Of Hills, Hopes and Happiness

On my way to interview Bisna, wife of a migrant worker in Tanahun, Nepal

comparatif prix abonnement site de rencontre On my way to interview Bisna, wife of a migrant worker in Tanahun, Nepal

http://colombiatourstickets.com/?viowq=sites-de-rencontre-serieux-et-gratuit-au-senegal&f82=44 After weeks of brainstorming over field guides and running up to unsuspecting strangers to ask for interviews for our dummy protocols, we were finally good to go for Nepal. Except that I almost missed my flight and survived through a real life episode of ‘Need for Speed’ in order to ensure that I didn’t. As we ran through the length and breadth of Terminal 3 of the IGI Airport, my colleague and I (who I happened to share the experience with) finally understood what it felt like to be chasing distraught lovers about to take off to another country. The only reason that I could board the flight that day was because it got delayed. Thus began my much awaited trip to Nepal. [Read more…]

Innovation works best when government does least?

watch The question of the nature of government’s role in social issues and the market has been debated to an impasse. So too, it seems, has its role in innovation. Does government support foster innovation? Or, does innovation work best when government does least? In 2010, the Economist magazine hosted a debate between the two camps, and fleshed out the arguments for greater or lesser contributions by government to the process of innovation.

watch Defending the theory that innovation works best when government does least, Amar Bhide of Harvard University and author of The Venturesome Economy argues that too-involved governments inevitably muddle the innovation process; they choose the wrong winner by supporting projects that are politically popular, as opposed to those deserving of investment. [Read more…]

Effective Technology in Education Innovation

http://azortin.pl/?rtysa=opcje-binarne-ca%C5%82a-prawda&00e=15 Khan Academy, which began in 2004 as a small collection of youtube tutorials by Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard, has become a library of free educational videos that has has earned the recognition and support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google. With over 3,000 mini lectures in 15 subjects, mostly in sciences, technology, and math, Khan Academy’s mission of “providing a free world class education to anyone, anywhere,” is reaching across the globe, from rural Asia to classrooms in America, and is transforming the paradigm of education with a de-centralized, student-centered approach to learning.

At KhanAcademy.org, video lectures are simple, the only audio being Khan’s voice and the only visual a colorful virtual whiteboard. They are also short, each lesson about fifteen minutes long, despite covering subjects in diverse fields levels K-12. However, Khan has found that he simplicity lends accessibility. In an interview with 60 minutes he said, “I’ve got a lot of feedback from people who say it feels like I’m sitting next to them and we’re looking at the paper together…I think that’s what people like, the humanity of it.” In addition, the website also offers practice exercises and peer-to-peer tutorials, and software to track one’s own progress.
[Read more…]

Contextualizing Technology and Behavioural Change: The Case of the Dishwasher

nombres de mujeres solteras en facebook “I want a dishwasher in my new kitchen,” a 32 year male corporate professional explained to his architect while discussing ideas for the interior design of his recently bought condominium in Gurgaon, India. This demand certainly appeared a bit quirky to the architect, who immediately started comparing the cost and convenience of getting dishes done by a domestic help to the cost of running a dishwasher. The home owner, on the other hand, had already decided the model of his new machine. After passionately cooking for six years in his American suburban apartment kitchen owing to the ease of use of modern technologies, the professional certainly missed this aspect of his life for the past two years after relocating to India. One of his biggest motivations for cooking came from the desire to have a clean kitchen, during and after the cooking process, which has not been possible since he moved back.

http://bestff.net/cache/cache_aqbmkwwx.php?z3=WmR2VG5LLnBocA== [Read more…]

Fashion with a Breath of Fresh Air

http://laprovence.sk/familjarnosty/2718 We all wear them: Clothes. We use them to keep warm, exercise, define ourselves, make political statements, but can we also use them to clean up our environment? In an unlikely collaboration, successful fashion designer Helen Storey and polymer chemist Tony Ryan have collaborated to create the world’s first air purifying clothing.

