National Innovation Foundation
A look back at our 6 months with the National Innovation Foundation What we did and how we felt during our Design Impact Fellowship
DI FELLOWS: JOSH TREUHAFT + MARIO VARON // 6.15.12
Thanks, once again, for checking out our project. Sadly, this will be our last update on our work as our time here in Ahmedabad is coming to a close. Instead of just updating you on the most recent work we’ve done, this presentation aims to present a snapshot of the process we’ve been going through here at NIF over the past 6 months. If you’re just checking in to the project for the first time now, below is a short synopsis of what we’re working on. WHO:
We’re working with the National Innovation Foundation in Ahmedabad, India. NIF’s goal is to help India become an innovative and creative society by scouting, spawning and sustaining grassroots innovations (i.e., solutions created by typically low-income problem solvers with no formal training and minimal formal education -- less than 12th standard.)
We’re helping to develop some of the innovations they’ve scouted into more refined products with the potential to succeed commercially and have impact socially. Specifically, we’re working on user-centered value addition on some bicycle innovations...A Cycle Hoe / Weeder and a Bicycle-based sprayer.
This presentation will try to capture what we’ve done on the project and our reflections about our time here. NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // INTRODUCTION
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Meeting NIF When we first got to Ahmedabad, it became quite clear quite early on that we’d need to spend some time just getting to know the organization and how things worked there. The structure and the goals and key activities of the various departments were all pretty opaque to us. So instead of just launching into ‘project work’ from the get go, we spent the first couple of weeks getting to know the people, the places, the culture, the responsibilities, the network etc., all in hopes of helping us work together most effectively and setting the project on a firm foundation.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
WHAT WE DID:
Stakeholder interviews // Drank a lot of tea w. people // Sat in on meetings // Observed work // desk research
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // HUMBLE BEGINNINGS // WHAT WE DID
Organizational process maps
We developed clear, visual synthesis documents of how the organization worked and who was responsible for which activities to ensure that we were on the same page about NIF in general and to help future NIF collaborators actually understand where they fit in the organization and what their key responsibilities and activities might be.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // HUMBLE BEGINNINGS // WHAT WE MADE
Organizational vocabulary One of the things we learned very early on was that NIF (as the name suggests) was quite keen on using acronyms...a lot. As we scoured through all of the documentation and data they provided and conducted interviews, we heard countless terms and acronyms that we were constantly fumbling around trying to understand. As a newcomer in an organization, these are often the barriers to smoothly integrating within a team because the ‘language barrier’ makes it tough. While we couldn’t learn Gujarati in two weeks to remove the real language barrier, we thought it would be useful to us and any other future NIF collaborator if we compiled a list of terms and acronyms to know. It ended up being super helpful to us, but it’s unclear whether NIF will actually share any of this ‘up-front’ work with new partners and collaborators.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // HUMBLE BEGINNINGS // WHAT WE MADE
At the very beginning it was sort of like trying to do everything all at once. Like drinking water from a firehose in some ways. But I think that’s what happens when you’re in such a new place. Our immersion stage started understanding the ecosystem of NIF while trying to adapt to our new life in Ahmedabad. It wasn’t easy, since day one we got a lot of information, from old honeybee newsletters and thousands of grassroots innovation reviews to a whole collection of photos, videos and presentations. During our first meeting, on our very first day, we discovered how “unique” NIF was and how difficult it was going to be to really understand and get to know how things worked their, but most important to develop a long term relationship between NIF and DI. Trying to set meetings with the staff was a challenge and since in NIF there is a culture of multitasking, it took us a lot of conversations over chai, talking to every single person at the office, to start to understand how NIF is trying to make India innovative by empowering grassroots Innovators. Most importantly, it was essential to me to try to adjust to a new culture, a new city, and more than anything to try making some new friends.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // HUMBLE BEGINNINGS // FELLOW REFLECTION // MARIO VARON
