One-line solution summary
Facilitator-app featuring play-based Social-Emotional and Ecological lessons/resources designed around UNSDGs and the understanding that every child learns differently; measures impact.
Pitch your solution
PROBLEMS: Many government/low-cost private schools are under-resourced/overburdened. Employing rote methods, they ignore individual needs/creativity/the future, not teaching children skills vital to navigate daily life.
Differences in income/gender/race/religion/language/geography produce inequalities (including educational) and digital divides.
Covid-19 has caused hardships, including academic/social-emotional learning loss. Mental health issues are pervasive.
RESEARCH shows social-emotional skills help bridge gaps in inequalities (CASEL). Social-emotional learning includes the process of developing self-awareness, self-control and interpersonal skills vital to everyday life (Denham2003/Duncan2007). Research links strong social-emotional skills to increased mental, social and academic outcomes (Elias2008) and weak social-emotional skills to negative behaviours, well-being or even neuropsychiatric disorders (Paus2008/Durlak et al 2011/Kautz et al for OECD). Development of such skills lasts into young adulthood (Mills2018), offering a prolonged window of opportunity for positive impact on individuals and communities (Kautz et al for OECD).
SOLUTION: Based on the science of learning, Rangeet is easy to implement/scale with pedagogy benefiting students and facilitators from any socioeconomic/geographic/cultural context.
Schools/communities/parents can facilitate development through Rangeet’s mobile-app featuring Social-Emotional and Ecological Knowledge(SEEK) lessons/resources. It uses play-based methods to teach in the way different brains learn.
Designed to be taught anywhere/anytime/by anyone, in-person/remotely, in schools/communities, achieving maximum global reach/effect through scaling/replication. SEEK impacts children, communities/societies and thinking.
Full lessons can be taught or individual activities used as a play-based tool to help teach mainstream subjects. The app contains tools that measure impact on children and collects feedback.
Film your elevator pitch.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?
Increase equitable access to quality learning opportunities through open sourced, offline, or virtual models, especially for underserved learners in low connectivity environments
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Is your solution working in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and/or Malaysia?
What specific problem are you solving in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and/or Malaysia?
Children from poor/marginalised communities deserve the same accessibility/opportunities to quality learning and skills as their advantaged counterparts regardless of connectivity.
CONNECTIVITY, EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITIES, COVID-19: Educational inequality across Southeast Asia is impacted by outdated/overburdened education systems, differences in income/gender/race/religion/language/geography and digital divides. UNDP data suggests that 90% of the population living in extreme poverty in the region are in Indonesia and the Philippines, with Covid-19 increasing poverty. Additionally, 150 million children are affected by school closures. Child labour/marriage/teen pregnancies have increased throughout the region(The Diplomat).
Google states there are approximately 360 million internet users in Southeast Asia, with around 90% connecting via their mobiles. Although internet penetration is 80% in Malaysia, it is approximately 60% in the other countries (Freedom House). Only 15% of Vietnamese homes have computers with connectivity, 63% of the population have smartphones (Newzoo’s Global Mobile Market Report), which will grow with time. Other countries in the region show similar demographics. The connectivity cost is high for low-income households and infrastructure/services are unequally distributed across geographies (OECD/RMIT University).
Edtech can leapfrog learning but only 8% of edtech use smartphones(Central Square Foundation).
SOLUTION: Designed around the UNSDGs, Rangeet’s mobile app is suited to low-connectivity/low-income settings where students lack devices. By design, Rangeet requires only the facilitator (educators/parents/community members)to have a smartphone which is equipped with learning resources designed to tackle the aforementioned issues.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
“Social and Emotional Learning is about the education of the human heart. The future of human civilization and the protection of the planet depends on the evolution of the human heart and Project Rangeet’s methodologies are utterly essential.”
