How do you introduce someone who is as accomplished as Dr. Jawahar Surisetti to an audience is a dilemma that many a host face where this eminent personality is among the speakers. He is the man whom governments seek out for advice and insights on a myriad of subjects. He is an eminent education and child psychologist, thinker, bestselling author, TED Speaker and an innovator.
“Yes, it does get funny at times when someone asks me how I would like to be introduced. I just tell them to refer to me simply as Dr. Surisetti, a person who really cares about how we educate our young ones. That’s all that matters in any case,” says Dr. Surisetti with a smile on his face.
Dr. Surisetti advises the Government of India on policy issues and innovations in education, start ups and youth affairs. Known worldwide as the “Think Professor” for his “Art Of Thinking”, he engages with 2.4 lakh children and parents across the globe through the UN expedition called Explora - exploring the minds of the youths.
Dr. Surisetti is a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Washington. He has been bestowed the New York Times’ Da Vinci Innovator title for his innovations in social education to help uplift the disadvantaged. His innovation, Think Curriculum, for which he has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Columbia University, fosters thinking in learning and has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He has been recently adjudged as one of the top 24 policy makers of India by leading Indian daily “New Indian Express”. He conducts Career Yatra in the interior parts of the country where children and youth have no access to career guidance or counseling facilities. His efforts have been supported by TATA CSR, Jindal Steel, Rungta Group, Dainik Bhaskar and Ministry of School Education of many Indian states.
“Meaningful and timely guidance can make a huge difference in the life of a youth. Through various programs, I try to reach out to and help about one lakh children every year in finding a meaningful career for themselves. I wish to see them empowered enough to pursue and sustain not just their education but also support their families,” explains Dr. Surisetti.
He has also initiated the “Think for India” , “My Beti" and “Religion of Youth” movements to provide India’s youth an open platform to express their views, desires and what they want to see changed in the current state of India and the world.
“Youth are the future of our country. My heart aches to see the misguided youth today who follow political leaders and parties blindly. This is not how they can serve their nation. I wish to see them guided well and their energy channeled in the right direction. Pseudo nationalism or activism that we practice on social media and feel proud about is something that we must deal with in the interest of our nation,” emphasises Dr. Surisetti.
As an innovator, his pioneering work in the world on digital wellbeing, happiness and peace in the schools, colleges, homes, corporates and in the global perspective has been aptly applauded. He has “Happea”, an app being launched in July which measures internal happiness. It also suggests ways to improve happiness in a corporate set up. “Happy employees improve efficiency and happy children or youth means better learning. This is what Happea aims to deliver - happy employees and youth,” says Dr. Surisetti.
His other innovation. “Apprison” is an app that measures mobile addiction and is the first gamified productivity app in the world that promotes digital wellbeing. “With the COVID-19 induced scare and social distancing norms, our reliance on our mobiles has increased manifold. I expect mobile addiction to emerge as the biggest ailment of mankind. I see it surpassing all other health issues and expect to see a spurt of digital wellbeing clinics, specialists, mobile lockers, mobile de-addiction centers and so on.”
Dr. Surisetti is ably supported in these innovations by his two sons Jayesh, an IIM alumnus and gold medalist and Jagrit, an AI researcher and visiting scholar of Purdue University and Plaksha Tech Leader fellow.
“Both of them are really smart and it makes me really happy to collaborate with them as they add real value to my projects. The best part is that my sons always keep me on my toes. We also love to watch movies together,” says Dr. Surisetti with a proud smile on his face.
Dr. Surisetti is a movie buff and uses examples from Bollywood and Hollywood during his sessions. He refers to Bollywood as his second teacher after his mother. His passion for Bollywood has motivated him to create “BAAP Ratings” which are the first scientific Bollywood Ratings which work on a complex algorithm to calculate success of actors, actresses and films.
Dr. Surisetti is also a renowned author whose two bestselling parenting guides “Mama & Me” and “Go To Hell or Come To Me” have sold almost 2 million copies worldwide. He is also a “Speaking Tree” columnist and writes thought provoking articles and poetry on various issues related to geo-political, family or current issues.
Dr. Surisetti has received rave reviews for the simplicity and effectiveness of his almost 1500 lectures, seminars and workshops conducted in 76 countries of the world. His sessions for different categories are termed as eye openers across the world.
His goal of his life is to establish a “Peace University” in India which will be the nerve centre of study and research of happiness, peace and wellbeing for the world and the last word in conflict resolution, anger and stress management.
“In the end, all that matters is the legacy that you leave behind. Your work is what defines you long after you’re gone. I hope that I am able to give something worthwhile to my country and my people that they can benefit from and feel really proud of,” concludes Dr. Surisetti, the man with the vision who is on a mission!
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.