2nd STEP Project Selection Process After a couple of weeks of organizational research and, what we deemed to be, necessary strategic work to create a shared foundation for our collaboration, it became clear that the key stakeholders at NIF were getting eager to move from discussion into something more concrete and tangible (i.e., value addition and product development on some of their innovations). This was probably the most challenging part of the project for us DI fellows. It was the time at which we started to realize that what we thought we were coming to Ahmedabad to do and what NIF wanted us to do were not the same. We needed to shift our focus from trying to do just front-end strategic work to tangible product development. It was what NIF was most excited about and what they seemed to continually advocate for us to do. So we pivoted and shifted our focus to collaboratively selecting some bicycle-based, mechanical innovations to improve through user-centered design...hopefully. What follows is a brief look at that process. NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT SELECTION
t c n i t s n i gut l interest a n o s r e p * soc ial impact A database of 150,000 innovations is a bit of a daunting task. Luckily, the team at NIF pointed us to a range of books called the ‘State Innovation Books’ with promising innovations from various states in India. It was a good starting point to narrow our search, coupled with our lens of bicyclebased innovations, which DI had scoped. We spent a few days going through a TON of innovations to see which spoke to us for more in-depth evaluation.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT SELECTION // DATABASE SCAN
Once we narrowed our set of possible projects to a reasonable number, we worked with some staff from NIF to explore and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the innovations. It was nice to have a more multidisciplinary and international perspective at this stage. It helped us to cull down our list and cut out some of the innovations that we initially thought had real potential. It also helped us identify the main criteria we were going to use to make our final selections: Potential for Social Impact, Commercial Potential, NIF Internal Interest.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT SELECTION // COLLABORATIVE SHORTLISTING
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT SELECTION // FINAL SELECTION AND APPROVAL
Our goal was to try to run a collaborative workshop with the key stakeholders at NIF to unlock internal knowledge to help us understand the innovations better and which had the most internal support. Structured workshops weren’t as easy as we thought. Once we’d narrowed down to about 10 innovations, we figured it was time to bring in the senior stakeholders at NIF. We’d structured a pretty basic ranking activity to generate conversation and help us understand where the organization stood on some of the innovations. We were trying to collaboratively rank the innovations along the three key dimensions: Internal Interest, Social Impact Potential, Commercial Potential. From a methodological standpoint, the workshop was supposed to accomplish two things: First and foremost, we wanted to get a clear sense for which projects the team at NIF was actually interested in so we didn’t spin our wheels on a project that wouldn’t get support. Second (and equally important), we wanted to generate some rich discussion about the innovations so we could learn more about them than just what was written in the files. When we laid out the first dimension, Commercial Potential, the team basically just ranked the innovations in order of the ones they were most interested in having us work on with minimal discussion. We tried to re-ask questions in a different way or to explain the goals of the workshop in new words, but each team it proved pretty difficult to get a lively conversation about the innovations rolling. This was great in that it clearly communicated which of the innovations were most interesting to the NIF team, but it was not so useful in helping us to understand much more about the innovations and why they were important to the team. It turned out that being more explicit, discussing the innovations each in turn, and talking with people individually instead of in large groups proved much more fruitful.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT SELECTION // FINAL SELECTION & APPROVAL // A REFLECTION
