Start dreaming, Brazil!Posted: August 23, 2012
It’s time to wake up to the dreams of Brazil, to create a new and more inclusive future where everyone has the right to realize their dreams, to be happy and fulfilled. It is possible, and in Brazil, DREAM:IN is a massive national project, ably anchored by the Vivarta Institute, to discover the dreams of Brazilian people.
For over three months, 240 students and 20 teachers from six major universities in Brazil and one American university worked together, for the first time ever, to distil the dreams of Brazil. In big cities and remote locations throughout the country, teams collected insights to reveal the true aspirations of the people and their potential as entrepreneurs.
On the 9th, 10th and 11th of August 2012, the dreams of Brazil were shared at a Conclave in Sao Paulo. The focus was deftly shifted from needs to dreams once again. And a massive design thinking effort yielded a plethora of very practical, inspiring and unique ideas. That can help dream, believe and realize.
DREAM:IN is a global movement, with significant local players and action; to create lasting socio-economic change. DREAM:IN is also the convergence of seemingly opposing forces of growth and impact, investment and innovation, the real and the virtual, education and practice. In essence, DREAM:IN is an ‘inside-out’ process, methodology and system to change the basis of impact investing and value creation from needs to dreams, from systems to self.
It was conceived by Sonia Manchanda, co-founder of Idiom Design and Consulting, India, along with Carlos Teixeira, Associate Professor, Parsons New School of Design, New York, as a project in Bangalore, India last year to shift the basis of value creation from needs to dreams.
This is how Brazil started dreaming.
One was the idea of turning the spotlight from needs to dreams, to create a new and inclusive human-centered growth paradigm and thus the idea of DREAM:IN, articulated and crafted as a project by Sonia Manchanda emerging from previous collaborations with Carlos Teixeira. She then went on to develop the methodology – a combination of ethnography, design thinking and film making – and the training to capture dreams as short but rich, edited video documentaries.
The second was the idea of absorbing dreams; and an event that was/is designed to do so; where themed Dreamcapsules and live presentations by Big Dreamers create a mood that is positive, imaginative and a shared, inspiring experience.
The third idea, where Carlos Teixeira’s vast academic experience feeds in and which is his brainchild is that of ‘design thinking tables’ where different expertises come together to co-create ideas at a massive scale and speed, based on the dreams of people. The result of which is venture ideas that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
Claudia M Davis of the Vivarta Institute had participated in the DREAM:IN Conclave in India in 2011 and added an interesting fourth idea; that of the DREAM:IN experience where global leaders were hosted by her in India who, besides participating in the conclave, also visited businesses, institutes and manufacturing units to engage in deep and meaningful conversations with local Big Dreamers and thus had the experience of a lifetime. In this effort, as Bruce Nussbaum put it in his inimitable style, ‘millions of dollars of IP’ was created by taking an open, collaborative approach.
Besides all this, a Dream Team was formed, across India, New York and Brazil. Silently committed to spreading positive energy and design thinking in an inclusive spirit to emerging markets.
PROJECT TO ORGANISATION
Things have moved ahead in India over the last year with the conversation centered around creating sustainability and moving beyond conversations and inspiring exercises and creating massive impact at individual, national and global levels, especially for the next generation. DREAM:IN has transformed from a project into an independent organisation within a year of its inception.
It is now led by Kush Medhora out of India, a seasoned professional who has taken the plunge and chosen to be an entrepreneur. He brings his financial expertise and vast on-ground experience in shaping projects to the DREAM:IN enterprise which is getting ready on-ground to search, select, shape, support and seek investments for a 100 young entrepreneurial dreams in a 100 days, and online is launching its portal where dreamers from every part of the world can upload their dreams, find believers, mentors and investment and work towards realizing their dreams.
DREAM:IN is also being prototyped as a method of bottom-up development through the adoption of a district called Tumkur on the outskirts of Bangalore. DREAM:IN Tumkur is working to transform agriculturists into agripreneurs.
The DREAM:IN BRAZIL project led by the Vivarta Institute in Brazil has been in development since January 2012. The process was launched in Brazil as Carlos Teixeira corresponded with Brazilian universities, who with a great degree of openness and flexibility, chose to engage with the DREAM:IN Global Academic Program. The first university to join the porject was PUC Rio. Once Claudia Davis gave the nod, other universities too realized the merit in engaging with the program.
Professors from six design departments of Brazilian universities were trained to teach the DREAM:IN method which lays emphasis on innovation and design thinking creating new value and meaning for the people of Brazil. The DREAM:IN methodology and learnings were transferred from New York and India via Cisco Webex to the universities who then created their own Dream Journeys and Conclaves, investing their own energy, time and resources.
