DreamScaping Workshop at WEConnect ‘Think Big’ event

On 19th November 2013, women entrepreneurs from all over the country gathered at hotel JW Marriott in Bangalore to be a part of a one day ‘Think Big’ conference. This event was organized by WEConnect International, a global non-profit aimed at promoting the interests of women owned businesses. The theme of this years event aimed to bring to the front the importance of thinking big for the women entrepreneurs.

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DREAM:IN was excited to come in as a partner for this event and we conducted a DreamScaping workshop to further drive in the point of thinking big and bold.

The workshop was headed by Sonia Manchanda, Founder, DREAM:IN. It was held in a breakout room for 20 participants who were assisted by 17 mentors from the business and design field. However, there was a lot of excitement for the workshop so we ended up accommodating around 20 more people who observed and eventually participated in the workshop.

The mentors were-

Eleanor Horowitz- Unitus Seed Fund

Francois Xavier Bertschy- Consultant, industry and service based companies

Aleksandra Rose- Dean, NICC, Bangalore

Vijay Ladha- Entrepreneur and Director, Make a Wish Foundation, Bangalore

Ekta Manchanda- Senior Designer, Idiom Design and Consultancy

Mo Polamar- CEO, Climate Miles

Kannan Mehta- Designer, Idiom Design and Consultancy

Nivina Hamid- Designer, Idiom Design and Consultancy

Arundhuti Gupta- Founder, Mentor Together

Rana Chakrabarti- Designer, SAP

Arjun Chetna- Designer, Wink

Shashank PS- Investment Professional, Bessemer Venture Partners

Vipin Pathiyil- HOD, Communication design, NICC

Miriam- Intern Designer at Idiom Design and Conculting

Freeda Lazar- Designer, Idiom Design and Consultancy

B Mohan Kumar- Serial entrepreneur, Founder, Trusted Technology Solutions

Rahul Vijaykumar- DREAM:IN

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Mentors interacting with the participants

At each table there were 2 participants who were guided by a design and a business mentor. The sessions were divided such that after understanding the elements of DreamScaping every participant was given time for focused work on their idea. Together as a team every person at a table worked to identify the opportunities, challenges and the big dreams that a woman entrepreneur had for their business.

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DreamScaping away!

Once every participant had finished the DreamScape, they were invited to present their ideas to everyone. Francois, Eleanor, Vijay and Aleksandra served as super mentors who were assigned the task of giving feedback to the presentations.

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Presenting their ideas!

The presentations made were extremely interesting and showcased the commitment the participants had to their ventures. The businesses here spanned day care centres to old age homes, jewellery design, cafes, sustainability, energy and power and many more. The presentations were interjected with personal experiences, insights and humour. It was great to see how the women were able to connect their businesses with one another and even find clients in the room!

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Mentor Feedback!

The feedback from the super mentors was extremely positive and they noted the fact that the businesses created by the women all came from a deep rooted sense of passion. They were impressed by the clarity of thought and the sense of collaboration. Their feedback also included the advice to keep numbers and facts in mind and having constant reality checks as the participants delved deeper into their businesses.

The super mentors also took the time to award 3 business ideas they felt were most inclusive, innovative, impactful and creative. These businesses included ‘Café Totaram’ by Ranjana Singhal, a day care centre by Meena S. and a power supply idea in South Africa by Najmah Mallik. The women owners of these businesses were given ‘Creative Intelligence’, a book penned by Bruce Nussbaum, ex-editor of Business Week.

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Meena from Bright Vista presenting her dream!

The workshop closed with a facilitation for Sonia by Anasuya Gupta, a WEConnect winner of the ‘Outstanding woman contribution’ award.

The workshop had a great energy and we received very positive feedback. We look forward to having more collaboration with WEConnect and working with women entrepreneurs!

You can find out more about WEConnect here:  http://weconnectinternational.org/

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Creya Ignited Minds Challenge, 2013

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Educators, parents and school students are used to a roster of analytical tests such as Olympiads and talent search exams dotting the academic year. On the other end of the spectrum, there are painting and creative contests which provoke the interest of “left-brained” creative children. When a “whole-brained” challenge was announced that encouraged talented children with both, “right-brained” analytical and problem-solving skills and creative skills to participate, it drew the attention of parents, students and schools alike.