-David Sawyer, Converge, Education Reformer
Rangeet is effective on ALL children: privileged and marginalised; in school and out. Initially we seek to benefit low-income/marginalised children/communities/facilitators/schools/administrators in the developing world, where often parents/communities AND school systems tend to overlook teaching/instilling critical socio-emotional skills in children, choosing to focus on academics instead; many of which also suffer climate change vulnerabilities. Rangeet's aim is to fill this void. Content is easily adaptable to any language/culture.
Kathy Hirsch-Pasek (Brookings Institution) states SEL is "no longer a nice-to-have." It is as, if not more important than academics. Our focusing on Ecology addresses the need of the hour.
Children collaborate and address important issues including gender/inclusion/empathy/health/rights/resilience, thereby raising awareness. SEEK encourages children to discover solutions, whilst imbibing necessary life skills to function successfully in the present and future. Through activities, children’s latent strengths are discovered and social-emotional competencies are developed. For 50 minutes a week every child is afforded the opportunity to shine. Children become better all-round learners who develop empathy towards themselves, others, and all life on earth. Joyful/safe/equitable learning environments are created, be it in a classroom or community, where children are accepted for who they are.
For Human-Centic Design: SE Asia Additional Info: Filling A Void
How does the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge?
Inequalities and out-dated/overburdened school systems maintain a vice-like grip on disconnected and marginalised communities. A SEEK intervention provides consistent quality teaching/learning in low-connectivity settings (only one smartphone/class required), equipping all children, including those out of school, with a breadth of skills (including communication/collaboration/creativity/critical thinking/confidence/resilience/flexibility) creating opportunities and providing them with tools vital to navigate daily life(Brookings).
CASEL's 18-year study on over 97,500 K-12 students across different socioeconomic/racial/geographic contexts, shows that children with developed social-emotional competencies are more likely to finish school (the OECD confirms this), maintain employment, lead happier lives and less likely to fall into negative behaviours.
The World Economic Forum states that the ten most important skills employers seek are social-emotional. Columbia University adds there is an economic benefit to SEL.
The detail and structure of lessons ensures the quality of teaching/classes by anyone who can read, not necessarily qualified teachers. It has been taught in classrooms and communities in the most remote/rural locations, including mangrove regions and tin sheds in rice fields. During the pandemic, SEEK was taught remotely despite digital divides.
Teachers report improved pedagogical skills incorporating playful learning methods and the understanding that every child learns differently (multiple intelligences). They further confirm that they are able to apply these learnings across subject fields (see Media Gallery). This leads to greater job satisfaction and less burnout, according to CASEL and Andreas Schleicher of the OECD.
SEEK is educationally sound, accessible, scalable, adaptable to culture/language and affordable.
2021 Submission to WEF: Davos Digital Inclusion Full Report
What is your solution’s stage of development?Pilot: A project, initiative, venture, or organization applying its research, product, service, or business model in at least one context or community
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful
What makes your solution innovative?
Project Rangeet uses an innovative, recognised approach adaptable to different cultures/languages, scalable across socioeconomic/geographic contexts which can be co-opted by any organisation. The platform ensures social-emotional learning continuity in schools/communities during the pandemic in-person/remotely. We employ smartphone technology for maximum global reach, which only 8% of edtech companies use.
Uses multiple intelligences and playful learning methods to include every child
Teaches socio-emotional/6C skills through active learning
Aligned with UNSDGs leaving no child behind
Facilitators develop their own socio-emotional skills
Teachers/facilitators upskilled pedagogically across subjects
Affordable. Licence cost: USD10/month or USD100/year to teach any number of children
Can be taught in a classroom/outside anywhere/anytime, including in no/low bandwidth settings
Can be taught by anyone. Easy to follow structured lessons ensure quality of teaching and enable anyone who can read: older students/community members/elders/parents/NGO volunteers to teach
Only 1 mobile device required (by facilitator NOT children). Uniquely suited to low/no-connectivity settings where students don't have computers/mobile devices.