This entire effort was managed locally by Claudia M Davis and Luiza Tolosa. Luiza had made the personal effort to spend two months in India, to learn and absorb DREAM:IN. In Rio de Janeiro, the method was applied, in partnership with the PUC-Rio City Hall and the Firjan, in the revitalization of the Docklands and the City Centre. And a big local Conclave allowed the insights and ideas to be shared locally as well.
Design departments of five other higher education institutions were also involved in DREAM:IN: the School of Advertising and Marketing of São Paulo (ESPM-SP), the University of Brasília (UnB), the State University of Minas Gerais (UEMG), the Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA) and the University of Vale dos Sinos, in Rio Grande do Sul (Unisinos).
All the data from the universities, all the energy, was channelled into creating the DREAM: IN Conclave in Sao Paulo. Funded on Catarse. Managed by Vivarta and many other team members who gave not only their time but also resources to the effort!
TIME TO AWAKE
“It is time to awaken the dreams of Brazilians, and not just to dream them. We need to make the country believe that it is possible to realize them. The DREAM:IN project is a way to invert the pyramid, away from the minority on top that points out what has to be done and what is ‘truth”,and listening to ordinary people who also have a voice. We believe, therefore, it is possible to perform creative work using innovative solutions that are capable of generating new livelihoods for the third millennium,” says Claudia Davis, Executive Director of the Vivarta Institute.
“We are a young nation, ethnically diverse, with almost 200 million inhabitants; we have an area two and a half times larger than India, and we are actors on the world stage in many industries. We have a large untapped entrepreneurial potential and we need to know ourselves more deeply, ” says Tomas Cunzolo Jr, President of the board of Vivarta.
DREAM:IN CONCLAVE, SAO PAULO
On the 9th, 10th and 11th of August, 400 participants, including leaders, students, teachers, professionals and entrepreneurs gathered at ESPM-SP (Superior School of Advertising and Marketing) in São Paulo to watch the videos collected by the universities, and to hear the testimonials from national and international Big Dreamers.
The dreamers included choreographer Ivaldo Bertazzo; entrepreneur Luis Ribeiro of Catarse, a collaborative funding website; Alessandra França, creator/founder of Banco Pérola; and George Koukis, owner of Temenos, a venture that had failed multiple times but in his hands has become a leading provider of software for the global banking system; Prof. José Carlos Teixeira, Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design, specializing in innovation through design in developing countries, Sonia Manchanda, founding partner of Idiom Design and Consulting and Chief Creative Officer of the DREAM:IN organization and Kush Medhora the Chief Executive Officer of the DREAM:IN organization, headquartered in Bangalore, India.
CONCLAVE PROCEEDINGS – 9th August 2012
It is a sunny day at ESPM, with a Dream Tree handcrafted by Nelson Davis and managed by Maria Silva planted outside the conclave venue and quickly blooming with the participants’ dreams. All 16 faculty from across the Brazilian universities involved with the project had made it to Sao Paulo along with their students. Then there were the citizens of Sao Paulo who had decided to take the day off to dream!
It was a full hall. The journey of DREAM:IN Brazil up till the Conclave, the relevance of the methodology, the inception of DREAM:IN in India and its future as an organization, network and an online product were going to be shared across the day. Meanwhile, over 120 ideas for new meaningful ventures for Brazil went up on the facebook page, developed by the faculty and students of the six progressive universities.
Sonia Manchanda shared the DREAM:IN story, how when it started out, it was nothing more than a design thinking ‘experiment’, a ‘project’ that was conceived and executed in an extremely short span of time. Over the past year and a half, the journey that DREAM:IN undertook has led to its evolution from a project into a global organisation.
The wide variety of Big Dreamers drawn from a wide spectrum – choreographers, sportspeople, young entrepreneurs, big politicians and businessmen, doctors and policymakers – made the day introspective, inspirational and unforgettable.
Claudia Davis shared Marina Silva’s dream on video with the participants. Marina is a global thinker, environmentalist and politician, and she is credited with making green mainstream. She grew up as one of 11 children and had a tough life being orphaned, working as a maid, moving her way up in life, never losing her dreams. One of her dreams is to be the first ‘African Brazilian woman of poor origin’ to become the President of Brazil. “Where does my strength come from? It’s a strategy to dream and believe. To choose to not be imprisoned by reality. A dream is the most important fuel. We are the result of what we can do with our past,” she said.
As other Big Dreamers shared their dreams and viewing the Dreamcapsules made everyone laugh and cry, think and feel, many sensitive topics were brought alive. The panels and discussions centered around education, public policies, entrepreneurship, culture and youth.
