Field visits have been a part of the pedagogy to have students engage with people on field. The Centre started the Fellows’ Yatra where the students go through the community living experience by observing social enterprises scale-up technologies, work on operational efficiencies, train human resources and maximize social impact. The TCTD Symposium initiated in January 2018 has been an annual feature to exhibit the faculty and students’ work through posters, prototypes and other media, and to brainstorm on challenges and ideas that drive social innovations ahead. Kalpana has been a nationwide prototyping competition bringing in a whopping number of applicants from all over the country. The five-day program on End to End Innovation has seen a huge demand from the academic and industrial fraternity outside IIT Bombay.
The Tata Fellows’ Yatra
Since 2017, the Centre started the Fellows’ Yatra where the Tata Fellows and a few faculty and staff have visited certain field settings, to be able to relate to the community living experience. The Tata Fellows have seen how social enterprises can scale-up using technology, operational efficiencies, and work at maximum social impact. The organisations led by these social leaders range from community interventions to scales spanning several states in India. Places visited so far include Madurai, Hubballi, Goa, Bangalore, and Pune.
TCTD, IITB conducts workshops in the Product Realization Lab to give hands-on experience in prototype making to students, within campus. Students are introduced to the machines and equipment at the Lab through these workshops. The objective is to introduce and train students on using the lab equipment, and conduct brainstorming, fabricating and testing of the prototypes that are worked upon. These workshops are a part of the Centre’s outreach initiative to encourage ideas, use of hand skills and train manpower.
The much-celebrated national prototyping competition – Kalpana is conducted annually to encourage innovation across India. This event is staged in 3 rounds, inviting thousands of applications from across educational institutions in the country. Kalpana is an ideal platform for most innovators, showcasing two different competitions – Nirmiti – the prototype-making event and Drishtikon – the poster-making event. After 3 months of brainstorming, the finale is a week-long fabrication event at the Product Realization Lab that brings out winning ideas.
To supplement the learnings from the ProSeminar and aiming to get a community experience and understand the problems faced by the bottom of the pyramid, students are taken to various locations visits to study the relevant challenges there. These visits present an opportunity to understand the development of solutions through community stewardship. Observing how social and economic progress can be brought about by simple technologies and community-based solutions, the field trips are a learning experience.
The annual conclave in January every year, hosted by TCTD, IITB, rolls out with different themes. 2018 saw the beginning of this event with the objective – Innovate to Transform while 2019 turned into – Translate for Impact. The event brings together stakeholders who can help drive social innovations ahead, for better impact. TCTD Symposium 2020 plans to ‘Take Ideas to Scale’. With panel discussions, guest speakers and poster and prototype presentations planned, the objective is to bring together an ecosystem of partners and organisations for better user connect to developed technologies and solutions.