INNOVATIONS The final four We moved from an overwhelming database of 150,000 inspiring grassroots innovations down to just 4 innovations that seemed to satisfy our criteria, by working with the team at NIF. The following pages will just bring those four innovations to life (a little) so you can see a small sampling of the types of work that problem-solvers at the grassroots level of indian society have developed with NIF’s help. If you’re interested in learning more about NIF or the other innovations they’ve scouted or developed in the last decade, head over to http://nif.org.in
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // THE FINAL INNOVATIONS SELECTED
WEEDER PUMP THRESHER SPRAY
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // THE FINAL INNOVATIONS SELECTED
IT WASN’T OUR INITIAL INTENTION, BUT WHEN WE STEPPED BACK AND LOOKED AT THE INNOVATIONS WE’D SELECTED, THEY WERE ALL LOW-COST, NON-MOTORIZED, FARM IMPLEMENTS FOR SMALL FARMERS. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, in some ways, because doing the up-front research for a range of highly specialized and totally different innovations would have been really time-consuming and challenging and probably outside the scope of our capacity. But that didn’t change the fact that neither of us knew anything about farming in India. We hadn’t even really been on a farm in our own home countries. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us and so it was mutually decided that our first priority would be to learn as much as we could about agriculture and farming in India before we jumped into the innovations specifically. We started with a load of secondary research about the state of small farmers in India, about current best practices in farming in India, about farm equipment, about growing seasons, crops, about labor costs, etc. We’ll spare all of the details here for the sake of brevity, but suffice it to say that the research really served as the foundation for all the work that we did subsequently. It inspired us. It connected us to the problems of small farmers (at least by making us aware). It helped us understand just how important farming is in India (hint: It’s VERY important...like, the biggest industry in all of India in terms of number of people working in the sector). And it gave us a common ground and vocabulary to discuss with farmers and experts alike. If you’re interested in learning more about the situation of small farmers in India, or want to know more about farming in India in general, definitely get in touch and we’d be happy to give you a list of resources worth checking out. We could also have a nice chat over a cup of chai if that’s better.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // THE FINAL INNOVATIONS SELECTED // COMMON THREAD - FARMING
DHARODA Our First Farm Village Since we ended up focusing on small-farm devices, we decided it would be a good idea to get out to an actual farm to kick off our research. We tried and tried and finally, we found out that one of the IT guys at NIF came from a farming background and his family had a farm in a village fairly close to Ahmedabad. He connected us to a bunch of farmers (some big farms and some small) and a grain merchant in a village called Dharoda and we spent a weekend taking it all in. It was a wonderful learning experience and, more importantly, a real shot in the arm for getting some energy behind our project. In fact, that trip really helped set up and guide the direction of the work we would do for the remainder of our fellowship and provided us with some foundational insights / hypotheses on which we based some of our work.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // EARLY RESEARCH
Bore well - Rent
Tractor - Rent
Sprayer - free EARLY RESEARCH // FOUNDATIONAL INSIGHT // SHARED RESOURCES
Do farmers SHARE the
EARLY RESEARCH // FOUNDATIONAL INSIGHT // HYPOTHESIS & QUESTION
EARLY RESEARCH // FOUNDATIONAL INSIGHT // BIKES = UTILITY PRODUCTS
LIVE IN THE
VILLAGE AND USE A
BICYCLE TO GET
TO & FROM THEIR FARMS.
EARLY RESEARCH // FOUNDATIONAL INSIGHT // BIKES TO & FROM FARM
FEATURES ARE MOST SACRED?
EARLY RESEARCH // FOUNDATIONAL INSIGHT // HYPOTHESIS & QUESTION