BIGDREAMERS, BIG DREAMS
Ulisses Araújo: one of the creators of a multi-disciplinary campus in São Paulo and Professor of the Department of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of University of São Paulo. He believes that everyone needs a vital project, that is larger than just a purpose, that gives a great deal of satisfaction and that lasts a lifetime
His students work with citizenship topics in all their courses, starting from the first year – a dream come true. He said that design thinking is a way of making dreams come true and that we need to work with people and innovate, it’s that simple!
Floriano Pessaro: this City councilman of São Paulo shared his experience of how they made it a priority to get poor children off the street. It was the dream of many and they engaged with it. An interesting insight from him was that to innovate, we need rupture, shed some bonds and perceptions.
Dreams of citizens of India and Brazil were also shared in the Dreamcapsules drawing audience comments like: “My greatest dream is there should be more humanity from government” and “Government should not just make money, everyone should. My dream is to help the poor!”
Other Big Dreamers included Germano Guimarães, founder of Instituto Tellus, an organization focused on public policies and a partner of DREAM:IN, and Claudio Guimarães, Co-ordinator of the the Department of Arts and Design of PUC-Rio and yet another partner of DREAM:IN.
George Koukis, the Greek businessman was a big inspiration. He is the founder of the training program for international leaders called Future Leaders for the World. He had the audience in a spell when he said: “I believe in a dream, I have seen the future. Von Zepellin’s tombstone says: ‘First you dream, then you believe and it happens.’” He believes that short-termism and fear are not a life worth living and when you dream, there are no shortages.
Full of humour, he candidly stated: “I am not a dreamer, I am a nightmare.” He exhorted everyone to believe in themselves and do good things unlike the politicians. “Should anyone in America be poor – a rich country?” he asked. The world needs ethical leadership, is what he believes. And that he can’t think of a single politician, only a few businesspeople who can inspire. Politics needs to innovate to find ways to help people not to find new ways to screw people, he said.
He has reached where he has by cleaning toilets, washing dishes. His parents were illiterate, he was born poor, but he was never unemployed. Now, he has 60 offices in 50 countries. Born and raised in Greece, he migrated to Australia, and turned a twice bankrupt company into a multimillion dollar one.
MANY MORE DREAMERS
There were many more dreamers who shared their dreams.
Júlia Mello: a dreamer from Brasília (UnB), Technical Administration of the Ministry of Sports.
Geraldo Milet: entrepreneur and founder of the Junior Enterprise module of the course of Public Policies of University of São Paulo.
Débora Basso: coordinator of Artemisia, an organization focused on social business and partner of DREAM:IN.
Ivaldo Bertazzo: choreographer and creator of Bertazzo Movement of Reeducation Method. He had the audience on their feet and performing and upping their pyschomotor skills besides their dreaming quotient! His dream is to raise children and their mothers in the right, natural way.
Alexandre Faria: an extremely handsome and fit man and a dreamer from Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) is a Muay Thai teacher. He said: “Replace guns with gloves. When you liberate people through sport, you free them of their limitations. The body helps to fight the battles of the mind.” He made a big impression with his very real life story. He said that he had studied but then went the wrong way. He was a drug trafficker at 16. And God gave him another chance. He took up fighting, became a blackbelt in Muay Thai. He is a Ninja with 3 black belts. A boy from the hills, when he went back to the hills; he decided to work with the community, in this Favella in Rio. “Thank God I believed in my dream. I even teach a judge and I have a story to tell. I teach 8 soldiers, and 3 managers who were in drug trafficking. My mission is to show that I have a dream and I can make it. To people here: It’s good to dream. I am 34. And if I kept holding a gun, I would never have gotten here; I would have died long ago. So, if you have a dream, go after it. Yesterday, I got all the kids in my class to write their dream on a piece of paper and I cried as out of 30 of them, 15 said ‘I dream of being Alex.’ It’s easy to dream when you have money in your pocket, but try dreaming when you are poor, it’s not simple at all. I know now that I will be telling my story again and again.”
What makes it all worthwhile is to share such dreams, in any and all parts of the world, to make people realize that people have dreamt and made success possible, and that these stories can wake up others. These are the most important human conversations we should be having. There should be DREAM:IN Conclaves in every part of the world!
Fábio Atuí: member of the organization “Expedicionários da Saúde”, member of the hospital Sírio Libanês: “We take 8 tonnes of equipment to where there is no power. And we set up a hospital and operate. We have 3000 surgeries in an indigenous area. But craziness is contagious. We have gone to Haiti, Peru, etc. I am doing this for selfish reasons – I like going to the forest. I went to the Amazon. I was operating a priest’s anus. Who said altruism is a good kind of selfish!. And that craziness is good!”
