Ajit George, Educator and Game Designer
Ajit George is the director of operations for the international non-profit Shanti Bhavan Children's Project, an educational institution in India with the mission to give a world-class education to the poorest of the poor. Shanti Bhavan is his life's work, and he spends about four months of each year in India. He is also a graduate of Clarion West, an acclaimed program for science fiction and fantasy writers, and he has written for projects like The Warren (a game about intelligent rabbits seeking survival and community), Invisible Sun (a surreal game about manipulating the fabric of reality), Misspent Youth (a game about teen rebellion in a future dystopia), and many more.
What’s your quick bio?
I deeply care about diversity and inclusion in storytelling spaces. I’ve worked with a number of boards, groups, and organizations to help bring people of color into creative spaces, and to give them professional access to spaces where normally very few PoC can be found. My latest project is a high intervention mentoring program for people of color in the analog games space; it pairs mentees with an entire team of professionals to help guide them through the various areas it takes to be successful as a creative in the space. [Editor's Note: "analog games" is a term of art for non-electronic games.] I’m currently working on my newest novel manuscript.
“My latest project is a high intervention mentoring program for people of color in the analog games space; it pairs mentees with an entire team of professionals.”
What are some of your own favorite past projects? Why do you feel great about them?
I recently co-orchestrated a networking event designed to match aspiring game professionals of color with executives, designers, producers and other established figures in the games industry. It may have been the first such event in games — certainly in the analog game space — and it was incredibly impactful. People of color are often locked out of opportunities because of the lack of access, and this event helped open new doors for jobs and mentorship. I hope to replicate this soon.
What’s your biggest, most out-there dream of a better world?
It's the work I'm doing with Shanti Bhavan. The children in our program come from some of the poorest communities on earth. They are also often discriminated against based on caste, and the girls face institutional sexism. We are giving them some of the best education possible in India and arming them to become talented, creative and thoughtful white-collar professionals. All of our graduates are now successful professionals, and because they grew up together, they're starting to think about building companies or NGOs together, as well as running for political office with the support of their community. They come from poverty, but have the tools of the most privileged, and I believe they will have a positive, powerful impact on society in the next ten to twenty years.
What are your favorite links that will help our audience learn about you, your life, your work, and your values?
Here's Shanti Bhavan's website.
Here's my personal webpage.