Sunday, March 16, 2014

Global Social Entrepreneurship Summit Mumbai 2014 - Sharing and Reflecting

Just over two weeks ago I was in Mumbai at ASB Unplugged 2014 co-running the Global Social Entrepreneurship Summit with Sharon Peters and Karishma Galani. The design and development for this summit came from two main influences: the successful Flat Classroom Workshops in 2010 and 2012 at ASB Unplugged, and the service learning work Sharon had been doing in Africa and India in conjunction with the goals and objectives the American School of Bombay to take this to the next level. In this case, after initial joint discussion, the next level was to run a summit where students and teachers could come together to explore social entrepreneurship and, in the context of a city such as Mumbai, work in a challenge-based capacity for 3 days to create and share new ideas for global implementation.

The Process
Integral to the success of this summit was the design cycle and design thinking based on the Henry Ford Learning Institute.

Suzie Boss opened the summit for us - and was an inspiration - encouraging everyone to consider problems that adults still have yet to solve, and delivered three challenges:
1. Prepare to CARE
2. Prepare to DARE
3. Prepare to SHARE

In mixed classroom teams (6 classrooms from China and India - local and international schools), as well as one teacher team, participants were introduced to the design thinking process through a simple 'wallet' making activity. This was very hands on and utilized the 'maker space' recently set up at ASB.

After a Reality tour of Dharavi Slum in Mumbai and further input from Rikin Gandhi at Digital Green teams started the brainstorming and 'defining' process where they had to come up with a problem and start to formulate a solution.

Ideas were shared around the room and teams honed in on how to present these through verbal pitching using simple images and key words (after some explanation of where to find creative Commons images).

After pitching on a rotation basis and receiving feedback from other educators and students teams then worked on their 'Media Marketing Plan' that included creating a digital story around their idea and focusing on social media as a tool to promote and market.
Final presentations included their multimedia material as well as a verbal clarification of their business plan and intentions to gain support in the future. Esteemed judges from organisations in Mumbai, including Suzie Boss, determined the best ideas and presentations.

Use of Technology
Although not as technology-infused as past Flat Classroom workshops at ASB sharing of resources was done through a closed Facebook group - in conjunction with a Facebook Page. Students were at liberty to use any tool they needed to communicate and create their multimedia presentation. They had access to laptops and other digital tools.

Student Leadership Team
ASB, under the direction of Sharon and Karishma, prepared a capable student leadership team who prepared a lot of the material to lead the summit teams through the design thinking process. They capably supported all teams and kept the summit upbeat and moving towards a conclusion. They are to be commended and congratulated on taking on this role.

Examples of summit team proposals

This summit was a valuable experience for both teachers and students:
  • It showed the power of developing empathy for social entrepreneurship thorugh direct experience and contact with NGO's and non-profit organisations, and learning from their experience and enthusiasm.
  • It showed the value of joining both teacher teams and student teams in the one summit - to work alongside each other in a collaborative learning environment
  • It reinforced the need for technology tools to connect participants and to provide a vehicle for communication and sharing
  • It raised awareness and boosted confidence in the area of not only identifying global issues but being able to provide viable solutions, and design these solutions through a carefully led process
This style of summit is relatively new to schools and it does have a positive place in learning and global education, including community and service and the IB CAS programmes around the world.

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