May 26, 2016

Posted by in 2016, Expert's Session, News | 0 Comments

Idea mapping and prioritizing solutions by Prof. Dinesh Korjan

DATE : 26th of may 2016

TIME: 19:00 to 21:00

VENUE : School of Engineering and Applied sciences, Ahmedabad  University

CHAIRED BY : Prof. Dinesh Korjan

Dr Mahulkar apprised Prof. Korjan about what has been done by the participants till then and introduced him to the participants.

Prof. began his lecture by building the curiosity amongst the students by knowing how have the things changed- better or  worse.  students enthusiastically thanked the technology for the improvisation in their lifestyles .

On receiving the answer that technology is getting better, he further asked, “how much time do they spend on laptops?” He also asked, “what do they do with their smartphones?” After this, he again raised a question, “what would happen if there were no smartphones?” The purpose of asking all these questions was to show that how life is getting transformed with technology. He after putting this point asked the participants again, “what do they feel about this transformation if it is better or worse?

He further added that while creating something, we do not come to know if the creation will prove to be good or bad. He gave an example of traffic. He asked if traffic was a solution or a problem. The common answer was that traffic is a problem. But when he asked that if the vehicle was a solution or a problem, the answer was opposite where everyone covenanted that it was a solution. A similar test when he applied to plastic, he conveyed that it was a problem as well as a solution.

While talking about plastic, he asked the source of plastic. For this, he received a satisfactory answer that it is a by-product of crude oil which is formed by fossilised plants and animals. He then asked so why is it a problem? One of the kid replied to this that it is a problem because it is non-biodegradable. On which he again asked questions like how much time does pottery and human bone takes to decompose? On receiving the answers that it takes thousands of years, Prof. again asked that if human bones and pottery take thousands of years to degrade and plastic also take almost same time, then why is plastic a problem?

On receiving various answers he stressed and asked again and again what the problem is. He received answers like sometimes it blocks the drain, not safe, leads to poisoning of soil, burning of plastic leads to a lot of toxic gas. Prof. replied to every single comment made by participants. He then slowly traversed towards the fact that disposal of plastic is a problem. On a philosophical note, he again asked if we were making our lives better or worse. When someone replied worse, the Prof told that if we can make it worse, then we can make it good as well.

He then asked the class that what is that resource which every human being is provided equally with irrespective of income, status, race and religion. Participants very enthusiastically replied with answers like air, water, time, etc.

Finally, after discussing for long, he agreed that the answer is ‘Problem’. He then said that problem is a resource and asked participants reasons for the same. Participants had similar views on this statement, they said that this was because you try to bring solutions to these problems. Prof. agreed to it and said that we have evolved through these solutions over the time.

Speaking about the problems selected by participants, he asked that how many of you have faced these problems at home? The common answer was found to be negative. On which he asked then how will they understand the problem? According to him, problem facing leads to problem understanding but when one has not faced the problem, it is all the more imperative for the problem solver to make more efforts in problem understanding.

He asked participants to do an activity of moving their hands in the direction where he was moving. He said that I am moving my hand in a clockwise rotation but when seen from the other side it was in an anti-clockwise direction. This was done by him to make the class realise that sometimes a problem which you feel may not really be a problem.

He then asked the class that what was the end result of the discussion and replied that it is we who are present and it is our perspective everywhere. For the same he gave an example that when we see a rainbow we all see a different rainbow.

Then he showed a glass and asked why the glass was there. He received many answers, some of them were in light mode while some of them were a sincere attempt but what Prof. was trying to explain was that it was a complex web of multiple factors/aspects.

Proceeding further he asked participants what do they call their father. None of the participants said that they refer their father by his name Now when asked why is that, then one of the answers was because they share a relation and such relation is acknowledged by what they call their father.

According to him, in relation, the property called emergence is found. Emergence is the property of systems. A sense of emergence lies between the relationship. He asked that which one of it is liquid, hydrogen or oxygen and explained that it is only when hydrogen and oxygen mix to become H2O does water emerge.

He then asked the class that what is a structure. He then explained that the structure is the complete outcome of the relations. So when we see a problem, we have to see various inter-relations. If you want to come up with something new, you need to come up with a new understanding of the problem. So while making a mahuwa seed cracker, one needs to understand the whole relation/process of mahuwa nut cracking.
He also talked about his own life experiences with different kind of phones he used. The earlier phone was location specific while now it is person specific so the relation and structure have changed. Nowadays there is a camera on a phone so the relation has changed drastically and now with front cameras on the phone, a phase of the selfie has come.

Further, he said that whether you like it or not you are going to change the world for better or worse. He then introduced the concept of leveraging. He analogised the concept of leveraging with working of a pulley and said that while talking about leveraging we are talking about solving a big problem with a small solution. In the complex web structure, there are various leverage points. And finding these leverage points is not easy as they are not very obvious.

He then brought into discussion the problem of  travelling without ticket in Mumbai locals which few design students had tried to solve. Firstly, he asked for inputs from participants on how to solve it and then stated that how they solved this problem. These design students just re-designed the ticket in the form of a lottery ticket. Tickets were also designed as a small advertising device. So suddenly more value was created to the original ticket. This is called a leveraging point. In the complex problem of ticketless travelling, there was this leverage point which had to be identified and utilised.

So while solving a problem, one needs to understand the complex relationship and structure of the problem and then identify leverage points. While perceiving a structure you gain an insight. This insight will translate into a solution. Ideally, this insight should be at the leverage point for the impact to be maximum.

He then showed the video of various innovations like lucky iron fish, Panasonic’s ACH20, inverse opening umbrella, scio, and exoskeletal cast. Finally, he along with participants tried to gather insights from these videos.

Group Photograph with Prof. Dinesh Korjan

Group Photograph with Prof. Dinesh Korjan

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