Weaving the TAPESToRY of humanity:
One goal through diverse paths 
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
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For upcoming events visit www.tapestory.org

BIGOTRY   poverty   HUNGER   intolerance   DISEASE
violence   XENOPHOBIA   racism   DISCRIMINATION   hate   EXPLOITATION   misogyny   COERCION   disenfranchisement

We create and contribute to all of these different forms of suffering.
How? We cause suffering because we reject and do not value others who are different from us and thus mistreat them.

What we fail to see is that each of us has the same ultimate goal.
This common goal that we all have is to end our suffering and increase our wellbeing.
The STORY of the path that each of us follows to reach our common goal forms one distinctly colored strand in the intricate 
Tapestory™ (tapestry of stories) of humanity woven from countless unique strands. This Tapestory™ serves as a rich respository of strategies, innovations, and ideas to ensure our success as a species.
The TAPESToRY™ Initiative: Working together to end Suffering
The mission of the Tapestory™ initiative spearheaded by the  Śramani Institute  is to build inter-community cohesion and wellbeing by encouraging individuals and communities of diverse faith, cultural, knowledge, identity, ancestral, age, and professional backgrounds to understand and value each other, collaborate and work with each other, and transform and help each other, so that together all of us can more successfully reach our common ultimate goal of ending human, real-world, and individual suffering.

The Tapestory™ initiative has been successfully implemented for over 6 years in the Śramani Institute's grassroots work with diverse communities in India. We found that marginalized communities suffer poverty and disenfranchisement because they are not valued and thus cut off from culturally relevant resources that would enable them to achieve wellbeing and be self-reliant. We thus created a novel sustainable progress model based on revitalizing and preserving the unique identity, culture, knowledge, and innovations of each community. We:
  • helped decision-makers and others to UNDERSTAND the value of the identity-based approaches of different communities;.
  • facilitated COLLABORATIONS between different communities to share resources and knowledge, with the result that 
  • together they TRANSFORMED-solved their challenges of poverty, hunger, ill-health, environmental degradation, violence, disenfranchisement, and identity loss.

Inverted Banyan Tree of UNDERSTANDING
​​We understand the challenges and innovative problem-solving approaches of diverse communities in two ways: (1) we ask experts of diverse faith-knowledge-practice systems to share the framework of their unique systems (paths), so that we can understand commonalities in their approaches, as well as valuable differences; (2) we ask people from diverse communities to share their Stories of Adversity & Resilience to understand the challenges they face.  
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​​We inspire inter-community collaboration and cohesion in two ways: (1) catalyze coalition-building among experts and members of diverse communities through ongoing conversations, events, panels, dialogs, and festivals; and (2) encourage young adults from diverse communities to work together to achieve sustainable progress by solving real-world challenges through a competition of projects.
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We integrate the different approaches of diverse faith-knowledge-practice systems to create innovative multi-perspective problem-solving tools for the challenges faced by members of diverse communities discerned from their Stories of Adversity & Resilience . Our integrated approach is applied to improve the health & wellbeing of as well as achieve sustainable progress for diverse communities. 
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Originators of the TAPESToRY™ Initiative




Mr. Wayne Firestone, ​Esq.
Dr. Kakoli Mitra, Esq.
Mr. Firestone is deeply rooted in the interplay of modern, traditional, and cultural Jewish traditions, which have deeply inspired his life and work dedicated to humanist social change. He is a Senior Strategist at the Śramani Institute , the CEO of the National Honors Society Scholarship Fund, and also an Executive Innovator in Residence at the Kogod Business School at American University. Mr. Firestone has held leadership positions in several national and global NGOs, including President and CEO of Hillel International, President of the Genesis Prize Foundation, and CEO of International Lifeline Fund. He is a lifelong champion of intergenerational dialogue and building an active civil society through leading global and national nonprofits. In 2014, Mr. Firestone led the Genesis Generation Challenge, and in 2016, he served on the Evaluation Panel of the 100&Change Challenge of the MacArthur Foundation. He is an active community leader serving as a board member for the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues and a participant in the Aspen Institute’s Inclusive America Project. In addition to his professional and community leadership roles, Mr. Firestone has published more than 100 articles on emerging adults and higher education trends and was twice named by The Jewish Daily Forward as one of the “Forward 50,” influencers who are making a difference in the way American Jews view the world and themselves.  Mr. Firestone earned his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and was a Harry S. Truman Presidential Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Miami.
Dr. Mitra is an avid student, researcher, and practitioner of Dharma, an integrated system of implementary science originating in ancient India dedicated to understanding and living according to the nature of existence and the principles governing it. She is the Founder of the Śramani Institute . Dr. Mitra is a highly inter-disciplinary and innovative cross-sector expert in fields ranging from science & technology, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property to human rights, sustainable economic growth, and international development. Desiring to create a new type of integrated institution that would focus on and synergistically solve the most pressing challenges facing billions of human beings today, Dr. Mitra left behind an award-winning career in academic science to found the Śramani Institute in 2010. She has been a champion of mutual respect and equal treatment throughout her life, challenging intolerance and discrimination on behalf of individuals and communities in various countries as a multilingual global citizen and through the work of the Śramani Institute on two continents. Dr. Mitra has published paradigm-shifting first-author articles in leading journals such as Nature, and has been an invited speaker at universities and institutions across the world. For her excellence in leadership and scientific innovation she was awarded the prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award. Dr. Mitra received her Ph.D. in Biophysics from Yale University and her J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
Śramani Institute
The Śramani Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit institution currently active in the United States and India. Our Mission is to generate and implement effective, long-term, sustainable, and equitable solutions to concertedly solve the 5 Major Human-Ecological Challenges facing humanity today: poverty, hunger & ill-health, environmental degradation, violence & disenfranchisement, and identity loss. 

The Śramani Institute synergistically solves these Challenges by promoting attitudes and behaviors (cultures) and Knowledge & Technologies (KT) that are rooted in ourselves and in nature. From our grassroots work over several years working with ancient and tribal communities we have learned that when individuals and communities are rooted in themselves and/or in the natural environments (ecosystems) they live in, they are remarkably innovative, peaceful, self-reliant, and enjoy a high overall Quality of Life.

Thus, an important part of the Śramani Institute's approach is to learn from diverse rooted – especially ancient and tribal – communities across the world, help them revitalize their cultures and Knowledge & Technologies (KT), and adapt these cultures and KT to rural and urban settings to enhance the wellbeing of a larger number of communities and ecosystems through Hybrid Knowledge & Technologies (HKT).