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The science has already been used to create self-cleaning windows and paints. When nanoparticles of titanium dioxide come into contact with ultraviolet light, it causes pollutants to break down. By applying this to clothing, this technology can clean the air as we move through it, especially in urban areas, where pollution can cause severe health problems.

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What is innovative about Catalytic Clothing, however, is not just the science, but also the democracy of the idea. Rather than attaching the technology to a specific brand, Catalytic Clothing is working with Ecover, a company that makes ecologically friendly cleaning products, to be sold as a fabric softener. Instead of needing a new wardrobe, your existing clothes can be transformed into mobile air purifiers when they are washed. Professor Helen Storey told CNN, “We are empowering people’s existing wardrobes with a technology that will allow them to have a significant impact on the quality of air we breathe.”

the technology works particularly well on jeans

Catylitic Clothing expects to be on the market in the next two years, and is putting forth a series of cultural and artistic demonstrations, such as the “Field of Jeans,” above, to raise awareness about how science and fashion have collaborated to create environmental innovation.

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).

Technology and the New Digital Individual – Liberation or Enslavement?

The many revolutions happening around the world, from Ramlila Maidan to Tahrir Square, have been, or are being, at least in part fueled and propelled by the technologies we use, especially online social media. And at the same time, governments are imposing restrictions on internet use to limit its use for resistance, such as the Egyptian internet curtailing in response to the Arab Spring. Moreover, quite apart from the use of social media for protest, lies the massive debate of privacy and the erosion of the private space through the overuse of social media. The fact that platforms like facebook and twitter allow for, and even encourage, constant updates on every facet of one’s life, has led skeptics to claim that the public declaration of so much personal information can and will result in greater governmental control.

This debate, of whether technology is a controlling influence or a liberating influence, is extremely pertinent in these ever more networked times. At the Names not Numbers conference in Mumbai last week, a panel comprised of Aditya Dev Sood, Julia Hobsbawm, Nishant Shah and Dan Lloyd had an hour-long discussion on this topic, where some fascinating insights were offered.

Aditya Dev Sood brought up the issue of trust in relation to the technologies we use, offering the theory that there is, globally, a crisis of trust – where people worldwide are finding that their governments, bureaucracies and institutions have failed them – and which has therefore led to new standards of trust: mutuality, probity, reputation. He went on to propose that “these new standards of trust come from the online, social-mediated networked interactions — being online transforms our understanding of what trust can achieve for us and what kind of trust is necessary for us to interact with the world.”

Dr. Sood went on to talk about how social media platforms allow for the kind of instant and widespread connectivity that increases collaboration and innovation, resulting in some really creative uses of social media, such as in the Occupy Wall Street protests. It also shows how social media platforms allow people to respond to new developments faster, more creatively and more effectively than traditional institutions – private or public – and bureaucracies.

Dan Lloyd, speaking more on the use of social media in protests, talked about the recent attempt by the Mubarak regime in Egypt to ban all international telecommunications and internet during the protests. The only reason, he said, that the Egyptian government was able to go so far in regulating and restricting the telecommunications networks is because they maintain a monopoly on these networks, especially the international internet gateways. “There are very few countries in the world who would have been able to take these steps, and the number of countries that are maintaining that monopoly control over networks is diminishing rapidly. The number of platforms and networks that people are now able to connect on has expanded so rapidly that it makes it impossible for governments to control what happens and to impose their will through these communications networks.”

Julia Hobsbawm then redirected the conversation to the more personal ramifications of the heightened connectivity offered by the internet. She spoke of how, though she was overwhelmingly in favor of viewing social media as a liberating influence, there are some unintended consequences of this incredible liberation, such as the fact that sometimes it allows for the public to use its ugly ‘mob-voice,’ there are issues with bullying, the phenomenon of trolling, people are abusive, and you find that women are often more vulnerable to this. Moreover, our lives are coming to be so overly dependent and constantly connected to the telecommunications grid, that we find that there is a growing need to disconnect, to make the time for a “technology Sabbath.”

The discussion touched upon several other aspects of the large question of how technology affects both the individual and the public. Listen to the complete podcast here.