Thursday, May 25, 2017

Learning to Listen

Today was the first of a three day workshop with SELCO, an organization working to provide solar energy to low income rural communities and urban slums.
Today was the first of a three day workshop with SELCO, an organization working to provide solar energy to low income rural communities and urban slums. The workshop focused on human-centric design and community participation to identify and pose solutions to problems faced by the community. We began by discussing the importance of observation and listening when entering the field and various methods for approaching different possible stakeholders. We then split into groups and entered the field with a general plan and set of questions. Though our experiences were different, we all learned about the common problems faced by researchers entering these communities.



With so many languages spoken in India, communication was a big challenge, especially in trying to explain why we were there. After about an hour in the field and a tasty lunch (served on a banana leaf) we regrouped at the SELCO office to sort through the information we had gathered. Each group identified several problems based on their observations and drafted a "how may we" statement that will provide a jumping off point for tomorrow's work. The day ended with reflection over dinner at Yogistan and an all too brief cuddle with the resident dog, Doctor.

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