Creya Learning’s second edition of the Creya Ignited Minds Challenge (CIMC) was held this year in Bangalore. Teams from 20 different schools across Bangalore city came into the DREAM:IN Center for Day 1 of CIMC 2013. It was “Boot Camp” day, where these teams of six students got trained on design thinking for problem solving and the use of various engineering and digital media tools to build working solutions to the challenge on day 2.

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Sonia Manchanda, Co-founder of DREAM:IN and Nidhi Isaac, Designer, Idiom conducted a Design Thinking session called ‘Design Up’. The idea was to introduce the concept of Design Thinking to the students and to get them to use Design Thinking in a challenge. After a short introduction to Design Thinking, an example of how Richard Turere, a young Kenyan boy, used design thinking to create a device that uses light to scare of lions and other predators, was shown to inspire the young minds. The teams were then asked to design a flying object, keeping in mind that this object would solve some challenge. Once they had finished designing their flying objects, all teams were given kits that had some yarn, paper, balloons, candles, sticks, tape, scissors and some stationery. The teams were then briefed on the challenge – to make a working prototype of the flying object that they had designed. The next hour was filled with excitement as the kids worked together to create an assortment of flying objects. Everything from hot air balloons to gliders were designed. The final part of the challenge was testing out the flying objects. Every team had 2 minutes to explain and demonstrate their creations. Many of the prototypes worked, while some failed, but the key learning here for the children was that failure is the first step towards success. The session ended with a sky lantern being lit and sent up in to the air. At the start of the next day 5 prizes were given to the 5 best performing teams during the challenge. 

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On Day 2, “The Challenge Day”, the participants were shown a video and given their problem statement which was about natural disasters such as the Uttarkhand floods and the Phailin cyclone and asking the student teams to present a “whole brain” solution to mitigate the severity of the impact of the disasters and rescue people caught in them. A tough real-world nut to crack indeed for budding thinkers of 7th and 8th grades! But the young students were not fazed at all, and got to work, applying the principles of the problem solving and design thinking approach that they had learnt over the first day.

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The air was crackling with competitive energy as students wandered around the vast venue drawing inspiration from what their competitors were creating; conferred amongst themselves about their approach and performed research online to understand the different facets of natural disasters. “It was very satisfying to see the positive energy and competitive spirit among the students”, remarked Ms. Rajitha, a Creya Coach. “They took time to understand the problem well and came out with ingenious solutions to the problem statement.”

Judges from Creya and eminent personalities from the city including Mr. Bala Warrior, CEO of Manipal Foundation and Mr. Rishi Vasudev, COO of Arvind Brands walked around, asking questions, guiding students along their Design Thinking journey and gauging the output as well as the approach by students to solve the problem.

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By evening, it was time for student presentations – each team presented their engineering and creative solutions to the issue. The winners of the Creative Thinking Champions trophy were Sri Kumaran’s School, with their short movie that not just touted the features of their engineering creation, but also spread awareness on what societies can do to lessen the impact of disasters.

The Analytical Thinking Champions trophy was shared between two equally competent and worthy teams – Gopalan National School and Vidya Sanskar International School. The Whole Mind Championship went to Sri Vani School whose solution was technically flawless in all aspects – a device that could fly or travel on the ground and drill the ground to rescue people buried under debris.

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The Chief Guest, Mr. Bhat, General Manager of Canara Bank graciously gave the prizes away to the jubiliant winners. He also spoke about the need for developing both analytical skills and artistic skills for facing situations in life and workplace. And so the curtains came down on another edition of the nation’s only “whole brain” championship.

“We look at CIMC as a vehicle to spread awareness of the importance of applying the conceptual knowledge to solving real world problems” said Mr. Venkatesh Datla, Co-Founder and Director of Creya Learning. “Most contests and tests that children participate in only examine a single facet of their abilities, often ignoring the others. But real world problems demand integrated approaches that have both creative and logical facets. The Challenge required students to use their analytical thinking, problem-solving, creative design thinking and innovation skills. The jury thoroughly evaluated the solutions on a wide range of parameters, including ideation, design, construction efficiency, originality, team work and the output to decide the winner.”

