“The House promotes inter-cultural dialogue, encourages life-long connections, and fosters global citizenship.” “Our mission has proven to be more important than ever, given the times in which we now live.” These two sentences taken from the ISH DC website lives up to the experience as a resident at ISH to say the least.
ISH is a place that facilitates its residents to make beautiful connections and relationships; benefit and contribute to and from each resident. The resident initiated national celebrations and festival celebrations are only a few of such examples.
The recent events of the past months at the house include the Ferragosto day, Mexican night, Bollywood night and the Octoberfest, apart from all the other cookouts that happen at our very own ISH. These present themselves as the unique and rich public goods created and initiated by the residents and generously facilitated by the management with resources and infrastructure. Residents are excited and look forward to these events almost the entire week before, building up to the hype and exceedingly delivering on expectations. These events are charged with positive energy, perhaps enabled a tiny bit by culturally appropriate beverages (will not alter the outcome of the events, so keep the Mezcal and artisan beer coming!) accompanied with delicious food. Oh, did I forget to mention the dancing? The hours of dancing that follow almost all events is icing on the cake!
Every event contributes and enriches to the rich diversity that ISH offers that we as residents appreciate and learn from. This is enabled by the distinctive and continual different groups of residents that ISH hosts comprising of brilliant, well-rounded, tolerant, open-minded, interesting and fun people from across the globe.
These events which bring the entire ISH community together have also led to smaller groups for various purposes – helping each other on assignments, weekend getaways, Thursday Frontpage alliances, Saturday El Centro groups, board game nights, resident salons, kayaking on the Potomac, whisky tasting, running club, movies groups, movie nights, yoga classes, French classes, volunteering, museum going groups, and several others.
This is all very welcome as these ultimately generate positive externalities and contribute to the immense and growing social capital of the ISH community. My stay here at ISH since March 2017 has reminded me several times of what my then Rector at the Norwegian Folk School where I spent a year as a Youth (Norwegian) Peace Corps, that the intangible experiences of inter-cultural dialogue and relationships that we make will have lasting effects on us as individuals. This is very true with my stay here at ISH, and I’m very glad to be a part of it. So, ISH has got everything going right especially with these events that bring almost all residents together, kudos on that!
Rakesh Gupta NICHANAMETLA RAMASUBBAIAH is working at the Development Research Group division of the World Bank in Washington DC. He is also a PhD candidate at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne / Paris School of Economics. He holds a Master degree in Quantitative Economics from Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS-Ulm) and Paris School of Economics specializing in Public Policy and Development; a University Diploma in Applied Mathematics from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; and an Executive MBA from Alliance University.
His primary field of research is microeconometrics of development economics, with a particular interest in impact evaluation. He’s currently working on questions of intergenerational mobility across the world at the World Bank. Previously, he was working on early childhood development, social sectors budgeting, child poverty and Monitoring and Impact Evaluation of programs as a UNICEF Fellow at Economic Policy Research Centre in Uganda. Alongside, his PhD funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD) and Chaire Energie et Prosperité is on social capital and subjective well-being as an extension of the capabilities approach. He has also worked on the statistical foundations of coherent, composite, multidimensional development indicators, including Relational Capability Index.
His other work experience includes: ESSEC Business School (IRENE-CODEV) on social capital and relational capabilities research; launch team of Uber in Paris; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on fiscal impacts of environmental policies; Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) on a banking and credit services study; United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on environmental policies’ distributional impact in the Asia Pacific; and also at Goldman Sachs as a hedge funds analyst.