“Most places in India have harvested and threshed paddy already. You’ll probably want to wait until next paddy season to do your research.”
EARLY RESEARCH // FOUNDATIONAL INSIGHT // WRONG SEASON FOR PADDY RESEARCH
HOLD OFF ON THE PADDY THRESHER
EARLY RESEARCH // FOUNDATIONAL INSIGHT // EXECUTIVE DECISION
GRAM BHARATI Testing the Innovations After our trip to Dharoda to learn generally about farming, tools used, required labor, the agricultural system, some basics of village life, etc., we moved onto initial evaluations of the innovations themselves. We had access to functional prototypes of the WEEDER and the SPRAYER and a test farm outside of Ahmedabad in a place called GRAM BHARATI. NIF has a relationship with a farm school there and has a plot and some staff specific for testing Grassroots Innovations ‘In The Wild.’ Lucky for us, there was a wonderful farmer named Mukesh Chohan who lived there with his wife and three kids, spoke some English and worked as a farmer at the NIF plot. And even better, he was a user of the innovations, so we could get some genuine feedback about the products, in addition to our own experiences.– What follows is a brief rundown of WHAT WE DID during our time in Gram Bharati, WHAT WE LEARNED, and some REFLECTIONS ON DOING FIELDWORK. NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // EARLY RESEARCH
1 - INTERVIEWED A USER 2 - OBSERVED A USER 3 - OBSERVED HAND WEEDING 4 - USED THE PROTOTYPE 5 - COLLECTED USER DATA 6 - WEEDED BY HAND 7 - COLLECTED PERSONAL DATA 8 - TOOK MEASURES FOR MODELLING
EARLY RESEARCH // GRAM BHARATI // WHAT WE DID // WEEDER
1 - NO HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT 2 - PAIN IN SHOULDERS 3 - PAIN IN WRIST AND HANDS 4 - CUMBERSOME TO ADJUST 5 - NEED TOOLS TO ADJUST IN FIELD 6 - NOT EFFECTIVE IN REALLY WET SOIL 7 - NOT EFFECTIVE IN REALLY DRY SOIL 8 - ADHESION REDUCES PERFORMANCE
EARLY RESEARCH // GRAM BHARATI // WHAT WE LEARNED // WEEDER
1 - INTERVIEWED AND OBSERVED MUKESH USING THE SPRAYER 2 - USED THE SPRAYER OURSELVES, RECORDED AND REFLECTED ON THE EXPERIENCE 3 - USED TRADITIONAL METHODS OF SPRAYING FOR BENCHMARKING AND EMPATHY 4 - TOOK LOTS OF PICTURES AND MEASUREMENTS OF BIKES AROUND THE VILLAGE 5 - TOOK LOTS OF PICTURES AND MEASUREMENTS OF REAR RACKS IN THE VILLAGE 6 - OBSERVED AND INTERVIEWED TRADITIONAL USERS
EARLY RESEARCH // GRAM BHARATI // WHAT WE DID // SPRAYER
1 - PUMP BETWEEN THE LEGS MAKES RIDING FOR TRANSPORT DIFFICULT 2 - FARMERS FLOWY PANTS MEANS WE SHOULDN’T HAVE GEARS/CHAINS BTWN LEGS 3 - 4 SEPARATE CONNECTION POINTS MAKES ON AND OFF MORE TIME CONSUMING 4 - MULTIPLE POINTS OF FLUID LOSS IN NEED OF SOLVING 5 - UNREFINED SOLUTION FOR STORAGE, PACKING AND TRANSPORT 6 - NOT ENOUGH PRESSURE BEING GENERATED BY THE CURRENT PUMP 7 - NEEDS TO FIT ON A RANGE OF DIFFERENT RACKS
EARLY RESEARCH // GRAM BHARATI // WHAT WE LEARNED // SPRAYER
IT’S HARD NOT TO HAVE PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS. YOU TELL YOURSELF TO GO IN TO THINGS WITH AN OPEN MIND AND YOU TRY YOUR BEST, BUT I DEFINITELY THOUGHT I HAD AN IDEA OF THE ‘SIMPLE’ LIFE OF A FARMER. BEING THERE OPENED MY EYES. YOU’VE GOTTA GET OUT THERE. In our six months, we were able to get out to the field to meet real farmers for research and prototype testing in different areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra. I always thought that I understood the simple life of the farmers, or at least had a good idea. But after I experienced real farming for the first time, firsthand, I got a sense of how it feels to live and work on a farm. It was much more nuanced than my initial understanding and I’m so glad to have had the opportunity. During our homestay with Kanubhai and Kailasben (in Gram Bharati), for instance, I realized how hard it is to grow and maintain crops...the monotony of cutting grass over and over, every day, and the difficulties of carrying a heavy load on your head while walking long distances under the sun in the middle of the day. Of course, this helped our project in terms of developing design criteria, etc. But beyond that, on a personal level, it helped me grow. I experienced other parts of their daily routines, like cooking and praying. I started to understand their lifestyle better and got to know their families and relatives and that was special. But becoming part of the family was priceless, as Kailasben told us before we left “you are like our children now, so take these 50 rupees and buy yourself some chocolate when you get back to Ahmedabad.” We didn’t take the money. But I’ll carry the sentiment with me forever.
