Return of the Rebels

In the past year I’ve come across some brilliant humans. People who personify Rob Siltanen’s “Here’s to the crazy ones”. People who are not happy with whatever is happening around them, who have a problem with status quo. People who have the courage to ask the the Hard Questions. People who want to change things for the good. People for whom a job title is not the important thing.

Crazy ones

All these people share some common fundamental values and ideology. I’ve been talking to a few of them on regular basis. And finally after months of talking on phone, emails and skype, we finally ended up meeting in Delhi for 3 days. It took some flights, trains and a couple of taxi and auto rides to be in the same shared space-time continuum.

These 3 days were some of the most interesting and mentally challenging days i had in the last few months. We probed and provoked each other to form a common understanding of

  • what we are?
  • what we want to do?
  • where we are headed?
  • why we are the way we are?
  • what makes us tick?
  • why work together?
  • what needs to be done?
  • what sort of questions need to be asked and probed?

We also were interested in asking the What ifs?

  • What if everyone comes together for making a social impact?
  • What if open systems are employed for tackling UNDP sustainability goals?
  • What if we want to change the way design is practiced?
  • What if sustainability, systems thinking and design things is the only way to turn consumption and consumerism into something meaningful?
  • What if design becomes the basis of every system?
  • What if sense making and meaning making is more important that profit making?
  • What if we enable every person to maximize their potential and to live a content life?
  • What if there is something for everyone to learn?
  • What if the learning process is made very personal and experimental?
  • What if processes move beyond Human Centeredness and aim for Life Centeredness?
  • What if embracing fuzziness and and breaking down barriers is a normal approach?

Sticky Notes


The people I’m talking about have spent a majority of their time doing projects in the sector of social innovation, open learning and for the maximization of human potential.

Anmol Kaur 

Anmol Final

She is an engineer and a designer who enjoys arranging, connecting and making sense of information and systems – particularly in global development. She is inspired by the possibility of living in a world of compassion, universal freedom, and ubiquitous access to opportunity.

Currently, She’s on a one year self-directed master’s degree, looking to better understand the skills, tools, and mindsets required to be an exceptional designer and social impact leader.

She has worked as a volunteer consultant at Goonj, a Delhi-based NGO creating a parallel economy using waste as a resource for rural development, and at BMO Financial Group, as a Business Transformation Consultant in the Office of the COO, on digital transformation projects, lean process improvements, and customer experience mapping.

Check out some of her recent work and ideas on her blog.

 

Christopher Scott

Chris Final

He is a design-curious management consultant currently working along with Anmol and has worked with coffee farmers in Ethiopia. He is intrigued by the power of innovative business models to solve complex problems for people across sectors and geographies.

Check out his profile.

Together Chris and Anmol have been working on creating a platform “Designers of Tomorrow” where they are spending a year in India working on development-related projects using systems and design thinking, curating a curriculum on development, design, and moral leadership, and exploring different models for learning. They recently finished a project in the hills of Himalaya. They partnered with a social enterprise, EduCARE India, which focuses on facilitating community led sustainable development in rural areas, like Naddi. After spending some time getting settled, soaking in the vastness of the mountains around them, and meeting some of the community members here, they worked with EduCARE to define a challenge area.

How might we reduce the amount of time women in rural communities spend on unpaid (household) work so that they can contribute more time to their personal aspirations, economic well-being of their households, and sustainable development of their communities?

 

Laura A. François

Laura Final

She is from Montréal, Canada but she loves finding new places in which to feel local.

She is a creative design and systems thinker, feeling most alive when she is collaborating on social innovation projects. She worked with piktochart to create some amazing resources.

Though she claims that she is no fashionista, She is currently obsessed with her closet as she believes it contains the secret to a happier planet. She is a change agent for human rights in the fashion industry, facilitating awareness, and connecting the human and environmental stories behind our clothing.

She’s currently the Country Co-ordinator for Fashion Revolution Singapore. And also part of a successfully funded Indigogo campaign, Artisan & Fox (Discover the world’s hidden makers, Discover ethical jewelry, shawls and bags handmade by extraordinary artisans across the developing world)

You can find out more about her on her site.


All of us coming together and meeting reinforced our belief that there is power in participation, co-creation and openness. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery.

When people come together to look at the problem as a collective and listen to the issues and concerns of each member, they end up forming a very holistic perspective of the problem at hand. Solutions are built with the participation of everyone and by building on the ideas of others the system thus formed is an open and a democratically designed one. It’s a transparent system with every single entity visible to each member.

DESIGN IS OF THE PEOPLE. BY THE PEOPLE. FOR THE PEOPLE.

 

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