As app is only facilitator-facing, it does not add more screen time for children
Accessible to students and facilitators from all socioeconomic backgrounds
Minimal preparation time and resources
Adaptable to cultural contexts and language
Focus on ecology is key
Built-in process and mechanism to measure, monitor and assess impact of the program in real-time
Collects Iterative feedback from facilitators and children
Empowers facilitators to take ownership of bettering their communities
User-friendly aspects increase community participation and engagement
Minimal infrastructure/training requirement makes easy to adapt and adopt
Have you tested your solution’s approach? If so, how?
We currently operate in:
India (West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala, Jharkhand)- 930 facilitators; 17,625 children; 135 schools and communities. Remotely and in-person.
Bangladesh- 50 facilitators; 5,000 children
Peru- early-pilot stage; 5 facilitators
Large school/communities generally go through 4 hours of online training with us to teach facilitators how to use the app. In-app videos exist to answer FAQs. We found that an NGO oversight team/support staff help overcome smartphone/tech fears, especially in rural settings.
Organisational Structure For Scale/Replication
Project Rangeet has been poised to scale since March '20, but COVID-19 related school closures forced us to adapt and delay scaling.
We're now implementing across schools/communities, gearing up for greater adoption and specifically into countries in SEAsia as described in a question below, through partnerships that are in progress/being finalised with international education funders and as depicted in our financial projections.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
The app helps deliver lessons to facilitators, communicates with and supports/rewards them; collects data from children, iterative feedback/impact data, as well as geotagging and verifies that lessons have actually taken place. This also helps in keeping records of teachers and children impacted and their locations. All of this can be automatically fed to social media and MIS. Works in low/no connectivity settings.
Lessons and resources arranged in a searchable manner so that facilitators can easily access desired content.
Roadmap: we will automate data checking, scanning of documents, KYC to allow for scale, enable NFTs to build a network for social good and improve UI/UX.
Current tech stack
Ruby on Rails (auto-scaling) running on AWS for the core backend with Aurora Postgres databases
AWS services such as Reddis, Lambda supporting the core platform
React Native for the mobile application running on iOS and Android
Smart contract Escrow using Stellar’s escrow functionality to control/manage the release of large funds, allowing fund tranching to protect funders and investors
API verification: connection to AI services that automate the verification of activities to remove the need for manual checks, allowing scaling.
Scanning services to enable quicker data collection with no manual intervention
KYC upgrades to provide necessary legal and financial safeguards as the platform scales
Auto-Management of paid/free user subscription, access to content
Minting of NFTs to record social activity enabling micro payments to/ support for facilitators and students for tasks done promoting a social network of social good
Which target population(s) does your solution address?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
Community members, particularly elders looking for something meaningful in their retirement.
Anyone who can read, including those who did not complete high school
Women’s / Self Help Groups
Students aged 15 and above looking to do community service
What are the key characteristics of your target population?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
Which categories best describe your main EdTech product or service?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?
We measure our progress through actual impact reports (with baseline and endline tests as described earlier), iterative feedback and evaluation/observations on the ground by facilitators, administrators and children, as well as through acceptance from renowned experts/organisations:
Shortlisted the Deloitte/World Economic Forum “WorldClass Education Challenge”
Shortlisted by Hundred.org for the 2021:
Contributed and spotlit by Columbia University on a working paper for the Global Happiness Council:
World Economic Forum paper: Davos Labs 2021
To stringently evaluate our work, we are in the initial stage of working with a neuroscience lab from the University of Zurich and Jacobs Centre to analyse the long-term effects of our SEEK interventions on the brain.
We also measure impact on children and teachers through our app: All Impact Reports Summary as well as iterative feedback so we rapidly get inputs from classrooms if children are (a) having fun - a critical component of learning success and (b) understanding WHY they are doing what they are in classrooms.
What are your impact goals for the next year, the next three years, and the next five years? How will you achieve them?
Rangeet is the sauce/process/service/technology that enables communities to drive transformational change in a time when SEEK is sorely required in a post-pandemic world. We aim for widespread adoption by being the "intel inside" through scaling/replication of solid systems. We rely on a scalable structure to enable partners/communities through tech to ensure sustainable and measure-able implementations.
