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Cambridge Executive MBA participant Fagun Thakrar’s foundation aims to improve the lives of young people through the arts.

Fagun Thakrar.

Cambridge Executive MBA participant Fagun Thakrar (EMBA 2019) is expanding operations and outreach of her not-for-profit focused on helping young people through the power of creativity.

Through a network of creative professionals based around the world, the Creatively Inspired Life Foundation delivers arts-oriented, multi-disciplinary workshops that span the visual, literary, and performing arts.

With long-term ambitions to build schools in underdeveloped areas of India and East Africa, the Creatively Inspired Life Foundation is producing new workshops and outreach programmes in the UK and US.

“We are launching a series of events to connect our foundation with the people who would benefit most from the programmes we offer. Ensuring we reach the people who really need our help is vital,” says Fagun.

“The Creatively Inspired Life Foundation has a three-fold approach to programmes,” she explains. “Community programmes, mentoring programmes, and institutional outreach programmes.”

“So we are also producing events for people and institutions that want to get involved in the foundation, either through offering mentorship or workshop programmes for those who would benefit.”

From the cinema to supporting others

Originally founded in 2017, the foundation is a labour of passion by Fagun, a founder with diverse personal and professional interests, and a fascinating, cross-sector career to date.

Fagun has been active in screen and stage acting for many years, having appeared in English, Hollywood, and Indian films.

She spent her early years in Leicester, UK, finding creative outlets through performing in theatres across the Midlands, before studying medicine at University College London.

Continuing to work in stage and film acting roles, on graduation Fagun moved to the US to study filmmaking with an ambition to start directing films.

“My ambition is to concentrate on films that shine a light on critical issues and can make positive changes through education and inspiration,” says Fagun, now based between London and Los Angeles. “Films can reach thousands or even millions of people, and with that comes the opportunity to provide exposure for important messages.”

Channelling her appetite for social change, Fagun worked in various capacities for local and international not-for-profits, including Amnesty International and the United Nations. She is also an ambassador for the Women’s Brain Project, which focuses on research to support women’s mental health. Through her not-for-profit work, Fagun started to envisage a novel way to complement the support these organisations provide: through creativity.

“I wanted to offer different ways to support young people that I knew would be extremely valuable. Working with young people at Amnesty and the UN, and on a local level, I felt inspired to establish a foundation that offered something unique.”

Investing in personal development

As no stranger to investing in personal development herself, Fagun decided to pursue an Executive MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School in 2019.

“As the work I do expands internationally, I wanted to increase my cross-cultural competency and my awareness of diverse global markets. I was being placed in leadership roles within organisations and so wanted to develop critical leadership skills that would enable me to grow and progress in my fields.”

“I have always been driven by the idea of self-improvement,” she continues. “I have a naturally curious nature and I love learning. I strive to be a better version of myself every day.”

“I also think Cambridge is one of the most beautiful universities; I delight in being surrounded by all the greenery and the wonderful architecture.”