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o9 Announces Make a Difference (MAD) as the Recipient of Its Inaugural Digital Tomorrow Grant

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Published: Reading time: 3 min
o9 Solutions The Digital Brain Platform
o9 SolutionsThe Digital Brain Platform

MAD, a prominent India-based nonprofit organization, was selected for its innovative tech-enabled mentorship project

DALLAS, Jan. 25, 2024o9, a leading enterprise AI software platform provider for transforming planning and decision-making, today announced that it has selected Make a Difference (MAD), a prominent nonprofit organization in India, as the recipient of its first o9 Digital Tomorrow Grant. This grant will support MAD's groundbreaking project, Empowering India's Children: Tech-Enabled Progression Mentoring.

The o9 Digital Tomorrow Grant provides $250,000 to support initiatives that help advance digital literacy and promote technology inclusion for underserved communities. The grant’s intended purpose is to: 

  • Help communities improve digital literacy; 
  • Enhance and broaden access to technology devices; 
  • Empower marginalized groups’ use of technology; 
  • Promote responsible digital citizenship; 
  • Foster innovation, and; 
  • Strengthen community engagement.

MAD's project was selected due to its focus on leveraging technology to provide mentorship opportunities for children in underserved communities through the Progression Mentoring program. The collaboration between o9 and MAD exemplifies a shared commitment to fostering technological inclusion and creating lasting positive impacts on communities. Both organizations aim to contribute to a more inclusive and connected future by supporting similar projects.

"Almost half of the world's 1.1 billion underprivileged people are children under the age of 18, according to UNDP's 2023 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Report. MPI defines six years of schooling, but we know that's only about halfway to the Empowerment Line, which is what MAD aspires to, so that the cycle of intergenerational poverty can be broken within one generation instead of the seven generations it currently takes in countries like India," said Jithin Thadani, Co-Founder and CEO at Make A Difference. "Tech-based tools that will enable us to deliver all our educational and support interventions and monitor their outcomes for our beneficiaries from 10 years all the way up to 28 years of age are crucial for poverty to be solved at scale. Tech-enablement is also key to our mission of ending poverty in our lifetime by empowering the sector. So, receiving this grant from o9 is doubly meaningful -- apart from the funding, we've found a global knowledge partner that is unwavering in its support in helping us build the ecosystem-enabling tools we've set out to build."

"Choosing a recipient was a challenging task due to the outstanding applications we received. Make a Difference (MAD) stood out for the organization’s dedication and novel approach, and we believe that its endeavor will contribute significantly to advancing digital literacy in underserved communities," said Igor Rikalo, President and COO at o9. "MAD’s Tech-Enabled Progression Mentorship program is a testament to its commitment to empowering the next generation, and we are confident that this collaboration will drive positive change in the lives of vulnerable children in India." 

For more information about o9, visit


About Make A Difference: Founded in 2006 with the singular purpose of permanently breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty for India's 35 million Children in urgent Need of Care and Protection (CNCP), Make a Difference (MAD) is an award-winning nonprofit that delivers educational, social, and economic outcomes through a specialized progression mentoring model for institutionalized children in 46 shelter homes and youth from the Care-Leavers Network in 18 cities across India. Over the last 17 years, MAD has grown from 30 volunteers to a network of 20,000 past and present volunteers, many of whom are now important voices within the social impact sector nationally and internationally. It is the only NGO in India that operates solely on a scalable, self-organizing, volunteer-led community model. For more information, please visit

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o9 Solutions The Digital Brain Platform

o9 Solutions

The Digital Brain Platform

o9 Solutions is a leading AI-powered platform for integrated business planning and decision-making for the enterprise. Whether it is driving demand, aligning demand and supply, or optimizing commercial initiatives, any planning process can be made faster and smarter with o9’s AI-powered digital solutions. o9 brings together technology innovations—such as graph-based enterprise modeling, big data analytics, advanced algorithms for scenario planning, collaborative portals, easy-to-use interfaces and cloud-based delivery—into one platform.


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