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Attaining Innovation Nirvana through Karmic Design Thinking


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 ( 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.

Image Credits: Jamie Nakamura -

In one of my sessions in the past, one gentleman listened to all my examples of the application of Design Thinking.

He asked “All these examples are from the West, but what about Indian applications?”

I can bet that if I had given some Indian cases as examples (which actually I did), the question would have been - “Yes, but how about some South Indian examples? This may work for the North Indians.”

Our mind cannot process more than two facets at the same time - this is what is promised by neuroscientists. Our part of the brain which processes cognitive signals coming at us is relatively young in evolutionary terms. We can think of the world in binary (You should check out Factfulness by Hans Rosling) - Us vs them, East vs West, North vs South, developing vs developed. It is so easy to classify people like that, but is it really the case? Perhaps not. The world and by extension, the Universe, is a far more complex place than that.

My feeling is that it is tough to attribute thinking and philosophy to a particular region.

The thinking, philosophy may originate in one place, discussed in another, applied in another. It is very difficult to put your finger down and say when and where is the thinking from.

Then, why the classification at all? It is convenient. Such mass stereotyping or type casting helps our brain heave a sigh of relief.

This classification is not a problem to be solved, it is a bias that we have to be aware of.

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