Story

After graduating with my Masters degree in engineering, I wanted to use my education for creating meaningful solutions in the world. So I quit my corporate job on first day and took off to Mozambique, Africa. Next 5 months, I spent working on the ground in a rural hospital.

 

Despite 6 years of engineering, I found myself ill-prepared to translate my classroom knowledge into skills for real world problem solving. To fill this gap and bring our education closer to the challenges of our world today, we launched Ycenter.

Dhairya Pujara Founder, CEO Ycenter

 

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Our Reach

Since 2013, we have organized experiential learning programs in USA, Mozambique, India and Kenya for university students and organizations to experience and practice critical thinking for human centered problem solving. 

Vision

(Re)design modern education systems to promote real world problem solving

 

Mission

Bringing context to education through experiential learning programs

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Our team

Our team’s combined experience in engineering, business, design thinking and international development allowed us to craft a learning pedagogy that promotes hands-on learning, entrepreneurial thinking and creativity. From being awarded an exceptional VISA from US government for extra-ordinary work in this field to an NYU graduate winning the global open-IDEO challenge to an international NGO consultant, we have a diverse team based out of USA, India and Kenya.

 

Dhairya Pujara is the Founder, CEO at Ycenter, he is responsible for building a global ecosystem bringing in corporates, universities, NGOs for creating experiential educational programs. Dhairya is the curator for "Global Shaper Hub Philadelphia" by World Economic Forum. He has been a global TEDx organizer and a sought-after public speaker on entrepreneurship and international development. He delivers keynote and guest lectures in some of the top business schools and conferences around the globe. Dhairya sits on the advisory board for European Commission program LASIN - Latin American Social Innovation network. In 2015, American Immigration granted him an approval for special category work visa reserved for "an individual of extra-ordinary abilities”. He received his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University

Aditya Brahmabhatt is the co-founder & Director of Programs at Ycenter. His primary responsibilities include designing and implementing Ycenter's experiential learning programs. Aditya specializes in Human Centered Design, specifically for social innovation & experiential learning, and has experience in planning and executing projects that involve qualitative research. Aditya is a NYU grad and has been part of several successful ideas on open innovation challenges organized by OpenIdeo. He is passionate about using Human centered design to understand & act upon chronic social problems, and is a keen proponent of sustainability and systems thinking. 

Kiringai Kamau is the Founding Executive Director for Ycenter Africa based out of Nairobi, Kenya. Kiringai is an Agricultural Economist, Value Chains Analyst, a Knowledge Specialist and an ICT4Ag/ICT4D Enthusiast. He is retained by growing number of organizations including the EU/GIZ Transformation Program to advise the Kenya government on the strategic directions of reforming the agricultural sector in Kenya. His area of research is trade intensification through producer driven value chain organizations. He founded VACID Africa as a community sustainable agribusiness innovation promotion initiative that promotes knowledge in the areas of Value Addition and Cottage Industry Development (VACID). This he achieves through collaboration with communities and local champion organizations. His work identifies champion organizations as local agricultural initiatives that are lead by an individual whom VACID Africa further trains to become knowledge workers in their area through our Community Experiential Learning Program.

 

Our Advisors

Mike Glaser is a leader in the global design community. He has a twenty plus years of design experience. He holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and has taught design at several institutions including The Ohio State University, Savannah College of Art and Design and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has a long career of developing products and design strategies for Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, and others. Mike's current focus is on educating designers and non-designers alike in developing techniques that induce the creation of novel ideas, facilitating innovation through a visual problem solving process. 

Dr. Bala Mulloth’s research areas include innovation and strategic processes within new ventures, sustainable business models, and social entrepreneurship. He is also a Visiting Faculty Fellow at National Defense University at Fort McNair, in Washington DC. Prior to moving to Charlottesville and joining the Batten School, he was an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary and the Program Director of CEU’s experiential New York City MBA program. 

 

Harsh Gada  is a Technology, Management and Finance professional with over 4 years of work experience. He is an esteemed member at various industry bodies like CII, FICCI, AIAI, TiE, BMA, etc. He has worked with ICICI Bank in Foreign Trade Finance and with Accenture as Functional Tester. He has been awarded the "Promising Youth of India" title for his contribution to innovative solutions to problems of Indian Citizens and Indian Diaspora in 2015. He was a part of the discussion on Scientific Development in India and measures to prevent Brain Drain with the then President of India, Hon. Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2003

Tensai Asfaw is the Head of the Chair of Donor Relations for humanitarian affairs committee with the United Nations. He established and ran the Humanitarian Response Fund for Ethiopia - a UNOCHA project that has provided hundreds of millions to humanitarian actors on the ground. He subsequently managed funds or provided policy advice to managers in numerous countries throughout Africa and Asia including Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Nepal. Tensai has an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Rohin Kapoor leads Deloitte India’s Education & Skill development regulatory advisory practice. He has over 13 years of experience in advising government & private sector clients on various policy & strategic issues. Rohin is a recognized thought leader and has authored a number of articles in prestigious media publications such as Forbes, Economic Times & Hindustan Times. He speaks regularly in various seminars & conferences in this sector. He has been a member of CII National Committee on Higher Education for 4 years in a row. He is also engaged with a number of social organisations & startup incubators.