EARLY RESEARCH // GRAM BHARATI // REFLECTIONS ON BEING IN THE FIELD // MARIO VARON
TRAJECTORIES 3 Project Directions Throughout the course of our work with NIF, we ended up drilling down into 3 core projects, each of which were carried to three different levels of refinement and development. We’ll show briefly where they ended, but just to situate you in the work, the three projects (from most developed to least) were:
• BICYCLE WEEDER -- Full prototype development, testing & refinement • BICYCLE SPRAYER -- R&D, Re-engineered Construction Drawings • COMBO -- Concept Proposal for further development by NIF & others
For the sake of brevity we won’t discuss them all in full detail here. If you’d like to see the full final deliverable for any of them, don’t hesitate to drop an email and we’ll gladly share. NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT TRAJECTORIES
TRAJECTORIES The Bicycle Weeder Of the three, the Bicycle Weeder got the majority of the focus during our time in Ahmedabad with NIF. It got multiple rounds of user research, two rounds of prototype development, human factors engineering and fairly robust development. At the end of our time at NIF we: A) delivered a final presentation capturing the development of the design B) delivered all of the research documentation for further use C) left the prototypes with the NIF team for further testing and refinement D) developed construction drawings and mfg. / assembly instructions for fabricators E) developed an action plan / road map and next steps for moving forward F) worked with junior staff at NIF to ensure everyone was aligned G) set up a partnership with an academic research study for full scale evaluation
The remainder of this section will show some of the process, learnings and final designs for the WEEDER. NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER
Concept Development w/Kaleidoscope
After synthesizing the findings from our initial research at Gram Bharati, we worked with some HUMAN FACTORS colleagues at KALEIDOSCOPE DESIGN to develop some concepts to improve the Bicycle Weeder from a user perspective. We focused on trying to improve FORCE TRANSFER and ERGONOMICS. It was a really strong, fruitful and energizing collaboration. We worked across the ocean and across time-zones, but managed to schedule really productive video conferences and had a really powerful back-and-forth, building experience. Genuine collaboration and teamwork. At the time, weâ€™d been struggling to got the collaborative spark going w/ NIF so having some outside input was refreshing.
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER // CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT
Design Development w/Kaleidoscope
After we presented the concepts to our key stakeholders at NIF and determined which to bring forward into prototyping and testing, we worked again with the team at KALEIDOSCOPE to develop the designs a little further....to a point where we could present them to a fabricator for construction. It was a lot of problem solving and mockup making, but eventually we got to a point where we had the first round of construction drawings ready to go. We thought, the easy part would be getting the prototypes built so we could get out into the field for more research and testing.
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER // DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
FIRST PROTOTYPE Local Fabrication
Initially, we met with NIF’s preferred fabricator, told him about the project, showed him drawings for two different concepts and discussed timing, costs, materials, etc. He confidently said that he’d be able to finish two prototypes in about 8-10 days. That lined up fairly closely with our field plan so we pulled the trigger. Turned out, it to him almost a month and he only built one of the two prototypes and that was with us there, at his shop, helping out and trying to keep everyone on track...and answering questions and trouble shooting in real time. It was an eye-opening experience. Despite all of our involvement and feedback, the prototype took so long and it didn’t come out nearly as precisely as we needed. One of my biggest take-aways from that experience is that you need to expect fabrication to take longer.
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // FABRICATION
FIRST PROTOTYPE Explained
After a couple weeks working with Chirag (NIF’s fabrication), we finally got a passable prototype built and ready for testing. Here are some of the salient features.
ERGONOMIC GRIP DIAMETER
ROTATABLE HANDLE FOR COMFORT
TOOL-FREE HANDLE ADJUSTMENT
TOOL-FREE ANGLE/HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT
26in. BICYCLE WHEEL
WEEDER BLADE (TOOL-FREE ATTACHMENT)
TESTABLE FORCE POINT ADJUSTMENT
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // EXPLAINED
TOOL-FREE HANDLE / ANGLE ADJUSTMENT
TOOL-FREE HANDLE LENGTH ADJUSTMENT
HANDLE ROTATION FOR ERGONOMIC EVALUATION
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // EXPLAINED // FEATURES
PROTOTYPE TEST Tool-free handle-length adjustment
Comfortable, upright position
Before investing time and money to go out to Jalgaon, we wanted to make sure that we had a well-made prototype that would be interesting and exciting to Jagtap and Bhisebhai and something that would function well enough to help us learn. We worked with Mukesh Chohan at Gram Bharati again since he’s relatively local and actually uses the weeder at his test farm.
EZ-on, EZ-off, No tools
“You can adjust the angle so it’s more suitable in different soil types. If it’s hard soil and the blade doesn’t go in as far, make the handles shorter.”
Tool-free angle adjustment
Less pain in shoulders
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // FIELD TEST // GRAM BHARATI // THE GOODS
PROTOTYPE TEST Shortcomings
Blade too thick
Handle length & width are codependent
Difficult to turn at the end of rows
Wobbly handles from imprecise fabrication
As we had expected, working with an actual user, out on a farm locally, really helped us streamline our process. We discovered some serious flaws that needed to be corrected prior to a full scale field visit. We worked quickly to solve the problems so weâ€™d have the most useful prototype to test with the actual community in Jalgaon, Maharashtra (where the innovator currently lives and where about 200 of the current weeder have been sold and in use).
