Teaching

Telling stories - a lengthy, but effective way of communication

Recently, I came across a TED talk on storytelling1 and I forwarded the link to my friend. His response to that was in the form of a question, “Bala, why do you like stories?” This post is a reply to his question describing the reason I like stories. I won’t disappoint you, I do have a story in there…

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Learn TRIZ through Movies - 2

The art of framing a problem in the form of a contradiction (or a conflict of interest) is the core of the methodology of ARIZ (from the toolkit of TRIZ). Often times, the people whom I work with (be it students or employees) have a problem with understanding the concept. This series of posts is meant to clarify this for them. I have decided to use specific movie scenes for the purpose. I draw this idea heavily from a friend of mine (https://trizindia.org/2009/09/triz-in-films-ideas-for-fooling-filmi-ghost/). Today, we are going to use a scene from the movie “Dangal”.

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Learn TRIZ through Movies - 1

The art of framing a problem in the form of a contradiction (or a conflict of interest) is the core of the methodology of ARIZ (from the toolkit of TRIZ). Often times, the people whom I work with (be it students or employees) have a problem with understanding the concept. This series of posts is meant to clarify this for them. I have decided to use specific movie scenes for the purpose. I draw this idea heavily from a friend of mine (https://trizindia.org/2009/09/triz-in-films-ideas-for-fooling-filmi-ghost/). Today, we are going to use a scene from the movie “The Matrix”.

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Design Thinking - A Primer (MOOC Open for Registration)

It was August 2011, a few months before I quit the company, a gentleman tossed a question at me, “If I lose my job as a Java programmer to a computer which will write Java code by itself, then so will you. Without me, who will you teach?”

I had merely applied one of the trends of technology evolution and showed the participants of my workshop a demo that they would understand. Code that might write itself.

I had by no means hinted that I was going to fire him. But, I thought about this for quite some time.

Who will replace professors, trainers and consultants?

It is better that I replace myself rather than someone else, so I decided to record it all into a computer and deliver it as a course.

So, here goes. I am very glad to announce the launch of an online course on Design Thinking on an online platform called NPTEL - National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning. I am co-teaching this course with Prof. Ashwin Mahalingam from IIT, Madras. The course is available at https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in/noc19%5Fmg23/. The course is now open for registration and we will start in Feb 2019. The wonderful folks at IISER, Pune, hard working people at NPTEL, my creative teaching assistant, Siddharth Maturi and his buddies - Nithin, Sam and Suprativ helped us with making this course possible.

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How to Be Smarter About the Innovation Trends of the World? Deadline Tomorrow

Can inventing be taught or is it in your genes? The perennial question that hounds a lot of us. G. Altshuller and his colleagues set out to prove that the art of inventing could be taught. So what’s up in the world of inventing and invention after they set out with this job? What are some of the hot trends in this field? Here is a great opportunity for you to find out.

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How to Visualize Your System in Four Simple Steps

It was the winter of 2010. Mr. Murphy had a whale of a time with us fledgling professors at one of the premium centres of technology in the country. IIT Madras.

Murphy’s laws proved right.

Everything went wrong - the promised projector was out, our taxi had a flat tyre, my fellow professor’s laptop wouldn’t boot up, the students showed up on time for the class.

All disasters.

In spite of all these setbacks, Prakash (my co-professor) and I had a blast with the students. The students presented a few socially relevant problems that they were going to work on. My rest of the post will talk about one such case where visual representation helped us assimilate what the students initially attempted to explain through words. In the process, you can learn a thing or two about representing a system visually.

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Bugs Bunny and His HR Problem

These students from the HR division (Team Bullseye) submitted the following story (based on a true story) as part of their course on design thinking. They used the Karmic Design Thinking methodology. I found it very entertaining and educating. Their selfie of the entire team which wrote this piece is on the way. Pigeons take time to deliver messages, you know ;) I had fun reading this. Hope you do too!

Once upon a time there lived a rabbit named Bugs Bunny. He was employed by Mr. Kangaroo who ran a carrot cultivation farm. Mr. Bugs Bunny was very hardworking and dedicated employee and always loved to give his best. One fine day when he was picking up the carrots, his assistant, Ms. Chipmunk came running to him informing him that his mother broke her back after a monkey on the tree accidently dropped a coconut on her. She was immediately hospitalized and Bugs Bunny rushed there.

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Slingshot Effect for Innovation

The fuel levels plummeted to the lowest possible level. In this near suicidal mission, Cooper lost a few members of his own team. He hadn’t aged a day while his daughter and son were older, much older than him. Physically that is. He had just been betrayed by a hero, Dr. Mann. A hero from an older mission. The betrayal had cost them parts of their mother ship, the Endurance. The cargo they carried (the human embryo stack), heated up because of the unfortunate incident with Dr. Mann. What was Cooper going to do?

It was no time for caution.

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1s Upon A Time - Episode 1+1

Manav Hada is my student from the MBA Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, India. Manav had good fun in the class as is evident in this series of posts (Second of the series). If you didn’t notice, we had an Alfred Hitchcock/Subash Ghai moment! Manav starred in his own story as Sage Manav. Have fun!

How to design your solution?

Ok! Now you are thinking I have lost it, right? Designing the problem seemed fair, but now design the solution? Yes! Because a beautiful problem needs a beautiful solution. You don’t want the problem to be unhappy right? So let us start designing the solution.

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1s Upon A Time - Episode 1

Manav Hada is my student from the MBA Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, India. Manav had good fun in the class as is evident in this series of posts. Have fun!

Design a PROBLEM? Sounds weird right! But yes, we need to design our problem. Without designing our problem, we limit its beauty, making it insignificant and meaningless. In order to gain the true essence from a problem, we need to design it, decorate it and if possible reward it. After all a problem that is not recognized, is no problem at all!

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