When Vinay Taylor joined Dalberg’s Mumbai office as a consultant last June, he immediately noticed the excitement and activity around social impact among his peers in the city’s development community.
“One of the things you notice coming to a place like Mumbai is that there is a plethora of individuals and organizations all doing their part to contribute,” he said. “But I noticed very early on that there was very little awareness about the rising players in the space, especially those who are a few levels below the leadership.”
In an effort to become more familiar with his colleagues in the development space, Vinay, along with friends from UnLtd India and Dasra, decided to host an informal networking event, bringing together 20-30 individuals from the social impact sector for drinks and casual discussion about development last August.Last month, the group – now called Think Social – hosted its sixth gathering, which drew nearly 150 development professionals from the Mumbai area. This month’s event is taking place in parallel with the Sankalp Summit, one of Asia’s largest collaborative platforms for social change.
“There are annual forums that allow individuals to focus in on different issues, like energy access or clean water, but there isn’t anything happening at a higher frequency that allows individuals to engage in broader conversation,” Vinay said. “Think Social addresses this gap by inviting people to engage more often in a way that facilitates the free flow of ideas and enhances collaboration.”
Vinay said that by offering a venue for Mumbai’s development community to meet, people can stay up-to-date on activity in the space and find new ways to work together. Think Social is exploring the possibility of organized content, such as bi-monthly speakers and volunteer opportunities for members.
Currently, the organization has a member base of nearly 400 people in Mumbai, and Vinay hopes it will continue to expand and eventually reach other cities in India.
“The social impact sector is inherently collaborative,” Vinay said. “The more connections you can form, the more likely you are to see more collaboration happen at the micro and macro level, either here in Mumbai or elsewhere.”
For more information on Think Social and networking events in the Mumbai area, email firstname.lastname@example.org.