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // FIELD TEST // GRAM BHARATI // THE BADS
JALGAON Innovators, Users & Fabricators
Once weâ€™d rectified some of the issues from our first fabrication, we brought the prototype with us to JALGAON, the birthplace of this particular NIF innovation. Our goals in going to JALGAON were three-fold: 1) Meet the innovators to get their feedback, gauge their interest in the product and get some help to find users for us to do research with. 2) Find USERS so we could interview them, have them use the current weeder and our new prototype and actually gauge interest, appeal, etc. and get recs for improvements. 3) Visit a range of local fabricators to gauge capacity and figure out if they would be able to build the weeder, how long it would take, how much it would cost, etc. In all, we spent a little over a week in the field. It was challenging with language barriers, power dynamics, transportation issues, summer heat, doing research in a foreign context, etc. but in the end, we learned a ton and helped drive the design forward.
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // INNOVATORS, USERS & FABRICATORS
JALGAON Innovators, Users & Fabricators
While we were in Jalgaon, we visited 4 different fabrication shops. Our primary goals were to see what capacity they had in their shops and to get their feedback on manufacturabiltiy and cost of the prototype, since our long term goal for the project is to have the design open-sourced and manufacturable locally. We got some really good insights from this piece of the research. 1) Many fabricators canâ€™t drill accurate holes at angles other than 90 degrees to the drilling plane (useful knowledge for our next iteration). 2) It would take most of the fabricators 2-3 days to make the device (assuming they had adequate power during that time). Hard to know how long 2-3 days would actually be, but a promising start. 3) All of the materials (with the exception of the plastic for the handles) were available locally either in the villages or in Jalgaon city (+/- 1 hour from most of the places we visited).
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // FABRICATORS
JALGAON Innovators, Users & Fabricators
After our preliminary meetings, the innovators were really happy to be involved and to help us out with the research. Jagtap-bhai had all the sales records for the units he’s sold so far and he reached out to some of the users in surrounding villages on our behalf. In the course of the week that followed, he helped us meet with about 7 ‘users.’ They weren’t perfect. In some cases, they were lapsed users who’d stopped using the device years ago when they got too old or their farms got too big. In other cases, they were a little too close to Jagtap (as friends) and it was difficult to get them to speak openly about the innovation. In our meetings with each user, we did a short interview to introduce the research and learn a bit about each other. Then we did some observation of them using the current weeder followed by a trial of the new prototype. We observed, recorded, asked a ton of questions, and did some ergonomic evaluations. The following few pages, will show some of what we found.
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS
SHARING THE WEEDER SEEMS TO BE COMMON IN THE USER COMMUNITIES
“I don’t own one. I borrow it from Prakash when I need it.” “I don’t use mine any more. But I share it with 8 or 9 smaller farmers in the village during monsoon.”
“The village is like a family. I loan mine free of charge to other farmers when they ask.”
WEEDER // FIRST PROTOTYPE // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // SHARING BEHAVIOR
SHARING MEANS MULTIPLE USERS OF VARYING SHAPES & HEIGHTS USING ONE DEVICE.
FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // SHARING BEHAVIOR // ERGONOMIC CONCERNS
PRIMARY COMPLAINT: Fixed Height + Handles TOO Low* * ESPECIALLY FOR THE TALLER USERS
WEEDER // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // REACTIONS TO CURRENT // HANDLE HEIGHT
174cm - Dilip Patil
TALLER USER + TALLER HANDLES NO PAIN
WEEDER // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // REACTIONS TO CURRENT // HANDLE HEIGHT
ERGONOMIC EVALUATION TOOLS
After some of our early research, we realized that we needed to have a more methodical way of capturing insights about the ergonomics and usage of the prototype. We developed a set of tools to help us, especially when it came to ergonomics. The BODY MAP on the right allowed us to target specific areas of discomfort and pain and keep track of them on a per user basis. The ERGONOMIC FIELD NOTES template on the left let us keep track of our notes as the users adjusted the prototype during the research. We had a quick system for noting the setup we were testing and keeping track of notes and observations.