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Creya Learning is an innovative education company that focuses on readying children for the real world by training them in design thinking philosophy and equipping them with tools such as 21st Century Skills. Creya’s approach to learning integrates aspects of experiential learning and STEM education.

We, at DREAM:IN look forward to working with Creya on a number of projects in the near future. Stay tuned for updates and news on what will be happening.


DreamScaping with women entrepreneurs

WEConnect is a global organization that facilitates sustainable economic growth by increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses to succeed in global value chains. WEConnect identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and is the only non-profit connecting women-owned businesses with multi-national corporate purchasing organizations outside of the U.S.

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This year, WEConnect is organizing a ‘Think Big’ event in Bangalore on 19th November at the JW Marriott. The event is a call to women owned businesses to dream big and dream bold. To help facilitate this DREAM:IN will be holding a DreamScaping workshop at the event between 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM.

DreamScaping is a design thinking tool which is used to generate blueprints of businesses, ideas, products or services. DreamScapes aim at creating new value by bringing together the skills and expertise of multi-disciplinary professionals.

The participants of the workshop will each get to interact with a business and design mentor who will work with them to DreamScape their business idea. The workshop will be interactive, fun and most of all value creating!

We look forward to this event and to the big Dreams of these women entrepreneurs! 


Creya Ignited Minds challenge 2013

Creya, in association with DREAM:IN, presents the  ‘Creya Ignited Minds Challenge’, a unique event for school children.
The challenge is not a paper and pencil exam. In this 2 day challenge, participants will be working on projects to design, develop and build solutions to real world problems. Winning the challenge is about bringing together and applying their science, math, creative, photographic, artistic, planning, thinking and problem solving skills.
The CIMC will also include a special design thinking workshop by DREAM:IN, hosted by Nidhi Isaac and Sonia Manchanda. We’re dying to give away some more details but for that you will have to watch this space over the next few days.
Here’s the schedule for both days –
Friday, November 15

9 am registration
9:30 – 12:30 Creya Boot camps start
12:30 -­‐ 1:15 lunch
1:15 – 3:15 Creya Boot camp continues
3:15 – 3:45 breaks (15 min for each stream)
3:45 – 4:15 brief for challenge (all in main hall)
4:15 – 6:00 Design thinking Workshop (Dream:In)

Saturday, November 16

9:15 – 9:45 Introductions to the challenge statement
9:45 to 1:00 Challenge Building Begins
1:00 – 1: 40 lunch
1:40 – 3:45 Challenge Building Continues
3:45 – 4:15 Team preparation for presentation
4:15 – 5:45 Student Presentations to Jury Members
4:15 – 5:00 Break
6:15 – 7:15 Awards ceremony

We’re sure that all the 150 children participating are going to have loads of fun at the DREAM:IN Center, where the event is being hosted. You can read more about the event on the creya website – http://www.creyalearning.com 

See you soon!

DREAM:IN wins Designomics award

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We’re happy to announce that the DREAM:IN Portal has won the Designomics award in the category – website/portal/application for the year 2013! The award was presented at an event in Mumbai in late October, 2013.

Thank you for your support in making the DREAM:IN Portal a Dream come true!

About Designomics

Designomics is an initiative that endorses the value of strategic integration of Design in Business.
Design is no longer the domain of visual aesthetics and cosmetic beautification. Its potential to influence lives and shape the way businesses create value, is rapidly gaining recognition. Business houses are speedily embracing Design as a strategic tool, not just to empower their brands and engage their audiences but also to guide the driving philosophies at the core of the organisation. And in the rapidly globalising Indian economy, businesses are realising the importance of holistic Design intervention to deliver ROI. The merging of the Design principles and economic disciplines is what we call Designomics

You can read more about the awards here http://designomics.in/awards-2013.aspx

We are currently working on phase 2 of the Imagination Network. Until then, we invite all of you to use the website and share your feedback with us!

Log on to the DREAM:IN Imagination Network and share your Dreams with us!

http://www.dreamin.in