Social Design Jam: a design thinking hackathon for social impact

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“There is a recent fad growing amongst professionals to jump into entrepreneurship without having the right understanding to responsibly solve large community problems. Unfortunately, for the social sector, this could mean you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of lives irresponsibly. We want to encourage people to collaborate with existing organizations and individuals to ensure everyone is aware of how they can contribute to the sector. And moreso, to help them understand how we can come up with very innovative ideas if we can bring our experiences together to solve our community problems ourselves,” says Shweta Sharma, Founder & CEO, Karmany, describing the idea behind the Social Design Jam that is scheduled to be held from August 1st – August 3rd.

Run by Karmany and Teach for India Delhi Alumni, Social Design Jam is a design thinking hackathon focused on social impact. The event will be hosted at IIIT­ Delhi and held over 48 hours for solving 6 social challenges. It will utilize the design­ thinking framework to create operational solutions for social enterprises solving pressing challenges in India. The design thinking framework has been utilized for years, however, it is only in the recent decade that it has become a more widespread, documented, problem solving tool. The participants will include individuals from a variety of backgrounds spanning the wide spectrum between corporates and social change drivers. The event promises the creation of viable, scalable solutions that can be carried forward by the organizations post this event.

The theme of the event is “Conscious Living”. And their core objective is to help people understand that no matter what skills, experiences, or backgrounds they bring to the table, if they begin to live consciously, they can make a difference to impact the community around them. Each team comprises of one business leader, one creative maverick, one social changemaker and one subject matter expert.

social design jam

Shweta shares that the Social Design Jam was inspired by an event that their team took part in five years ago in Chicago called, UX for Good. The event was aimed at bringing together user experience professionals to use their training to solve social issues. However, there was unfortunately, no onus on the community to carry any solutions forward. The Karmany team and Teach for India Delhi Alumni Members joined hands to bring together organizations from around India to submit actual challenges they are facing today.

They felt if they were going to put their time, energy and money into putting such a weekend together, it should be giving back to the community at large. Shweta adds, “our focus is to ensure the challenges submitted are detailed enough that they can be solved over a weekend with the help of design thinking experts. Partners such as IIIT-Delhi have stepped in to host the event on their campus. Acumen India will be facilitating the design thinking primer utilizing the IDEO methodology, so participants can understand the framework to be applied. The event has got commitments from a new Impact co-working space in Delhi, as well as technology/design incubator, Investopad, in Gurgaon, for mentorship, strategy resources, and office space post the event.”

The last date for applying is July 25th.  Visit here for more details on the Social Design Jam.