Friday, May 26, 2017

Presenting change in communities - final day of SELCO

Today was the last day of our SELCO workshop, where we learned the basic steps in the process of implementing change in communities.

Today was the last day of our SELCO workshop, where we learned the basic steps in the process of implementing change in communities. SELCO focuses on a human-centric design model, which means that all of the proposed planning for improvements in design have to take into account various human aspects, such as behavioral norms, cultural differences, and certain demographic's financial capacities. As today was our last day, we spent the majority of our time finalizing and presenting our proposal for change in our given communities.

We had been split into three groups, and each group was assigned a specific community to learn about, interview, and, using the newfound information, design a plan for improvement. My group, which included myself, two other students, and an intern, focused on a local market. This market had issues selling sufficient amounts of produce because their street had reached traffic capacity, so they needed to somehow increase sales without also increasing foot or vehicle traffic. 

Our group proposed we implement a third party delivery service, and we presented our idea to the rest of our class, the faculty, and a number of members of SELCO. After our presentation, the audience asked us various questions about our design plan, during which we had to try and showcase our understanding of systemic issues and adopt a community-based perspective to best answer the question. 

This project was definitely challenging, although I felt that we learned enough to perform adequately, and it made me feel proud to be able to show a level of understanding for the issues that face Indians that I did not possess prior to the couple of weeks we have spent here. We ended the day after all of the presentations had finished and we had listened to a panel of SELCO members give us an account of experiences in implementing real social change, along with offering us some useful and applicable career advice.

Blog entry by Hannah Sekaran


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