Aashish Beergi

MASH Project Foundation

March 2021

Creating an ecosystem for 21st Century Changemakers

- An interview with Aashish Beergi, Founder and CEO of MASH Foundation

Just moments after attending and stepping out of the UNESCO building in Paris, under the shimmering Parisian night sky, overlooking the Eiffel Tower is when Aashish Beergi had his eureka moment. “MASH!”, he thought to himself. “Mobile Applications for a Sustainable Habitat”. Aashish soon combined the synergies of his social sciences and social entrepreneurship background with technology. MASH was conceived on the idea to work with grassroot non-profits and help them leverage the use of technology.

However, two years later in 2015, MASH realized their true potential and pivoted to form something much larger. They largely started to work on ecosystems and implementation, with three main aims under this branch: capacity development, access to communities and amplification. Their overall aim is to help the youth build the right skills and knowledge and create a global ecosystem of social changemakers.

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MASH does this through various programs, workshops, events, campaigns and lately even through online courses. They have partnered with corporates, UN agencies, policy makers, universities and others alike to bring about change. Among their many events, they launched ‘MASH Mixers’, a theme based recurring networking and knowledge event for experts and youth to learn and network together. They also work directly with NGOs and non-profits in order to guide and consult them on measuring impact, designing models and to deliver them.

MASH is no stranger to the challenges faced by a social enterprise. Aashish and his team also heavily depend on the engagement of volunteers to run the enterprise. The constant presence of volunteers is not guaranteed and hence remains to be a challenge. In addition, while they intend and aim to impact students and youth on a mass level, developing financially self-sustainable models also remains to be a constant challenge.

Regardless of these minor hurdles, MASH has successfully had an impact on over 2000 individuals each year, with a total of over 10,000 people directly. Although, their indirect impact, especially those on beneficiaries exceeds well above half a million individuals.

In the near future, MASH will further diversify to build more scalable models while focusing on their core of education and learning. They recently launched a hybrid experiential learning course, titled ‘Skills2Serve’, that would help 21st century youth to become better changemakers in society and help them with necessary skills and tools. In addition, they intend to engage more stakeholders and community partners in the MASH Project family. Lastly, the team intends to teach data access and data visualization to early-stage social enterprises in order for them to improve on their monitoring and evaluation framework.

To conclude, Aashish leaves you three conjoint pieces of advice. “Three steps I strongly advocate for (for any age group, let along young people) are to dream big and have a defined vision, break it down into smaller goals and continuously review and reflect. And last but not the least, Act Now!” Aashish particularly emphasized on the second step of breaking your large goals into smaller, more definitive goals where it is possible to take timely action steps. With this simple recipe, Aashish and his team at MASH continue day in and day out to have an impact on the lives they touch.

Click here to learn more about the MASH Project Foundation and follow them on Instagram over here.