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Naina Subberwal Batra: Bringing Change Through Asia Pacific’s Impact Sector

Naina Subberwal Batra: Bringing Change Through Asia Pacific’s Impact Sector

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Naina Subberwal Batra, the CEO of AVPN. Let’s learn about what’s happening there and how Naina is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Naina, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through AVPN?

Naina: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Asia Pacific is home to around 4.3 billion people, making it the largest region in the world. With a place as big and diverse as Asia Pacific, we often face complicated challenges that seem too difficult to overcome. But at AVPN, we believe that when we work together, even small steps can lead to big changes. We have over 600 members who all want to make things better, like helping kids go to school or making sure people can see a doctor when they're sick. Imagine if each and every one of them are able to learn from one another and work together—that is what we facilitate at AVPN.

Spiffy: Wow! What motivates you to do it?

Naina: Growing up in a fairly good household, I felt inspired to help those around me with things like education, health, employability, and more. That is why I am where I am today. I've been in the impact sector and the CEO of AVPN for over ten years now. What keeps me going is seeing how passionate people in this ecosystem are about making the world a better place, and how open they are to listening, learning, and changing their ways of doing things for greater impact. I’m proud to be working in the impact ecosystem, and I will continue to bring Asian leadership and voices to the global stage.

Spiffy: Can you further elaborate on the impact of your work?

Naina: We work with different organizations and entities in the impact ecosystem, and therefore the impact of our work varies greatly. AVPN’s thematic focus areas include healthcare and wellbeing, women’s economic empowerment, climate action, and youth. We also champion our members’ social investment activities across all of the SDGs in pursuit of equitable development in this region. For example, our Deal Share Platform connects our members with impact organizations that support causes from helping people find work to improving farming.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Naina: AVPN’s community is always growing, and we’re expanding our efforts in the impact ecosystem. One of our most recent milestones was integrating our care economy suggestions into Malaysia’s government initiatives. Recently, our team participated in COP28, which brought together 84,000 individuals working towards a sustainable tomorrow. During this event, we unveiled our Climate x Health Pathfinder, tackling the connection between climate and wellbeing. We’re thrilled to partner with other organizations to develop innovative solutions for our future.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Naina: AVPN also helps connect impact organizations with other practitioners. For example, our Grab a Coffee platform for youth impact leaders successfully connected two organizations, who ended up partnering to create a STEM education chatbot for underserved communities. This is the kind of impact we hope to continue to create with our work. Not only that, we believe that a neutral platform like AVPN is essential in bringing different groups together. Our annual AVPN Global Conference is one of our main ways to spark meaningful conversations, and bring Asian perspectives and leadership to the global stage.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Naina—it’s been an honor!

Naina Subberwal Batra is the CEO of AVPN, the largest regional social investment network that aims to increase the flow of capital for impact. Naina’s leadership has nurtured the AVPN community, growing the membership base by more than four times and elevating the organization into a truly regional force for good. (Nominated by Patty Alleman. First published on the Ladderworks website on March 25, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.