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Pause. Review. Look Ahead.

Issue #17

Hi! This newsletter will be very brief, and touches upon the progress we are making towards our goals (of kindling the learning spark in children, and supporting parents in their parenting roles, among others), over the course of Summer 2021.

The GenWise Newsletter: 2800+ subscribers in 4 months

The GenWise Club: nearly 400 students/ parents in 4 months

50+ courses on GenWise Online

Stronger Institutional Relationships

Looking Ahead

Upcoming External Events (a few exciting ones this coming weekend!)

Our regular segments will be back next week!


The GenWise Newsletter – 2800+ Subscribers in 4 months

One of the very first things we would like to mention is the rapid audience build for this GenWise Newsletter – 2800+ subscribers over a 4-month timeframe! In terms of engagement, we see 20-25% of our audience opening and reading our newsletters, every week, with 7%+ clicking through something that catches their attention.

Main topics have veered from “Generalists Vs Versatilists” to “Game Theory”, to “Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita”, to “Bending Modernity”! We feel fulfilled when we see evidence of our audience connecting with, and appreciating our content/ insights. Thank you!

We would love to hear your views on the sorts of things you would like to see in our newsletter going forward. Please send an email Vishnu Agnihotri, or, if its easier, call us at +91 98409 70514.

The GenWise Club – 350+ Students/ Parents in 4 months

Vishnu Agnihotri and Navin Kabra had been mulling over this concept for a few weeks, thinking about how wonderful it would be, if students could stay engaged over the medium term, with mentors who could fan students’ curiosity (as opposed to just attending GenWise courses over 5-15 hours, say).

Discord was kindled(!) as the platform, and we kicked off in April 2021.

Needless to say, we are over the moon with the sort of engagement kids have managed to generate – with each other, and with other mentors. A slew of channels (some created by us, and others suggested by students), regular catch-ups (over quizzes, movies, and other topics of interest), and asynchronous exchanges mark this “hatke” community. The functionality and aesthetics of Discord also aligns with what students of today seem to be comfortable with.

The spirit of inquiry, and the willingness to share and learn being embodied at The GenWise Club makes us feel good about these early days. We have nearly 350+ members in a span of 4 months…

A huge thank you to Navin, Vishnu, and various other mentors for their leadership and participation, and to parents, educators, and most importantly, our students for their passionate involvement!

Get an account on Discord, and use this invite to join the GenWise Club.

50+ Courses at GenWise Online this Summer

This is now year 2 of GenWise Online, and therefore, most processes fell in place smoothly. Courses as diverse as “Neuroscience Bootcamp!”, “Getting better at Cryptic Crosswords”, and “Gadgets & Screentime: Parenting Tips” continue to be offered, and to be in demand!

Please do visit our Course Inventory page to let us know the sorts of courses you might register for, if offered. Thanks.

Stronger Institutional Relationships

Agastya International Foundation have engaged GenWise to offer multiple courses to gifted students. We are currently running a Data Science course for a nearly 100-student batch. Once we demonstrate scalability, we offer it to much larger batch-sizes.

A leading international school in Bengaluru has engaged GenWise on a multi-year transformation program to mentor their math teachers (grades 1-8).

Schools from NCR, Pune and Bengaluru have approached us to provide enrichment sessions online to their student and parent community.

If you’d like to know more about our work, or feel that we should reach out to your child’s school, please do write to Vishnu, or call +91 93422 47734.

Looking Ahead

We miss our Residential Summer Programs and do hope Covid-19 and all of its variants will allow children to get back to in-person interactions at the earliest.

We are planning an in-person, residential program at Bengaluru during winter vacation, 2021. If you are interested, please write in or call us at +91 98409 70514

Numerous parents have reached out to us regarding their children’s disproportionate abilities. We believe Indian parents deserve an established forum that is well known, easily accessible, and responds to parents’s specific needs. Stay tuned for further updates in this space.

Upcoming External Events

Biofilms and Beehives– Talk to a Scientist (TTAS) is hosting a webinar for children aged 13-18 on Sat, Jul 31 from 5 to 630 PM IST. The event blurb says “Let’s talk about superorganism states , and in the process learn about a microbial superorganism – biofilms.”

Register for the session here. Visit the TTAS website for some recommended reading before the session.

The Indian Americans- a talk bypolitical scientist Milan Vaishnav on Sat, Jul 31 at 6 PM IST, comes to us through the Manthan forum for public discourse. Indian Americans are now the second-largest immigrant group in the United States, and their economic, political, and social influence is growing. But how they choose to deploy this influence remains an open question. Drawing on newly collected data, political scientist Milan Vaishnav unpacks the unusual and untold story of the Indian diaspora in America. The session will go live here.

Milan is a senior fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (Yale University Press and HarperCollins India, 2017), which was awarded the 2017 Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation book prize.

Learning about Tigers from their Poop (Chai and Why series targeted at children) gives live on Sunday, Aug 1, 2021 at 11 AM by the cool TIFR outreach team. Zoom, YouTube & FBLive links available here. The session is conducted by Uma Ramakrishnan, a professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences who has studied Indian biodiversity for the last fifteen years. She says about the session-

“Tigers are charismatic species that inspire us. What threatens tigers and what kind of research can scientists do to help save tigers? This is a question I and my laboratory colleagues have pursued for the last 15 years using tiger poop! In this session I will discuss the approaches we have taken, what we have found, and questions we continue to wonder about.”

As usual, no registration needed, but if you’d like to tell them that you’ll be joining in, and if you have some questions for the speaker do fill this short form.

The Veritasium Science Communication Contest- We love the videos Veritasium puts out! If creating a science communication video excites you, take part in this contest and have fun. You may win up to US$ 5000 too! The sooner you upload your video to YouTube, the better your chances are…though the deadline is Aug 31, 2021 .



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