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ISB conducts Design Challenge for Naropa Fellows



DEHRADUN, 21 Dec: Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad, Asia’s top business school, has designed an academic module for the Naropa Fellowship –a recently launched programme empowering the next generation of Himalayan and Indian leaders. The Naropa Fellowship comprises a select group of up-and-coming talents and was established in part by Founder of ISB, Dr Pramath Raj Sinha, and Himalayan native Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche. ISB and Naropa Fellowship are now formally collaborating to educate and inspire the youth of the Himalayan belt with entrepreneurial skills.
The “Design Challenge” module in this academic programme teaches Fellows how to identify problems in the region, and how to resolve them through creative solutions.
The Himalayan region is beset with challenges not normally seen in other parts of the world. Given its unique geography and terrain, challenges abound in economic and environmental spheres, as well as in issues of scalability, maintenance of public institutions, education, health, and hygiene. Over the course of four days, the “Design Challenge” module exposed fellows to the principles of design thinking. They were divided into fourteen teams to identify and articulate regional problems, under the guidance of ISB’s D-Labs team. They were first introduced to the various elements of Design Thinking and the fundamentals of data collection techniques, with an overview of the actual challenges they might encounter on the field.
As part of their research, the Fellows explored different aspects of the socio-cultural and economic dynamics of Leh town, and documented their observations while watching, sketching, and recording in the field. They used tools like interviews, focus group discussions, role playing, photography, and collected evidence (in some cases, by trying out the food being served by the local eateries!).
On the completion of the challenge, Apoorv Bamba, Master Coach for the Entrepreneurship track at the Naropa Fellowship said, “The challenge has given the fellows a good understanding of the region and its problems by engaging directly with the local people. Now we will work on the best solutions and on the practical implications such as scalability or financial viability of the solutions.”