Join us for a curtain raiser to TEDxGatewayWomen 2015 and the book launch of ‘The Poetry of Purpose: A Portrait of Women Leaders of India’, with an intimate book reading session by Author & Photographer, Mick Minard and Author, Dr. Shashi Gogate. This will be followed by an impassioned discussion on women leading social change, with Mick Minard and CEO & Founder of ‘Under the Mango Tree’, Vijaya Pastala, who will be in conversation with Art Critic, Curator and Cultural Theorist Dr. Alka Pande as they unravel the stories of fifteen trailblazing Indian women leaders featured in the book, and share their own experiences. Based on the book, the launch will be followed by a week long Photography Exhibition curated by Dr. Alka Pande, The signed copies of the book will also be available.
MICK MINARD is a writer, photographer, and an experienced strategy consultant specializing in program design, marketing communications, and impact assessment. Over the past twenty years, her professional and artistic work has largely been focused on promoting promising ideas for restoring connection between human society and the natural world. Her photographs have been exhibited in New York City and sold commercially, and she uses visual and written narrative to inspire new forms of leadership, organizational transformation, and community engagement. Since 1998, Mick has worked in the United States, Europe, East Africa, and South Asia, with both non-profit and for-profit social ventures, and she has facilitated the growth of early-stage capacity-building and income-generating initiatives serving the underprivileged and the rural poor. In 2010, she founded REEF Reports (Realizing the Ecosystem Effects of Finance™), an endeavor aimed at driving new resources and new thinking to organizations that are positively transforming social behavior and human society. Her focus is on devising innovative, effective ways to deliver and evaluate positive social and environmental impact to rural businesses, communities, and families in developing countries—especially those empowering women farmers and their daughters through education, self-employment, and collective action. Mick’s public speaking engagements in the U.S. and internationally have expanded awareness of the need for a sharper focus on the world’s women farmers. In 2012 and 2013, she was invited to present her research on the subject at the 56th and 57th Commissions on the Status of Women. Most recently, she has been appointed Representative to the United Nations on behalf of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) to advocate for the empowerment of women and girls through life-long education. Mick lives on her family farm in Northern New Jersey. This is her first book.Read more
DR. ALKA PANDE is an art critic, cultural theorist, teacher, curator, and a prolific writer. After a PhD from Panjab University, she was recipient of the Charles Wallace Award in 1999-2000 and completed her post-doctoral studies in critical art theory from Goldsmith College, University of London. Responsible for curating numerous significant exhibitions in India and abroad, and giving a name to some of the most upcoming and influential artists, Dr Alka Pande is currently engrossed as the Curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the India Habitat Centre. She has authored several well-acclaimed books, with a strong focus on Indian aesthetics and Ancient Indian erotic literature and art. Shringara- the many faces of Indian beauty (Rupa, 2011), Kama Sutra- The Quest for Love (Brijbasi, 2008), Ardhanarishvara the Androgyne (Rupa, 2005) and Indian Erotic Art (Roli Books, 2002) figure amongst her publications. In December 2006, she was made “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” – Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters – an award bequeathed by the French government to recognise significant contributions in the fields of art and literature.Read more
DR. SHASHI GOGATE was born and raised in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. She attended medical school with the support and encouragement of her parents, earning an MBBS from M. Gandhi Medical College in her hometown. After marrying and having her first child, she moved with her husband to the United States, where she continued her medical education and earned a Masters in Pathology at the Ohio State University Hospitals. While raising three children with her husband, she became Board Certified in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Laboratories, and served for three years as an Assistant Professor in Pathology at the Ohio State University Hospitals. In 1975, she joined Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio, where she would practice in the field of pathology for the next thirty-five years as the center’s Director of Clinical Labs and Chief of Pathology. In 1996, she was elected President of the Medical Staff, and in 2009, she became Chair of the hospital’s Board of Directors. In early 1970, after the birth of her third child, Dr. Gogate and her family began a new chapter of personal growth and spirituality through the practice of meditation. Over the years, her daily meditation practice gradually deepened her appreciation for and connection to her native homeland, and she increasingly felt spurred to reflect on the importance of self-discovery, self-sufficiency, and self-restoration for the realization of one’s potential—a development that ultimately inspired her interest in undertaking this book project.Read more
VIJAYA PASTALA is a social entrepreneur with a passion in developing community based approaches that use the power of market forces to improve farming livelihoods. She is the founder of Under The Mango Tree, an innovative and award-winning hybrid, social enterprise, that supports rural farming households in India to earn income & increase crop productivity through community-based indigenous beekeeping. The idea for Under The Mango Tree arose from a trip to an apple orchard, where Vijaya learnt of the bond between bees, agricultural yields and single-flora honey. A simple question arose: what if farmers were trained to add bee boxes on farms to facilitate cross-pollination and provided markets to sell honey collected to increase incomes? Building on her practical, firsthand experience of developing farmer-friendly, locally appropriate frameworks that had impacted rural poverty, Vijaya founded Under The Mango Tree in 2009, to address a challenge she’d been continuously confronted with – addressing India’s declining agricultural productivity and the urgent need to increase rural incomes. Since inception, Under The Mango Tree, has impacted over 15,000 lives, improving rural incomes by over 30%. Before establishing Under The Mango Tree, Vijaya spent two decades spearheading pro-poor, rural livelihood interventions with the World Bank, European Commission, the Aga Khan Foundation and others. A local Bombayite, after her schooling in Cathedral, Vijaya took a gap year to travel across India as a hippie with the first edition of the Lonely Planet and kept in touch with her family through lightening phone calls from Post Offices, before heading out to Mount Holyoke College for her Bachelor’s in International Relations and then on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a Masters in Regional planning. Besides helming UTMT, Vijaya tried to be the best possible mom to her 12 year old while desperately trying to lose weight and reach the size she was when she played competitive squash and swam miles. Honey it seems - does not make you lose weight!!Read more