Organisational Structure For Scale/Replication
3,000 Communities/Schools; 4,000 Facilitators; 100,000 Students
9,000 Communities/Schools; 14,000 Facilitators; 420,000 Students
11,000 Communities/Schools; 20,000 Facilitators; 700,000 Students
For more details click on the financial model Impact tab
Implement in schools/communities. Impact Report
Collect evidence/evaluate/reproduce/replicate(learning what works and what doesn’t)
Influence advocacy and education
Research evidencing short/long-term positive impact of SEEK
To achieve this:
Distribute through and enable existing platforms/governments/aid agencies/donors/education agencies/school networks/communities.
Test platform in various settings (different socioeconomic/geographic contexts) or forms (connectivity/remotely/in-person).
Rangeet is working with neuroscientist Nora Raschle at the Jacobs Centre-University of Zurich to evaluate the positive impact of SEEK using PR's data and through implementing SEEK in Swiss schools.
Become more visible/relevant with key stakeholders/journalists/partners.
Ensure detailed teacher resources/documentation/in-app training material. Empower and reward participants and contributors to support a dynamic network via culture, context, language.
Pipeline: creating a system of capturing activity as NFTs (photo/date/ time-stamp/impact) that serve as proof-of-impact and will catalyse/enable micro-investment into and support for the community at scale by anyone interested in furthering quality education.
Rangeet Global Replication: Davos Labs 2021
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your impact goals?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
1. Education policy reform
Describe these barriers as they relate to your solution. How do you plan to overcome them?
1. Education reform. Educators are consumed by focusing on catching up on the “lost” curriculum. It's not about building back better, it's about building forward differently (Andreas Schleicher, 2021).
We need to improve mindsets across the academic ecosystem. To get leadership buy-in, Rangeet can stress that SEEK helps teach (not replace) mainstream subjects in existing curricula, adding the 6Cs which are vital to daily life.
Advocacy/education reform is required to support the idea that our systems need to be agile and recognise that SEL is a path to achieving learning equity.
2. COVID-19 impacts ability to engage consistently with schools and communities. Educators are overburdened with existing academic short-fallings.
3. Financing - to-date Rangeet has earned revenue from sales of the app and have also won a grant from the Jacobs Foundation. Also self-financed. Financing is required:
Improve technology: UI/UX, AI that helps align teaching content with student learning as well as adapting coursework served up to teachers basis iterative feedback.
NFT capability to record positive action.
Continued curriculum design and development of early childhood program.
Grow sales, brand, marketing
Build teams who can effectively advocate, train/support school leaders through multiple languages and contexts.
Improve data collection methods, support research and impact testing and reporting that evaluates assumptions about program efficacy through evidence.
4. Culture. Developing adequate educational content sets us apart, but requires knowledge and sensitivity that is country-specific
Please provide a brief history of your organization. What was the motivation behind starting your organization and/or the development of your solution?
For development of solution: Research and Educational Basis Project Rangeet
What type of organization is your solution team?
For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
How many people work on your solution team?
Our team comprises people skilled in: education, research, product design, business development, sales, strategy, advocacy, social media, accounting, legal, computer science, banking, fintech,
Contractors - 1 external graphic designer; 1 animator
How long have you been working on your solution?
How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
Simran Mulchandani (BSc. Computer Science) Entrepreneur across marketing/fintech/technology/education with experience in SE Asia. Asia Director at Lykke Corp, Swiss Fintech company building a marketplace for blockchain assets. Worked at J.P. Morgan NY/Singapore. Founder/CEO at Rangeet. Extensive experience and connections in SEAsia, Singapore PR.
Karishma Menon (BA English Literature) Documentary film maker in Bombay/Mallorca; Production Assistant. At Rangeet, Karishma works at the confluence of music, human-centric design, education and technology.
