work with Strike Debt by building their website, and he remains as the group's primary technology resource. He holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design.
Jon Mark Walls is a social entrepreneur, lecturer and speechwriter who is driven by the idea that better communication can lead to better politics. Having worked for the United Nations as well as various governments and NGOs, he is currently the CEO of GovFaces which seeks to improve interactive communication between citizens and representatives. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Jon Mark has sought to blend traditional communications approaches with new technologies and develop ways of delivering these across the full spectrum of social, cultural and political environments.
Naresh Narasimhan is an architect, urbanist, activist and creative entrepreneur. He is a partner at Venkataramanan Associates (VA), an architecture practice based in Bangalore, that saw a meteoric rise under his leadership. As co-founder of MOD Institute, a transnational collective of urban designers, researchers and curators, trustee of Imagine Bangalore and founder of Cobalt, a coworking space, Naresh has fuelled a variety of progressive causes in the city. He regularly advises the local government on infrastructure and urban design and has been instrumental in the city’s renewal, most recently in the cleaning up and rejuvenation of Bangalore’s oldest market.
Debarghya Das is an aspiring computer scientist. Last year, he published a blog post about how he wrote a script that eventually exposed stark anomalies in the grading policies of the Indian education system. Having previously worked at Coursera and Google, he is graduating with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer Science from Cornell University. Debarghya is extremely passionate both about using technology for large scale societal benefit as well as solving difficult core Computer Science problems. He does research in Artificial Intelligence at Cornell's Robot Learning Lab, where he worked on helping robots like Baxter and PR2 efficiently navigate themselves in human environments. In addition, Debarghya's research at the Cornell Linguistics Lab led to the creation of the world's first accurate tongue controlled game.
Aman Mahajan is a pianist/composer and computer-musician/producer. Fortunate to have worked with a wide variety of musicians of diverse cultural backgrounds, Mahajan is influenced by jazz, folk, classical and electronic music from around the world, and deeply inspired by a sense of universal unity and connection.
Graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 2007, Mahajan is now based out of Bangalore, India, where he leads jazz/world ensemble REFUGE.
Shantanu Anand and Nandini Varma are spoken word poets and students at ILS Law College in Pune. Airplane Poetry Movement co-founded by the two in December 2013, is a project that aims at creating a vibrant and energetic culture of spoken word poetry among the youth. Started in Pune, it's now expanded and established teams in Bangalore, Delhi and Bombay as well. Shantanu and Nandini manage and train these creative teams of enthusiastic spoken word lovers who hold regular workshops, monthly poetry slams and open mics to spread the culture of this form of poetry. Their biggest target in the near future is to pull off a National Poetry Slam in India in 2015.