The younger set of dreamers made us realize the importance even more so of dreaming with the next generation.
Aulus Sellmer: founder and owner of a company of advising sports, 4any, shared his dream.
Luis Octávio Ribeiro: founder of Catarse – crowdfunding website and a partner of DREAM:IN, a 21 year old who looks like Brazil’s own Zuckerburg, shared his thoughts: “In college you are put through a typical path. I got into a consulting company. I started listening to different clients; And I started thinking that my dream could be to change the world. Catarse’ has made 280 projects possible. Money is involved but there is also publicity, appreciation. We brought crowd funding to Brazil. Crowd funding connects people who have shared dreams. We have to keep on dreaming. It is not the internet but us who make it possible. We have begun to value each other’s dreams.” He offered that projects that are developed at DREAM:IN Brazil can be realized in Catarse’.
Alessandra França: founder of a microcredit bank in Brazil called Banco Pérola was a quiet but strong presence. A young girl who in 2003 read the book ‘Banker to the Poor’, discovered that it changed her life. She was leading an organization at age of 19, working in the social and economic sectors. By 2008, her organization had served 50,000 people in the city of Sao Paulo. “Nobody was investing in young people, those who have ideas to transform their community. So I started Banco Perola – Pearl in the Oyster, Young people who support their parents and their yet to be born children. It’s just a tool to improve the world a little bit.”
The panels were thought provoking, emphasizing the need to support the poor, the dreamers and create a collective positive social action.
THE WIDER DREAM:IN CIRCLES
The last speakers of the day were Claudia Davis and Kush Medhora. Claudia talked about taking the DREAM:IN In Global Academic Program to all universities across Brazil, about increasing the network. About getting on with the Realise phase, where 3 chosen projects will be worked upon over 2 months. And mapped journeys will be offered to those interested.
Kush Medhora talked about how he dreams DREAM:IN. How he left his successful corporate career, to create a global enterprise, create value for all concerned, abut how DREAM:IN has transformed itself from a project into an independent organisation within a year of its inception. Now it is working on searching for, selecting, shaping, supporting and investing in a hundred young entrepreneurial dreams in a hundred days. Besides, DREAM:IN is also being implemented as a method of bottom-up development through the adoption of a district called Tumkur on the outskirts of Bangalore. DREAM:IN Tumkur is working closely with an agrarian community to transform farmers into agripreneurs.
Rather than taking the typical investment route, DREAM:IN is being funded by ‘Founder Dreamers’ who believe in the idea and share the dreams of and the Next Generation journey and the prototype portal, a place where a person anywhere can upload his/her dream and work towards realizing it.
The day closed with a panel that included Luiza Tolosa, Claudia M Davis, Carlos Teixeira, Sonia Manchanda and Kush Medhora. The uniqueness of the method, the sustainability of the business, an open source method and a brand with integrity…people expressed genuine interest in and appreciation of the concept. About its future locally and globally, and their continued involvement.
Artemesia’s name kept coming up during the day for their support, to the event and to many of the dreamers who spoke on this day and the next two. Ellen Kiss, with whom Carlos and Sonia shared DREAM:IN at Itau Bank earlier was an important catalyst as well.
The backbone of the three days, however, were Vivarta’s board members. Who set up everything, managed all the arrangements to perfection and gave of their time, effort and even resources unstintingly. Tomás Cunzolo Jr hosted the entire event. Rachel Hoshino, Manoel de Sá e Benevides, Carmem Augusta Archill, Ana Claudia, Luiz Eduardo Junqueira, Maria Silvia Marcondes Barretto were all there in their DREAM:IN t-shirts, early in the morning and late into the night.
Cristiane Mocellin generously provided litres of water for the participants, Eduardo and Vladimir served up some fabulous meals. And Nutrimental energised everyone with their health bars.
10th and 11th August 2012
A space with a great view of Sao Paulo, ESPM’s beautiful corporate training center was generously made available for the Dreamscaping sessions, which were anchored by Carlos Teixeira. The first task of the morning was to sort out the Dreamthemes, to arrive at ten chosen ones. The themes that emerged were:
1. New Heroes
2. Education for the future
3. Reintegration in society
4. Public political engagement
6. Dynamics of diversity
7. Urban quality of life
8. Promotion of autonomy in Arts
9. Physical and mental health
10. Talent potential
There were 10 tables and many people in the room. Every table had a Dreamcatalyst/knowledge broker and a manager, along with other experts and talented young people. About a 100 people worked over two days to generate ideas…120 of them, in quick time, across many sessions.
