Together We Can is a collaborative design-thinking challenge that presents children with a real world design task of significance to the community. Our school partners with an industry or community based organisation to identify a need and then presents the task of designing a solution to the students.
The key change-making motivation behind the initiative is the meaningful and exciting alternative it offers to the common-place competitive challenges that traditionally take place where the purpose of participation often becomes simply one of vying for the ‘trophy’. In contrast to these, Together We Can provides an authentic and constructive context, much like a societal tender process for student teams to put together their best efforts and debate the merits of each others’ solutions, before selecting the one that best serves the identified community need. In this case it is the originality and ingenuity of a proposed solution that becomes the aspired for ‘trophy’ and the motivation for participation.
Participating students receive mentoring in the design-thinking process and are supported as they to attempt to use the tenets of the process to think creatively, plan effectively, work collaboratively and make optimal use of resources.
Uniquely, the contest format also places part of the onus for selecting this ‘best solution’ on the students themselves as they engage in a critical process of peer review and provide their very own feedback to an expert panel of eminent judges responsible for arriving at the final decision.
As part of the challenge, students have compiled a book of traditional recipes using organic ingredients produced by Navdanya, a bespoke heritage tour for young people in collaboration with the tourist organisation DelhiByFoot, as well as solutions and mechanisms to prevent, abate and measure air pollution in our cities.