Breakout Sessions at the Design Public Conclave

Breakout session on Higher Education at Design Public II

The structure of the Design Public Conclave has always included a morning full of panel discussions which are then followed by an afternoon of breakout sessions. Participants split up into smaller groups and discuss a specific problem from an innovation point of view in an attempt to collaboratively share thoughts, ideas and experiences, as well as brainstorm possible solutions.

The idea behind organizing the conclave in such a way is derived from the fact that theoretical, discussions about innovation can only take us so far. A more generalized idea about innovation is useful only to a certain extent. Innovation, after all, is about doing, and one must get their hands dirty with detail when actually applying it within their work. Different challenge areas necessarily require different approaches, and in order to decide the most appropriate solution, it is essential to break down the challenge into all its components, and to examine it in detail. For example, issues around rural services delivery are substantially different from those around urban management and planning, and each has myriad components, and each requires vastly different approaches.

The logic of the breakout session, then, is to delve more deeply into specific challenge areas that are relevant to our stakeholders at the conclave and to the larger social ecology at that given time. While the breakout sessions are not expected to yield any singular great solutions, given both the time and the wide scope of the challenge, they are an attempt to introduce all our participants to a process of collective solutioneering towards a specific problem. Each breakout is constructed so that it brings together individuals from a wide range of expertise, experience and background, which also helps them understand the value of viewing the same problem from multiple perspectives. All this allows for a range of potential players in a particular field to come together and begin to build the necessary partnerships and consortia to take these ideas forward.

At this third edition of Design Public, due to the large number of participants, we have decided to introduce a fourth breakout session in order not to compromise the value of smaller group brainstormings. These are:

_Cocreating Smarter Cities: Jeby Cherian of IBM will lead this breakout, which will focus on understanding and exploring a participatory approach to urban planning and the value it brings to thinking about the design of smarter cities.

_Reimagining Rural Innovation: In this breakout session we expect to briefly discuss practical challenges of innovating in rural development domains such as healthcare, water and sanitation, education, local governance, agriculture and other areas that impact the quality of life and livelihoods in rural India.

_50 Steps to an Innovation Society: a thematic break-out session designed to create a collaborative platform for various stakeholders such as the government, bureaucrats, corporations, academicians and civil society, to dialogue and debate, exchange ideas and envision new possibilities for building an Innovation Society.

_Need-Based Startup Innovation: This session will focus on how best to overcome the existing disconnect between the kinds of entrepreneurial activities and startups that are beginning to emerge and needs of our poorer citizens in both urban and rural India. It will ask how we can best guide our startup culture to better overcome the grand challenges we face as a society.

About Ayesha Vemuri

Ayesha Vemuri is responsible for thought leadership and outreach efforts at CKS. She has undergraduate degree in Visual Art from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she also studied such varied subjects as biology, literature and the humanities. At CKS, she is responsible for curating the Design Public blog, managing our various social media platforms, organizing Pecha Kucha Nights and contributing to the intellectual content of the Design Public Conclave and other CKS initiatives. Find her on twitter at @ayeshavemuri.
This entry was posted in Design!publiC and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *