Prof. Anirudh Krishna took these photos of a slum in Bangalore, India. This was the slum we recorded in for the Ways & Means podcast, Season 3 episode 1.

In our latest engagement story, we highlight the work of Anirudh Krishna, a professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy.  He has been studying how people escape poverty and how they come to be poor in the first place. “No one goes beyond occupations like the ones in the community. There are a number of things that create big obstacles to aspirations and achievement,” said Krishna. “I found many kids who were smart, very smart,” said Krishna, but the children aspired to be the highest occupation in their community.

Krishna researched ways to propel children into alternative careers and, ultimately, upward mobility. Answering this question led to several searches for what he identified as social mobility promoting organizations (SMPOs). SMPOs promote a combination of life skills, such as job preparation, confidence building and professional development, with a central goal of getting youth in careers they would otherwise not have. His team identified several organizations in India that fit their SMPO definition and Krishna estimates that these organizations are collectively helping no more than 100,000-150,000 children. In India 100,000-150,000 children may not be a staggering number, but it the start to something incredible.

You can read the full article here.