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Tell us about your background?
Madhyama Subramanian is a second year Master of Development Practice (MDP) student from Mumbai, India. The MDP is known for its diverse cohort and Madhyama is no exception. With a background in sustainability communications, she has developed documentaries and other communication projects for UNDP, BBC Media Action, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and The Energy and Resources Institute, to name a few.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
Through the camera lens, she learned about some of the challenges faced by some of India’s most marginalized communities and the progress made in tackling some of India’s most daunting environmental challenges such as water scarcity, energy conservation and waste management. “The documentary format was fascinating because it got me close to people and allowed me to learn about their lives,” says Madhyama. She chose to study communication design for undergraduate studies because “As a high school student who was exploring career paths, I knew I wanted to do something that was creative and have social impact.” After working for nearly 8 years with different environmental organizations, including a year spent working in rural India with a grassroots organization focused on natural resource management and sustainable livelihoods she says, “I realized that I wanted to transition to next level where I can design and implement solutions rather than only work in communications”. To achieve that goal she chose the MDP.
What did you study?
I did my Bachelor’s degree (Film and Video Communication Design) from NID (National Institute of Design) followed by Master’s degree (Sustainability Development Practice) from University of California, Berkeley.
The MDP stood out to Madhyama for its interdisciplinary nature, “I was looking for graduate programs that would enable me to work in sustainable resource use, while gaining a broader perspective on development.” Since joining the program she has seen her interests evolve, and while still focused on natural resource management, she is also interested in the role of business in social impact.
What are you doing currently?
Madhyama joined Solidaridad North America as Program Manager in 2016. Here, she is responsible for building partnerships with stakeholders who are committed to strengthening global commodity supply chains, together with managing international Solidaridad projects.
Solidaridad is an international civil society organization with more than 45 years of global experience in facilitating the development of socially responsible, ecologically sound and profitable agricultural supply chains