Dr Ilkka Hämäläinen visits CKS

In Conversation with Dr. Hamalainen

CKS hosted Dr Ilkka Hämäläinen, Chairman of the Board at Oppo (Optimizing Potential, Finland) at the Chaia Innovation Campus on 16th March. Dr. Hämäläinen heads Oppo, which is dedicated to creating systemic change through integration of business, academia and the internal dynamic of societies and by promoting ‘doing good by doing business’ in BOP markets. Most recently, he has collaborated with IIT Kharagpur to take a first of its kind course on innovation management with an approach rooted in principles of , which would therefore be more widely applicable as opposed to more context-specific approaches.

Dr. Hämäläinen brought a fresh and interesting perspective on innovation and how it should be fostered by creating an enabling ecosystem. Interestingly, in his view, an effort that has not yet positively impacted the context is called a ‘hypothetical innovation’; it is only once the effort has achieved its objective that it can be called an ‘innovation’.

It has been suggested by social scientists that the role of governments in making social change will decrease, and markets will be in charge through entrepreneurship of empowered citizens driving social changes to improve their own living conditions, or happiness, if you like. – OPPO.fi

At CKS we look forward to explore potential areas of collaboration with Dr Hämäläinen on innovation opportunities in BOP markets as well as new innovation approaches and training methods.

ColourNext 2012: The Process


ColourNext is an innovative trend forecasting initiative for Indian interiors, developed by Asian Paints and conducted in collaboration with the Center for Knowledge Societies. The ColourNext process includes gaining an understanding of emerging societal trends and changes in consumer behavior, and thereafter predicting their impact on design and décor choices. The resultant output includes an in-depth analysis of four prominent societal trends, along with information about relevant social events, media and brand associations, moods, emotions, and an expertly curated colour palette related to each trend.

ColourNext 2012 marks a decade of this work, which has been widely influential in defining colour choices in interior decor over the course of its evolution. This time around, however, certain changes were made to the process in order to make it a more wide-ranging trend forecasting, where the focus was not solely on colour and visual trends, but on larger societal trends.

The process began with preliminary secondary research of online sources, where researchers collected both textual and visual data of prominent changes and news from different industries. Alongside this, researchers also conducted a ‘visual scan,’ a comprehensive record of various kinds of visual data prevalent in everyday contexts, from magazines, newspapers, high fashion and design to hoardings and billboards. They then began to assimilate a realistic picture of what these various changes in society, technology, media, design and culture could mean for visual design and aesthetics.

Seven strong social trends emerged from this phase of data collection, which were then presented to experts during in-depth interviewed in order to validate and refine them. Visual design trends were correlated to these seven societal and lifestyle trend stories, garnered from a visual bank of over 1000 images. 700 of these were selected to be presented as stimuli during ‘creative studio workshops,’ where the team invited experts from a range of different backgrounds to collaboratively predict visual and design trends for the coming year, of which eleven were considered pertinent for the coming year.

This was followed by focused interviews with experts in different industries such as media, space design, architecture and interior decor in order to ground the trends in local happenings, whilst keep global influences in mind. Collaborative creative workshops were held to validate these, followed by a discussion on these trends by a panel consisting of seasoned sociologists and media experts in order to filter these down to the strongest trends.

Thereafter, workshops were held in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, engaging 32 experts and 60 students in various creative settings. These day-long intensive creative studio workshops created a vast pool of fresh visual themes, that were filtered down and fine-tuned to make up the final themes of ColourNext 2012. This happened in eight collaborative workshops where the Asian Paints and CKS teams worked together with colour consultants to cluster and filter the entire set of themes.

The information from all these sessions was collated and presented at Style Leader Workshops, where leaders and design thinkers from various industries like architecture, photography, art-direction, product design, apparel design, media and design education came together to decide upon the best possible thematic visual directions for the year 2012. Once the themes were voted upon during these workshops, the project teams from Asian Paints and CKS were able to finally crystallize all the information into the four major themes being revealed later today, at the ColourNext 2012 launch.

As a final step, the team collaborated with colour consultants to translate the final themes into colour and material palettes. These palettes sought to capture a critical part of the visual expression of every theme as well as the meanings, emotions and moods that themes are meant to express. The launch today will present installations on each of these themes, which will also be the subject of discussion for ColourNext Dialogues, to be held the following day, the 24th of January (see agenda).