I am very happy to announce that Karmic Design Thinking (Print edition) is now available on Amazon.com and other allied marketplaces (like France, Germany, US, UK, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Canada and Australia). It is already available to order on Amazon India (Print & Kindle), pothi.com (Print), halfpricebooks.in and Flipkart.com. Pssst… Flipkart is running a 16% discount on the book as of today!
Is or Isn’t is one of the core conflicts that everyone deals with. For example, “It is Monday or it isn’t Monday”.
Radically different, correct?
What if you wanted to find out if a wheel of a high speed train is cracked or not? The question to ask is - Is it or Isn’t it cracked?
But, how does one find that out without breaking that wheel? Simple solution - use a sound wave that no human can hear, but only those dangerous cracks can hear and reflect.
This sound wave is present, but isn’t going to harm the wheel. Cool, eh?
Now that I have your undivided attention, I am happy to tell you that Shyamsunder Mandayam not only bought my book, Karmic Design Thinking, but he seems to be impressed with the contents of the book. So much so that he invited me to give a talk on Attaining Innovation Nirvana through Design Thinking to the Indian Society of Non-destructive Testing (ISNT) on May 1, 2021, between 4pm and 5pm IST.
ISNT, of course, has many other techniques up their collective sleeves. Check them out at https://isnt.in.
The details of my talk and the joining details are here - https://isnt.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/ISNT-BNG.WEBINAR-01st-May-2021.pdf.
In September 2019, I got an email from Prof. Avanija from Sree Vidyanikethan Engineering College, Tirupathi. The gist of the email went something like this:
Dear Sir, can you please recommend a good book on Design Thinking that we teachers can use for teaching and may also be useful for the students to learn from?
When I read this, I was surprised, since so much of literature and books have been written on the topic of Design Thinking. So, I did a basic search for a book on the leading libraries of the world. It is not that I didn’t find any books. I didn’t find a book which could go alongside an academic course.
So, I responded.
“Dear Madam, you are right. Currently, there seem to be no books which match your requirements. However, are you willing to wait for 3-4 months?”
Avanija Madam kindly agreed to my weird request.
What I had in mind was what I learned from the writer community - “If you don’t find a book you want to read, write it.”
How do you get to know about the life of a security guard of a University? What does their day look like? How can we help them stay focused on their job while making some of their troubles go away? I wasn’t thinking of these things. A professor, in my Design Thinking Faculty Development Program (FDP) organized by CET, Trivandrum, was wondering about these questions. When he heard about the phases of Design Thinking from my latest book Karmic Design Thinking - Empathize, Analyze, Solve and Test, he thought this was the best way to learn. He practised what I preached ☻. The empathy exercise led to some startling conclusions like the number of hours, this man (The professor had tracked a security guard who was a man) had to stand without a break, the kind of climactic conditions that they had to endure. He even supplemented the study with a few pictures for us to see what was it like to be a security guard.
I have been taught by so many teachers and I owe everything I’ve learnt and achieved to every teacher that I have come across. No, this is not a “Happy Teachers Day” post. 😁
So, how do I teach people whose profession is to teach people? Will they find my teaching methods as immature? Will they take me seriously? Doubts running in my head.
More than a year ago, Prof. Lochan Jolly from Thakur College of Engineering, Mumbai, reached out to me to hold a workshop on TRIZ. Almost instinctively, I agreed. Just as an afterthought, I asked about the level of proficiency of the audience. That’s when the good professor hit me with the news - The room will be full of teachers and professors.
Contradiction - I love the experience of being in a room and helping people apply TRIZ on a problem they care about. But, since I had never taught teachers before, I would probably hate the experience of worrying about if I was doing a good job or not. Talk about love-hate.
Right? Nope, wrong. The teachers were wonderful, so much so that I felt at ease. Not only that, I felt I should have suggested a two-day workshop instead of a one-dayer.
After an overwhelming response to the paperback version of Karmic Design Thinking, many of you enquired about an e-book version. I hear you loud and clear. Here is the e-book version (Amazon Kindle version, to be precise), available in your local Amazon marketplace, no matter where you are on the planet.
Indian thinking, western philosophy - This is how a colleague of mine, Prof. Mukul Joshi, from FORE management school, New Delhi, described my treatment of design thinking (https://dt.balaramadurai.net). He invited me to give a talk to the students of FORE management school located in New Delhi about this topic. I was not sure if I would use the same phrase to describe Design Thinking. This is a philosophy, yes. This is a way of thinking, yes. But, can we attribute a certain geography to these? I wasn’t sure.
What can help you organize your life? What can help you write code? What can help you with managing your email? What can help you write novels? Can we answer all these question with one answer? Yes, you can and the answer is emacs. Oh yeah, it is also a text editor, there’s that too! Every year, we at the emacs community celebrate this text editor and share what unique things we have done with this editor. I was fortunate to give a talk at the conference on the topic “Idea to Novel Superstructure: Emacs for Writing”. Enjoy!
The conference website is here: https://emacsconf.org/2020/
How do I conduct a workshop for over 100 professors from all over India? Added to the complication is the fact that this was an online workshop. I will not be able to meet them face to face. From the audience standpoint, how are they going to remain engaged to a person so far away, physically, in a subject, they probably barely heard about? Well, all my fears about keeping them engaged dissipated from my first question to the audience itself. Where are you logging in from? This one question kick started our conversation. Thanks largely to the enthusiasm and energy of the 100+ professors, by the time the session ended, we were virtually in tears. I learnt so much from them when we ended our 4th session together the next day. Thanks to Prof. Harlal Singh Mali and his team from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur for his tireless efforts in arranging this workshop.
UNESCO World Heritage Site reminds you of Italian monuments or sculptures from some other famous places that you may have been to. Design Thinking Workshop reminds you of a closed room with sticky notes in various colors with people crowding around a chart. What do you get when you combine these two ideas? Design Thinking workshop at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ellora caves, near Aurangabad. Thanks largely to professors and students from PES College of Engineering, Aurangabad, a Design Thinking workshop at Ellora caves became a reality.