Thanks for stopping by to browse CARTHA’s website. In these few pages, I share my professional rationale for founding CARTHA. You will also catch a few glimpses of my personal journey with so many individuals that inspired the launch of CARTHA.
CARTHA was launched on Friday, September 1, 2006 as a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
CARTHA means “doer” in the ancient language of Sanskrit and our mission is to cultivate Collaborative Doers. I chose this name because “getting things done”—and joining up with others to get more things done, easier, faster, and in a fun way!—has always been my passionate interest. Over the years, people have variously called me a “go-getter”…and I have taken it as a compliment! Through CARTHA (acronym originating from “Collaborative Arts in Research Translation for Human Advancement”), I have simply created the chance to be a “better go-getter” on behalf of others, to help others, to foster more collaborations, and to make our world a better place.
CARTHA focuses primarily on academic-practitioner collaborations. Within such multidisciplinary partnerships, it is no longer sufficient to address just the “what if’s” or just the “how to’s”. We need a “can-do” attitude, and be audacious about saying “why not!” This may allow us to induce and spur more innovation, more creativity, more sharing, more giving, and more concerted action for our own collective benefit. We need the ideas and discoveries of today to assist in the development of innovations and products for tomorrow. We need the young people of today to be transformative leaders for tomorrow, to make our world a better place.
As my brother, Sridhar Ramamoorti, a key motivator for the founding of CARTHA, aptly puts it:
"A culture of innovation demands innovations in culture!"
CARTHA is an entrepreneurial—and therefore, inherently risky—endeavor. However, CARTHA is unique in that the focus of her efforts is not primarily financial. She is not in competition with any other group, nor is she constantly searching for grants. This refusal of competitiveness, disinterest in prestige, and non-requisite of financial reward allows CARTHA a more porous and non-hierarchical existence. It is through this non-traditional route that CARTHA has been able to accomplish numerous tasks and allow for natural self-selection by high-aspiration individuals from varied backgrounds.
When the goal is to “make a bigger difference” as a bridging professional—to empower oneself among glocalized Collaborative Doer networks—there is no longer a feeling of fear of failure, or for that matter, tiredness or a sense of being lonely and lost. Because of the energy and momentum provided by CARTHA’s volunteers and well-wishers, I continue along confidently in this journey. As CARTHA becomes such an enabling platform for many others, including our younger generations, I thus show and share my deep gratitude to all those who have taught me, mentored me, and supported me to advance so many good causes.
CARTHA is working on many exciting initiatives. However, like most organizations, CARTHA will need support—human, moral, and financial, and all other kinds!—to succeed in her work to help others. If reading about CARTHA piques your interest, you must call or write to me. I always welcome feedback and input, and look forward to hearing from you.
Usha R. Balakrishnan
Founder, CEO, and Board Chair, CARTHA