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // ERGONOMIC EVALUATION TOOLS
BODYMAP SYNTHESIS Current Weeder - Tall Users
Current Weeder - Short Users
100% - very severe pain, pressure or discomfort
25% - mild pain, pressure or discomfort
75% - severe pain, pressure or discomfort
10% - very mild pain, pressure or discomfort
Prototype Weeder - All
50% - moderate pain, pressure or discomfort
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // BODYMAP SYNTHESIS
HANDLE ORIENTATION ANALYSIS
Below is a brief guide to what we found about handle positioning. It is based on qualitative input so should be taken as directional. It should be noted that unaided, most participants didn’t adjust the handles on their own. Our ﬁndings are based on deliberate exploration.
HANDLES DOWN (270ᵒ)
HANDLES UP / OUT (45ᵒ)
• Most preferred • Unanimously comfortable • Closest to current
• Too wide • Difficult to get force into device
HANDLES UP (90ᵒ) • Good for some (when handles low) • Not good for ‘Superman’ posture • On high bracings, lifted blade up (-) • Not good for push-pull behavior (-)
• Wrist strain
HANDLES DOWN / OUT (315ᵒ) • Too wide • Pain in Chest and shoulders • May be possible with closer handles
HANDLES OUT (0ᵒ)
HANDLES DOWN / IN (225ᵒ)
• Very wide • Unstable • Strain on shoulders • Bending away from user (-)
• Pain in wrist • Too narrow • No stability or strength in position
HANDLES IN (180ᵒ)
HANDLES UP / IN (135ᵒ)
• Too close • Great strain on arms (triceps) • Hard to get force into device • Makes adjusting more difficult
• Has potential • Not useful for superman posture • May work for elbow height push • Not good for push-pull behavior (-)
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // HANDLE ROTATION SYNTHESIS
After we got back from the week of user testing, we spent some time looking over the seemingly endless number photos and video footage that weâ€™d captured during our research and started looking for patterns in usage behavior and how those physical behaviors mapped onto the ergonomic evaluations we received. The main thing we learned was that setups that struck a balance of forward and downward force on the device without requiring the user to bend over too much, were the sweet spot. Very few of the setups we could achieve with any of the products (current or prototype) were able to achieve this balance of force and stance. Really good learnings for our next iteration.
BICYCLE WEEDER // FIELD TEST // JALGAON // USERS // LEARNINGS // USAGE ANALYSIS
PRODUCT REFINEMENTS From the research • SMALLER WHEEL = SMALLER MOMENT • The torsional forces associated with a bigger wheel made the device more difficult to manage. • MORE RIGIDITY • ADD additional bracing to add rigidity • Eliminate handle rotation • Implement attachment needs to be more snuggly connected • Modify telescoping mechanism to allow tighter fit and no slip • NO MORE HANDLE ROTATION • Neither users nor non users spontaneously explored handle rotation • Most positions tested did not perform effectively other than 270 degrees. • UPDATE TELESCOPING MECHANISM • Ergonomically, the telescoping handles allow the user to achieve the best posture / force transfer combo. • But the losses associated with shaky handles are too high. • New mechanism will allow the handles to clamp better so they don’t chatter. • ADDITIONAL BRACING FOR EXTRA RIGIDITY • SHORTER FORK • Initial fork dimension was designed to accommodate a full sized bicycle wheel. • Using a smaller wheel for maneuverability requires a shorter fork to optimize force transfer. • HANDLE DIRECTLY TO AXLE • Current users (and Jagtap) indicated the best force transfer happens with the handles directly to axle. • MORE BLADE DEPTH • Current configuration optimizes for blade to penetrate about 1 inch into the soil • Optimal penetration is slightly more than 2 inches • ADJUSTABLE BLADE ANGLE • Various soil qualities seem to require various blade angles. • Jalgaon farmers seemed to prefer a steeper blade. • SIMPLIFY CONSTRUCTION • No drilling at angles other than 90 degrees. Make it easy for any fabricator to produce. • SHORTER HANDLES • Modify handle length adjustments based on research & anthropometric data of agricultural workers
