Honored to meet President Obama at India Town Hall

On December 1, 2017, I was honored to attend an exclusive event in New Delhi, India with President Obama. I was extended this invitation by the Obama Foundation after being nominated along with around 280 others future leaders of India. I am Manav Subodh, Director of International Development for the Innovation Acceleration Group and Berkeley Executive Education; co-founder of 1M1B (1 Million for 1 Billion), a job creation initiative that aims to create 1 million leaders and entrepreneurs who will drive 1 billion people out of poverty.

Before the meeting began, President Obama announced on the Obama Foundation’s Twitter, “I want to have a chance to talk to young people who are doing amazing work all across India.”

In just two years, 1M1B has turned into a successful non-profit. I began this mission in 2015 after working as an executive at Intel. I decided to leave the corporate world and go to Indian villages and teach IAG’s methodology.

Today, 1M1B creates jobs and enhances the income of people in underserved communities through its future leader’s curriculum, career readiness academy, village co-innovation lab and startup accelerator. We are backed by partners like United Nations Department of Public Information, UN Habitat, Tata Trusts and Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Next year, I plan to expand 1M1B to the orphanages of Vietnam and to the underserved young people in New York, USA.

It was an honor to be acknowledged for my work by the Obama Foundation. During the town hall, I was moved when President Obama said, “We have to accept that change is hard. So divide your problems into bite-sized pieces and make sure you are listening to the people you want to help.” I urge all people to take a piece of the problem, get out of the building and talk to your community. You never know, you might have a solution sitting under your nose the entire time.

This is what we teach our entrepreneurs in the IAG Scaling Startup Ecosystems program. We are currently running the 1st Smart Cities Accelerator program in India, Smart Cities 4.0. Partnered with 1M1B and India’s Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). Our goal is to teach innovators, startup and large corporations how to create sustainable technologies that accelerate the growth of smart cities and villages.