Jun 9, 2015

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Day-3: Summarization

-By Nirali Kansara



  • Lecture started with a presentation on Honey Bee Network, by Mr Chetan Patel.

o   He briefed about the ideology behind the formation of Honey Bee Network in 1989, SRISTI in 1997 and National Innovation Foundation in 2000.

o   Their purpose was to bring forward the grass root innovations and help patent them, market them and popularize them in different parts of the country and the world.

o   Also, he talked about the Shodhyatra, how they travel twice a year in the inaccessible parts of villages in India, looking for social innovations and bringing them ahead.

  • Taking an example of the root bridge of Meghalaya, the students were made to analyse the process behind building such a bridge

o   The desire to be innovative, to be different- the primary factor behind a root bridge.

o   Resources available

o   Adaptable to their ecosystem

o   Durability, in all weathers

o   Ease of maintenance

o   Stable

o   Safe

o   Ease of making

o   “Swawlamban”- are able to construct it without employing outside resources

o   Economical

o   Time is a factor

  • Question- “What will replace the rope but at the same time will fulfil the purpose?”

o   Root bridge is a very interesting tapestry of roots and pebbles

  • Culture is a culprit and a great crucible. It makes you do things which you will hesitate in accepting in public.
  • Sequential synergy – Same questions when asked in a different sequence make all the difference.
  • Pehle sankriti ne bataya kuch naya karte hai, fir taknik ne bataya kya karna hai.” (First culture inspired us to try something new, then technology provided the way forward.)
  • Institutions are instruments of coercion.

o   Give us assurance

o   Reduce uncertainty

o   Help in coordination

o   Help in anticipating other’s thoughts

o   Need to be fair

  • Technology is like a word, Institutions are like grammar and Culture is like thesauras.
  • All three of them are essential for sustainable outcome.
  • Common Property Institutions – Taking the example of a “chabutra”, or a bird-feeding cage, it was observed in one village that they covered the base of the chabutra with a layer of cow dung, so that when the bird starts picking seeds from its beak, its beak is not harmed by the hard concrete floor.
  • SRISTI – The aim was to build a different human being through

o   Technology Innovation

o   Educational Innovation

o   Institutional Innovation

o   Cultural Innovation

  • How to save their culture, as well as provide them income
  • Unredeemed IOUs are the glue which keeps the society together. Transactional life is not a sustainable life
  • Purvesh Dodia, who received GYTI award in 2014, gave a presentation on his social innovation which employed only one person while extracting sugarcane juice, thus eliminating child labour.
  • Also, Akshay Bokare, who built safety attachment for sugarcane juice extractor, has created a debt on the society.


  • One unmet social need which you cannot wait for any longer to complete- Availability of water

o   Sometimes, making water available can actually make the case worse

o   As a phrase coined by one of the students, Gaurav, “Design optimal scarcity.”

  • Modelling helps you anticipate a condition
  • Incentives to cooperate are maximum when scarcity is moderate.
  • Decide how to design:

o   Product

o   Process: can be both internal and external; there is a wrong way and a right way

o   System: Culture, institutions, technology

o   Services

  • Example: In open wells, the arsenic content is less because water is exposed to sufficient air for minimising the arsenic content. But when hand pumps were invented at individual level, the arsenic content in the water increased. Thus, this solution has actually made the problem worse.
  • Availability of an individual solution does not always solve the problem, sometimes it could make it worse.
  • In terms of process designing, types of goods:

o   Private goods: owned privately

o   Common goods: decided by the community

o   Toll goods: you have to pay toll to acquire them

o   Club goods: affiliation related goods; only for members and this membership is   purchasable

o   Public goods

  • Pure: non-rival and non-subtractable
  • Quasi: there exists some competition
  • Game Theory: a very big contributor to design process

o   Prisoner’s dilemma

  • Individual rationality can lead to community irrationality
  • On the principle that I’ll not cooperate because I don’t know if you will

o   Tit for tat game/ Assurance game

  • I’ll cooperate because you might
  • Allow some level of communication and multiple iterations
  • This is more popular because with time people gain more trust in the community
  • Never use jugaad mentality for designing solutions

o   It does not follow proper procedure

o   Is chaotic; no kind of order

  • Systematically identify the root cause of the problem
  • Whenever you face a problem, there are three types of variables w.r.t. user environment
  • Externality: Can be either positive or negative. Our (in) efficiencies can make the environment (in) efficient.
  • Example: Birendra Kumar, Motihari. He designed a pollution control device to reduce sound and smoke from his factory which was nuisance for a school nearby.
  • As responsible designers, you have no right to burden the environment with your innovations.
  • Coase Theorem: If transaction costs are zero, it doesn’t matter who compensates whom. But if they are not zero, then we have to go through institutions to solve the problems.
  • Designing creates an externality, but the magnitudes differ from case to case.
  • Circulatory framework: work from cradle to cradle; have multiple life cycles
  • In ecological terminology, waste is defined as a product whose use has not yet been found.
  • Bias is universal. Unless we become biased in selection of problems, they will never be solved.
  • Half the problem is solved when you define it.
  • Cultural constraints sometimes don’t let us see the problems.
  • Subsidiarity Principle: Taking decisions as close to the point of action as possible; helps us to stay rooted to the ground.

o   Think of multiple approaches to the problem.

o   Self-criticism and self-discrediting.

  • Types of transaction costs

o   Ex-Ante

  • Search information
  • Supplies
  • Negotiation
  • Contract

o   Ex-Post

  • Enforcement
  • Cost of conflict resolution
  • Side payment
  • Redraw the contract
  • How you deliver the solution is also very important. If you portray it in a very trivial manner, users won’t accept it.
  • Not every process in the link should be cooperative; otherwise there will be no scope for creativity.


  • Social Responsibility

o   Good for people and good for the environment

  • The current rates of consumption and pollution are unsustainable. Think of the environment, work for sustainable development.
  • To understand people, understand:

o   Their past

o   Their present

o   Their dreams for future

  • User Centered Design

o   Develop empathy for your user

o   Check for technical feasibility and viability as well

  • Design Process

o   Pre-design (Empathizing and identifying)

o   Design brief/ Ideation (Prototyping)

o   Proof of Concept (User needs and matrix)

  • Theism Model

o   Individual context

o   Social context

o   Material context

  • Behaviour change
  • Social Impact

o   What are you trying to change?

o   How do you measure this?

o   Who are all the people impacted by the change?

o   Do people want to change?

  • Socially Responsible Design:

o   Empower people

o   Look at the big picture

o   Understand user context on a deeper level

  • Activity

o   Prof Kate told very group who went for a field visit yesterday to sketch a scene of the place they visited and the various activities that were going on there. Also, she told to talk about one social innovation that they saw there



  • Creativity demands removal of all biases.
  • Humility is very important
  • While analysing any problem for solution, create that humility, that sensitivity.
  • Activity

o   He told all students to write all the key word that come to their mind about the place they visited during the field visit

o   Once that was done, he told everyone to categorize the ideas based on different sections

o   Then based on that, he told the students to create a problem mapping for the situation










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