OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter : Community Catch Up #002
This was the second Community Catch Up for the OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter. Hosted in one of the most beautiful localities in Bengaluru, Indiranagar, a set of young minds got together on a Sunday to discuss the progress on the last meeting and upcoming OpenIDEO Challenges.
The most amazing & beautiful thing around the the meetup was the diversity of the participants who turned up for the Community Catch Up. This crowd had students & professionals from different geographies & backgrounds which led to an insightful conversation owing to the cross-cultural exchanges where the participants learned the differences and similarities across developing nations from different parts of the world with respect to the topics being discussed.
The initial discussion involved briefing the new members on the last Community Catch Up and also discuss with them the plan on executing the action items to gain outcomes of the Outpost Event on Sex Education for Adolescents. This would involve executing these modules in collaboration with underprivileged schools in rural, semi-rural & semi-urban areas. As per our discussion with some school authorities, the best time to start with execution would be after summer vacation as it requires a continuous collaboration of a few months without breaks. Members from different cultures & countries shared their stories and perspectives which turned out to be great input for us to look at the contrast between multiple cultures around the same topic. A lot of times we disagreed with each other and had different opinions and perspectives. However, we ensured that we put forward our differences out there for a healthy and open discussion which led to some interesting insights around how the environment variables are so difference across different cultures. It was a perfect moment in the journey of the project to have such a conversation that would provide us with such diverse perspectives.
The next topic of discussion was the Active Challenges launched by OpenIDEO in 2019 which included the following topics :
Early Childhood Book Challenge
Accelerating Immunisation Coverage for Rapid Urbanisation Challenge
Empowering Caregivers in Immunisation Innovation Challenge
And the one that appeared feasible for us to go ahead with happens to be the Early Childhood Book Challenge. HMW statement : How might we inspire children and their caregivers to read together?
An insightful query that popped up while discussing the challenge - We already have so many early childhood books that are aimed at assisting the parents, guardians, grandparents & caretakers help children learn to talk & recognize things around them like alphabets, numbers, colours, fruits, animals, birds via their visual representations. What do they lack in? What gap are we trying to fill? Are we looking at accessibility of these resources to communities? Are we aiming to create books with more structured content that will assist the personas teach the kids their language?
A persona super-relevant to the Indian context that we didn't see in list : Grandparents.
Another great topic discussed was that the challenge mentioned OpenIDEO is looking for authors to write and submit a manuscript for an early childhood book that reflects the lived experience of families living in urban contexts in the U.S., in communities like Philadelphia. Now, for a team sitting in Bengaluru ( with no one on their team from the Philadelphia ), it's very difficult ( almost impossible ) for us to interact with the personas in Philadelphia. We definitely look forward to talk to / interact with all the personas mentioned in the Challenge. However, these personas would be local personas and we might not be able to get the insights that one would get from interaction with personas in Philadelphia. Do we work on a local version of the solution or do we take certain assumptions into consideration while designing a solution that would work in Philadelphia. We can try to get connected with the personas in Philadelphia remotely. However, the effectiveness would only be visible after the impact assesment & proper M&E of the designed solution.
The major highlights of a fruitful brainstorming session include :
Should it be a booklet? Or could it be some form of other visual aids i.e. cards, board games?
Contextually relevant visual aid i.e. only use visuals of things, animal, birds which the child would be able to frequently see in his/her surrounding.
Co-related visual & audio aid i.e. a combination of visual aid with names ( of objects, alphabets, numbers, colours, birds, animals, etc) followed by a lullaby while the kid is put to sleep (without visuals). This would remind them of the visuals when they hear the same sounds. This helps them form the relationships in their brain and form the necessary neural connections that connects a certain sound to a certain visual object.
Can we involve Game-Thinking for designing an experience that makes it a fun activity for the user ( the personas ) while very slowly leveling up the stages as they progress?
In the semi-urban, semi-rural & rural context, this can be a great experience design project which also teaches the parents, guardians, caretakers & grandparents to read and write while they teach their kids to talk.
The meeting closed with a mutual consent to reconnect soon along with the personas to take the discussions to the next step and go through the following details and resources with respect to the challenge provided by OpenIDEO :
As we moved towards the closing of the session, we took a stroll through the beautiful alleys of Indiranagar to introduce our friends from US & Europe to the local ambience, food and had lots of fun.
Lots of learning, experiences & fun to follow up.
Stay Tuned !
Cheers ! Shwetabh S Verma
Chapter Leader & Community Designer,
OpenIDEO Bengaluru Chapter