Pune, India (PressExposure) November 03, 2009 -- Following a successful college basketball career, JD Walsh (www.jdbasketball.com) initially began his commercial career working in finance, before opting to become a full-time entrepreneur. Since then, JD has spent more than a decade starting new businesses, working across the globe, and - with support from the US State Department - serving as an outspoken advocate for social change.
Addressing the audience after sharing an early breakfast, JD described how he has "been able to use basketball and the message of sport to educate children, bring about social change, and bridge cultural divides." The lively two-hour session was punctuated with anecdotes, humor and candid responses to several questions from the audience.
Recounting a particularly pivotal moment, JD described how he was able to use basketball to defuse an increasingly tense situation at a children's camp designed to bring Israeli and Palestinian youngsters together. "Getting onto the court, with integrated teams, and sweating for an hour and a half is a great way to forget whatever you were fighting about. At the end of the game, the kids lined up for photographs, shared the stories of their on-court performances, and were able to behave like any other children."
One topic that came up during JD's interaction was the concept of 'for-profit' social change. The idea - gaining increasing popularity amongst a new generation of social entrepreneurs - is still delicate. Some Extentians supported the idea, while others were more comfortable with the more traditional 'not-for-profit' NGO model. The issue led to an enlightening debate and gave everyone a clearer understanding of the reach, capabilities and motivation behind the for-profit school of thought.
Umeed Kothavala (Extentia Director) summarized the benefits of the session. "Getting to interact with a great basketball coach is exciting in itself," he said. "But getting to spend quality time with someone who has been instrumental in using sport to drive social change is a unique experience, and one that will bring about lifelong changes for all of us."
JD Walsh has exciting long-term plans for India, a country he sees being at the "crossroads of development and social needs." He is expecting to set up a more permanent presence in the country in the coming months. The event was part of an ongoing series of sessions where Extentia invites outstanding speakers to share their experiences - and horizon-broadening knowledge - with Extentians and selected guests.
With JD Walsh's continuing interest in bringing about social change - and in harnessing the power of internet-based social media to facilitate that - Extentia also has the opportunity to participate in helping JD get his message to the world.