Monday, April 7, 2008

KaosPilots at NID and in Mumbai: Design for India being redefined

Image: KaosPilots at Gautam and Gira square at NID, Paldi campus.

KaosPilots at NID and in Mumbai: Design for India being redefined
The new age business school called KaosPilot was set up in Aarhus, Denmark more than 15 years ago in response to a pressing need to get young people to think afresh about their careers as entrepreneurs and creative professionals in a world that was becoming very commercial and market driven. Uffe Elbeck, the founder Principal of the school in the intro to his book, KaosPilot A-Z, says this about his school, looking back over the past 15 years. Uffe is currently the Chairman of KaosPilot International Board from 2006, now that it has taken roots in many countries and growing in influence and locations.

I quote – “In the historical rearview mirror it’s nothing less than an educational, economic and organizational miracle – and fairytale – that the school and education have survived. And we just have’nt just survived – we’ve thrived. We’re alive, – really alive. With a pulse in the heart, sweat and blood, here and now. In the centre of Aarhus – but the whole world as our playground.” – unquote.

In 15 years of experimentation the KaosPilots have been able to redefine management education and make it a creative enterprise that drew inspiration from the field, live and in real contact, rather than through the use of dry case studies that are discussed threadbare in a crowded classroom. The KaosPilot is an International School for New Business Design and Social Innovation, a way forward for many management schools that want to embrace the value of creativity, innovation and design in their approach education and change making processes in our various activities.

The KaosPilot schools do not produce plain vanilla managers who will then work their way up a corporate ladder. They produce leaders who are both playful as well as committed to a cause, something close to their heart and meaningful to society as well. They are trained in the ways of the Fourth Sector that lies outside the traditional three sectors of Government, Private and Non Government sectors but draw the strengths of all these in good measure in order to build sustainable and socially equitable business models in a creative manner, all to produce great value. This is what I call design.

35 KaosPilots and two teachers are now in Mumbai for their three month “Outpost” where in a project mode they would explore the city and its resources and then build sustainable business models for those in need of their skills, all in a sensitive manner. Working in groups and connecting with other committed souls in the city, they would explore, experiment, dialogue, model, build and test the proof of concept offerings that are a product of their research and imagination before going all out to establish the enterprise with local participation and leadership in each of the areas that have been chosen by the sense-making that precedes the intense-action of implementation.

Why 35? This is the batch size at all KaosPilot schools and each student is called a Navigator at their website that is full of exciting detail of their tasks and experiences in the field. While the school offers a bachelor’s degree equivalent, the students are over 21 years of age, mature and with a clearly formed purpose in life, to make a real difference. They come to the school to pick up skills and to address needs that most business schools ignore. In the words of Marco Visscher, Managing Editor of Ode, a Netherland based international magazine – “It sometimes seems that while the world economy has drastically changed, business education has stayed still.” KaosPilot offers another way. He goes on to say – “And now, after being Scandinavia’s best-kept secrets, KaosPilots is aiming to breakthrough internationally”. Now they are in India, welcome.

Image: KaosPilots with Prof M P Ranjan in his office at NID.
Three members of the Mumbai Outpost team traveled over the weekend and arrived at NID, Ahmedabad yesterday and spent two days with us at the Institute, very refreshing ideas and process of working. Perhaps this heralds a new period of cooperation between NID and a business school with the same values and commitment to change, real change in the right direction. KaosPilots, Sophie Uesson and Finnur Sverrisson and their teacher Mans Adler spent two days at NID and interacted with students and faculty in order to understand our processes and experience our facilities on the Paldi campus. We look forward to seeing the results of their stay in Mumbai and the bonds that this visit will forge with designers and managers in Mumbai and Sweden in the days ahead. We are keen to be in the centre of all this action as we move forward from here.

1 comment:

  1. check out this link>
    there's a business design competition by Domus>>


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