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Mumbai Donut Fellowship


MDC is happy to announce its first Fellowship program to understand Mumbai from a lens of livability and sustainability by diving deeper into the 21 themes of the Donut Economics Model.


First, we need to have good information and understanding of where Mumbai stands in terms of various social and environmental indicators, and who the key players are. A lot of information is out there but is not well organised and collated. Putting this knowledge together will help all stakeholders get a deeper understanding of the issues and potential pathways to address them. This will be the main goal of the fellowship. 

Structure of the Program

  • Duration:                        6 months

  • No of Fellows:               30

  • Time commitment:       10-12 hours per week

  • Physical Meetings:        Alternate Saturdays (sometimes                                              Sundays) for 4 hours

  • Virtual Meetings:          Alternate Saturdays for 2 hours

  • Meetings will include guest speaker, field visits, Fellow presentations and group discussions

  • Fellows will choose 3 out of the 21 dimensions to study

  • Fellows will share their progress regularly through presentations and reports

Important Dates


Applications Open:               19 Feb 2024

Applications Close:              10 Mar 2024

Interviews:                             25 Feb - 12 Mar

Fellows Announced:              27th Mar

Fellowship Starts:                 20th Apr (Saturday)

Fellowship Ends:                    21th Sep (Saturday) (tentative)

As acceptance is on a rolling basis, please apply early. 

What will the Fellows do?

  • Review all data on their selected Dimensions from government and non-governmental sources including reaching out to researchers, NGOs and thinktanks to get information at a city and sub-city (Ward) levels

  • Identify Government departments and organisations, NGOs, citizen groups, startups, businesses, media outlets in each Dimension

  • Study Government Programs, Schemes and Plans

  • Write articles, create videos and other media pieces

  • Make presentations at various MDC events and roundtable discussions that will be organised during (and after) the Fellowship period

  • The Fellows will collectively compile their work into a Book and Database that will be publicly accessible as a resource to any organisation or person interested in better understanding Mumbai

How will the Fellows benefit?

  • Get a deeper understanding of how Mumbai works across sectors

  • Meet experts, public officials and organsiations that are working on important issues

  • Meet like-minded people who also care about the city–build a strong community

  • Help to build a data-driven citizens movement towards tangible improvements in the city

  • Make public presentations at events and discussions—build your own voice and visibility

  • Opportunity to create and publish original content and thought pieces

What are we looking for?

  • Socially and Environmentally conscious and concerned citizens

  • Open-minded and willing to explore contrarian and unconventional views

  • Deep desire to learn and share

  • Good (primary and secondary) research experience and skills:

    • Read reports and do secondary research

    • Motivated to set up meetings and speak to a range of people, and carry out field visits to get relevant information and insight

    • Ability to analyse, organise and present data and information

    • Deep desire to understand how things happen and root causes of problems

  • Ability to work independently

  • Responsible in completing work on time and making presentations as needed

  • Innovative, resourceful and entrepreneurial spirit

  • Good writing and presentation skills

  • Can travel extensively within Mumbai

Who can apply?

  • Must be living in Mumbai

  • Age: 19-40 (exceptions can be made–please apply if you are interested)

  • Must commit about 10 hours/week

  • Must attend 100% of the sessions (except emergency or upon prior intimation)

  • Education: Enrolled in or completed a Bachelors or Masters / PhD-level degree

  • Proficient in English (Marathi fluency will be a bonus)

  • Good internet connectivity for online sessions

Potential Speakers and Experts

  • Luis Miranda: Advisor at Morgan Stanley Private Equity

  • Dr Chandrashekar Shankar: Founder and CEO of Vision EarthCare Pvt. Ltd.

  • Praveen Singh: CEO, Apanalaya

  • Prof Malini Krishnankutty: Professor, Center for Urban Science and Engineering, IIT-Bombay

  • Dr Al Sharada: Executive Director at Population First

  • Anand Jagtap: Officer on Special Duty at Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai

  • Pratima Joshi: Executive Director at Shelter Associates

  • Prof. NC Narayanan: Director of the Ashank Desai Center for Policy Studies, IIT-Bombay

  • Prof. Amita Bhide: Dean at TISS

  • Sameer Unhale: Smart Cities Mission Director

  • Utkarsha Kavadi: Director, All India Institute of Local Self Government

  • Prof. Himanshu Bhurte: Professor at Center for Urban Science and Engineering, IIT-Bombay

  • Prof Om Damani: Professor at Department of Computer Science, IIT- Bombay

  • Meeta Narsinghani: Partner at Circulate Capital

  • Ashok Rathod: Founder, Oscar Foundation

  • Prabhat Pani: Executive Director, SP Jain Institute for Management Research

  • Suranjana Ghosh: Head, Marico Innovation Foundation

  • Sundeep Kapila: Founder, Swasth Healthcare

  • Frahinsa Rodrigues: CEO, Mumbai Mobile Creches


Q. Is there any fee for the program?

There is no fee to join the program. However, at the end of the program, if you feel that you have benefitted from the program, we encourage you to contribute whatever amount you deem suitable to make this program available to more people. There will be a nominal penalty payable for missing a physical meeting (Rs 500).

Q. What if I have to travel? Or miss a session for some other personal reason?

It is requested that you don’t skip sessions unless it is extremely urgent. You will require prior approval if your travel etc. makes you miss more than 2 sessions.

Q. Do I get a degree or certificate?

You will receive a certificate from the Mumbai Donut CoLAB.


Q. I have a full-time job / venture. Can I still apply?

Yes, as long as you can attend the sessions (Saturday/Sunday mornings) and commit about 10 hours each week to do the research.


Q. I am currently a student. Can I still apply?

Yes, as long as you can attend the sessions (Saturday/Sunday mornings) and commit about 10 hours each week to do the research. We understand you will need flexibility around exam time, and that can be built into your schedule.

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