Renisha Bharvani (Lawyer: Singapore/UK/NY State,Researcher) Professional/diverse background(a UWCSEA alumni), equips her to understand needs of our target population and governments/administrators/funders of projects. Singapore Citizen, extensive networks in Malaysia/Indonesia.
Sandeep Mishra (Business Development)is a leading expert on building systems and coalitions to drive ‘impact-at-scale’, with two decades of experience working with public systems in India/SouthEast Asia/Africa. He led impactful education non-profits and actively engaged with Global Campaign for Education to advocate the need for quality education for every child. He held leadership positions in Central Square Foundation, STiR Education, Quest Alliance, Azim Premji Foundation. He led STiR as its founding Country Director and drove it through to support over 1,50,000 teachers in 5 years including in Indonesia.
Nish Shetty: development professional working at the intersection of government/industry/non-profit, primarily focused on education/skill development programs. Nish currently serves as the Impact Officer for the Global Shapers Community(W.E.F.) and has previously served as a Policy Advisor to the Govt. of Jharkhand.
Priyanka Seth Pandit (Educator,Musician): 25 years teaching across subjects/schools/countries/socio-economic contexts. Was Director of Diversity at New York's Chapin School.
Provide an example of your Team Lead’s ability to conceptualize and implement a new idea.
In 2015 I taught fourth-graders in a government school in Mumbai. The children were aged 8-14; some differently abled . I inquired why these kids were clubbed randomly together, and was told that the girls were being abused physically/mentally at home, so would lag behind in learning; some kids were sent to villages to help with farming, taken out of school to rejoin at a later date, deeply hurting their self-esteem. The kid who stole my heart was an intellectually challenged girl who had the most enthusiastic sparkle in her eyes. She couldn’t express herself, but you knew she had so much to say. All these abilities, ages, sexes and emotional states were mixed up in an under-resourced classroom packaged, processed, shoved into a world that didn’t care about their dreams. I felt these kids were defeated at birth.
This is where the seed of the idea behind Project Rangeet began. It became non-negotiable for me to do something that would give every child an opportunity: to try, to fail and to find their niche. And now we’ve touched the lives of 20,000 children through 500,00 contact hours in South Asia with regional ambitions in SEAsia.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
BRAC & Govt of Bangladesh- Conducted pilot in Bangladesh and helped inform content. In discussions to role out
Aasraa Trust - Implementing SEEK (Uttarakhand)
Aangan Trust - Implementing SEEK (West Bengal)
CRY - NGO helps train/support facilitators in Ranchi, Jharkhand and implementing SEEK in Rajasthan
Ranchi District Administration - Conducted pilots. Rolling out throughout Ranchi
Bajaj - Funded SEEK for communities in Rajasthan (CRY implementing)
Global Public Schools, Kerala - Implementing SEEK
Brookings Institution - senior fellow Kathy Hirsh-Pasek works closely with Rangeet to examine pedagogy. Cites Rangeet In Playful Learning Study
Jacobs Foundation & MIT Solve - Winner “Promising Innovation” In Equitable Classroom Challenge Jacobs Foundation/MIT Solveathon.
Jacobs Centre/University of Zurich - working with neuroscientist on study to prove positive effect of SEEK interventions
a2i(Bangladesh) - organised Bangladeshi pilots, UN introductions
Columbia University - Rangeet is part of a Columbia working group producing policy briefs for the Global Happiness Council
Global Shapers Community - Partner in Good Seed Movement/Davos Submission
UNOSSC - UN Endorses Project Rangeet
HundrED - Global networking partner
Royal Academy of Bhutan
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
Financial - grants to help with growth. Evaluating whether we are financially viable.
Network Connections - to education stakeholders throughout Southeast Asia
PR - branding/marketing strategy, social & global media, leadership buy-in
Monitoring/Evaluation - measuring impact & collecting/using data
Product/Service Distribution - expanding our client base locally & globally
Technology - improving the product to achieve greater scale