S.P. Mandali’s Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) India Initiative jointly presented the first edition of ‘Design, Technology & Social Innovation Workshop 2020.’ 300 students from across India inclusive of 60 students from WeSchool with the help of 30 mentors from MIT and Harvard designed 57 tech based solutions and prototypes which can be scaled up to resolve local challenges in India.

The students were given unique developing world problems which they had to find solutions with a human centric approach.  The participants delved into pressing problems in challenging contexts and developed novel ways through technology and design.  

The problem statements revolved around themes like Fintech for Social Good, Re-imagining education, Community Based Health Solutions, Environmental Resilience, and Social Empowerment through Music among others. Teams of students developed various prototypes like The Janitor for the stagnant sewage around households in slums, Evacuation Path Finder for evacuation systems for disabled people in dense informal settlements in emergency situations, Aquato for the problem of groundwater shortage impacting 21 cities across the country. 

We School & MIT

Mr. Piyush Verma, Head, MIT India Initiative said, “We are glad that the students have come up with such innovative designs to solve social problems prevalent at local level. ‘Design, Technology & Social Innovation Workshop,’ aimed to address local challenges that India faces across sectors. We are committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. Hence, the students worked with a team of 30 researchers to get firsthand experience and training from these experts. We are happy to receive WeSchool’s support in our endeavor to help students learn and develop their ‘Learnability Quotient’ by leveraging creative power of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through design thinking.”

Addressing at the workshop, Adv. Shri. S.K. Jain, Chairman, Managing Council and Chairman, College Development Committee, S.P. Mandali said, “WeSchool and MIT India Initiative have offered a platform for youth from across disciplines to exchange knowledge, ideate on social challenges and takeaway lessons through application of their learning. The initiative is certainly an development ground for globally responsible citizens.”

On this occasion Prof Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool said, “Design thinking is at the core of WeSchool’s learning pedagogy and this workshop imbibed it in all forms. I am happy to see so many students encouraged to think beyond the traditional and come up with economical yet sustainable solutions. We want the future generation to focus on a career that not only helps them be successful but also moulds them to become global leaders, contributing to the growth of the society. WeSchool will continue to support such social initiatives and also help scale great ideas for common good.”

The workshops involved an introduction to novel technology, need-finding, ideation and rapid prototyping. The last day of the workshop culminated in a public open-house with an overwhelming response from students, colleges and industry professionals coming from across India to view cutting edge solutions.

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