The collaboration between IIT Mumbai and IIT Chicago featured Chicago students directing research in Powai, and IIT Mumbai students directing research in Chicago. As a result, research approaches were tailored to each group of students’ needs. IIT Mumbai students focused on physical product design solutions and IIT Chicago focused on designing systems and strategies encompassing combinations of product, communication and service design opportunities. The goal of all of the projects was to contribute to increasing prosperity and small business growth within Chicago and the Powai neighborhood.
Key insights and design ideas derived from the collaboration
Exploring the possibility of for-profit and not-for-profit hybrids
Students explored the creation of for-profit/not-for-profit hybrid organizations by designing systems that:
- Strengthen communities by connecting local resources
A self-sustaining business model for a Balwadi that integrates a non-for-profit community service provider, a for-profit entity and an educational incubator around the core values of creating social and economic value for the Powai slum community.
(Gauri Verma, Valerie Campbell, Edwin Steinmetz , Vishwesh Kelkar)
- Empowering Self-employed Women in Powai through Social Networking
A Kitty-Cooperative model for women’s groups in the Powai slum designed make NGOs more effective in addressing the needs of their constituents in the areas of health, education and financial independence.
(Bhumi Gajjar, Soham Patel, Anshul Maheshwari)
Utilization of Ubiquitous or Predominant Technologies
Record-keeping and Credit Management Systems for Kirana Stores in Powai. New paper ledgers and record-keeping applications for mobile phones address preponderance of credit-based transactions, unclear payback details, and shop owner’s monopoly of the main register in stores. (Antonio Quinones, Nai-Hwa Chiang, Preethi Lakshminarayanan, Swapnil Jadhav)
Exploring New Types of Currency
Efficient Scrap Collection Systems for Powai Slums A scrap collection system that offers increased efficiency and profitability to Powai scrap collectors by facilitating networking, scrap processing, price transparency and the introduction of incentives. (Vasile Bora, Dan Folwaczny, Kyungsun Kim, Shilpa Rao, Amy Sprague)
The full paper was presented on April 7, 2009 at SDSE 2008, Bangkok Thailand.