Young social dreamers charged up the day with their dreams and more Dreamcapsules were absorbed. Joao, a 21 year old big dreamer from the countryside of Sao Paulo had studied and became a social entrepreneur. He was influenced by Artemesia and began to create projects that combined financial results with social causes. He stood there in his ‘dirty shirt’, which reminds him of his community work. He wants to make USD 1 million by age 25. He said that we live in reality, but have no one to talk to about our dreams. We should make an effort to live our dreams and be happy all day.
Leandro Garcia of Artemesia also spoke…he’s our big supporter from Artemesia.
Claudio Magalhaes is our big dreamer from Rio; his Team 3 created their own logo and a mascot – Viroi, with a dark side!
While the Dreamscaping sessions continued at a frenetic pace, the DREAM:IN team met many dreamers on the side who were seeking mentorship, encouragement and advice. Hannah and her friend Mariane from PUC Rio had taken their idea for an events page for community events forward since the Conclave at Rio and got 548 likes in 7 days. She was advised to push forth and has been invited to present at the next Conclave in India.
Another young man Estilo Brasileiro had turned to hip hop to change the world, well at least the community, the slum – to give young people the right to dream He said an interesting thing, especially for his young generation, is that people want to work with technology, products, communication, but forget to work with people!
Kevin Jones, Rio’s wunderkid shared an awesome video on Rio’s process and results! Followed by another video on the CAIS project, to encourage and promote community work. Another project, which is an open platform to reflect local identity. Created at PUC RIO.
The projects shaped into ventures by next gen entrepreneurs have been invited to India in January 2013, to present to potential investors and a global audience. Estilo Brasileiro is coming to India for sure.
Pedro Caldas and the rest of us advised a young entrepreneur who has a great idea, all patented and ready. He was advised to keep his head in the clouds, feet on the ground…and a plan was made for him.
The Realise phase has started for sure, for some!
The ideas presented were very rich (we will be sharing and updating these ideas). Joao Neto, a farmer came down to Sao Paulo and participated in his first ‘design thinking’ session. And his presence must have ensured the rich output from that team…a kiosk from where anyone can pick up a local ‘farm souvenir’, with details and contact numbers of the farmer, connecting urban and rural, producer and consumer, through technology.
The feedback was very positive from farmers, young dreamers, academicians, and finance professionals alike. Everyone felt that DREAM:IN is like a practical TED. Human, intellectual and creative!
All the dreams and ideas will be shared on http://dreamin.in with careful coordination between India and Brazil, between Claudia and Luiza in Sao Paulo and Rahul and Mallik in Bangalore. The next steps are that we get the online product ready, with every dream up there and the ability for anyone to upload their dream. Get everyone registered there so that the multiplier effect can kick in.
THE NEXT INDIA CONCLAVE
Simultaneously, we will prepare as one global team for the next journey and conclave in India. Currently, visa applications and letters are flying back and forth as more than half a dozen enthusiastic and talented people are making plans to head to India, from various parts of Brazil.
The DREAM:IN Conclave in India is slated for January 2013, where a 100 big dreams will be shared and invested in. The preparatory work for this next phase is mammoth as we prepare to journey across progressive and small town South India to find the next big social, imaginative and impactful entrepreneurs and connect them with mentors who will help sensitively shape their dreams and get them ready for a spectacular global conclave in Bangalore, India…easily India’s start-up capital. Which will now lead the movement in social, innovative, sustainable youth entrepreneurship.
Dreams as a meme will keep returning every time society, systems and nations reach an unbalanced state. When the gap between the rich and poor widens, when governments have vested interests and people’s interests are no longer center-stage. Each time then, people innovate to rise, to move ahead despite systems and move society forward with them. And they turn the spotlight on their dreams and the dreams of those who have been neglected. But each time, the meme evolves.
The American dream is meant to be about Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and ensuring that life is better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class> or circumstances of birth.
And here, in emerging markets, you will increasingly see marketers, financiers, everyone reminding people of their right to dream…we have noticed the dream meme infecting just about everything from mundane products, to residential properties, to banks.
DREAM:IN however is creating sustainable systems that allow people to believe and invest in other people’s dreams, to convert thought to action at a massive scale, to make billions of dreams come true.
About the Vivarta Institute
The Vivarta Institute is a Civil Society Organization of Public Interest (OSCIP), headquartered in São Paulo. Founded in January 2007 by Claudia Davis, a consultant and Tomas Cunzulo Jr., an administrator, Vivarta’s main mission is to promote sustainable human development in the Brazilian socio-cultural universe in an entrepreneurial way. For their work, the Institute, in 2008 received the 2nd Prize awarded by the Social Environmental House Museum.