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE FIRST PROTOTYPE // BASED ON THE RESEARCH
THE NEW PROTOTYPE • • • •
ADJUSTABLE FOR ERGONOMIC POSTURE HANDLES SHORTENED FOR OPTIMUM FORCE EXTRA BRACING FOR ADDED RIGIDITY SMALLER WHEEL = CONTROL & MANEUVERABILITY
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE PROTOTYPE // THE REFINED DESIGN FOR PROTOTYPING
FEATURES • • • •
TWO BRACES ADD MORE RIGIDITY MORE EFFICIENT FORCE TRANSFER ALL DRILLING 90° (Ease of fabrication) PIN MECHANISM (Easy, tool-free adjustment)
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE PROTOTYPE // TWO BRACES + LOWER HANDLES PARALLEL
FEATURES • • • • •
ADDED RIGIDITY DUE TO TIGHT, NUT+BOLT CONSTRUCTION FLEXIBILITY FOR VARIOUS TOOLS HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT FOR TILLER TINES IN REAR ANGLE ADJUSTMENT FOR WEEDER BLADE ADJUSTABLE WEEDER WIDTH FOR VARIOUS CROP GAP
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE PROTOTYPE // NEW IMPLEMENT ATTACHMENT METHOD
NOTES: • • • •
USER RECOMMENDED NOT VALIDATED BETTER FORCE TRANSFER • Hypothetically FORK ADJUSTMENT FOR TESTING
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE PROTOTYPE // OPTION TO CONNECT HANDLES TO AXLE
• MINIMUM HANDLE LENGTH REDUCED • Allow users to LEAN IN w/o backstrain • TELESCOPING HANDLES (For user heights) • MORE RIGID HANDLE CONNECTION • No more HANDLE ROTATION • New tightening approach
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE PROTOTYPE // SHORTER HANDLES AND MORE RIGIDITY
FEATURES • EASIER TO CONTROL IN ROUGH TERRAIN • EASIER TO TURN AT THE END OF A ROW • LESS FATIGUE DUE TO SHORTER MOMENT
KIDS BIKE WHEEL - ~18in.
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE PROTOTYPE // SMALLER WHEEL FOR ADDED MANEUVERABILITY
The exploded view was the basis for a small visual document that we put together in order to explain how to assemble the prototype. It was designed with input from the junior engineers at NIF since they would most likely be the ones overseeing prototype development. It will need to be revised and translated for local fabricators usage in the next go.
Part No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Childâ€™s Bicycle Wheel
Fork Assembly Implement Attachment Assembly
Handle Angle Adjustment Assembly Lower Handle Assembly Handle Angle Adjustment Pin Upper Handle Bars Handle Length Adjustment Knobs Blade Arm Support Blade Arm Blade
x1 x2 x1 x2 x2 x2 x2 x1
BICYCLE WEEDER // REFINEMENTS TO THE PROTOTYPE // EXPLODED VIEW
NEXT STEPS • IMPROVED PROTOTYPE FABRICATION (Mid-May)
• Based on the feedback we got from users in Jalgaon (+ 3 non-users in Gujarat) we’ve updated the design • Next week (May 7-10) we plan on building a new, refined prototype for testing -- With Jagtapbhai (?) • Or, we will work with VARD and (hopefully) the NEXT DI FELLOW to complete it as soon as possible
• RIGOROUS ERGONOMIC TESTING (June-October)
• We met with Dr. Suman Singh, Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator, AICRP - H.Sc. (FRM) at MPUAT • She’s interested in including the Current Weeder & the Prototype in her upcoming ergonomics study • It’s focused on understanding tools for reducing female drudgery & will include 560 women in Rajasthan • CONTACT DETAILS: mob - 09314131215, email - firstname.lastname@example.org
• PROJECT INPUT, GUIDANCE and MANAGEMENT (Ongoing) • We’re leaving Ahmedabad, but not walking away from the project • First priority is to help ensure the continued success of the project • Our hope is that the NEXT DI FELLOW will come in August and will pick up the project • We will be a guide, a resource, a partner and a consultant to him/her and VARD • If not, we’ll work directly with the VARD team alone to continue to move the project forward • Activities: Guiding DI FELLOW. Guiding VARD staff. Design Refinements. Drawings (If necessary). MGMT.
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER // NEXT STEPS
NEXT STEPS • OPEN SOURCING • Updated construction drawings for the desired innovation need to be finalized
• Perhaps visual instructions for fabrication should be created to release with the drawings • After ergonomic research a Presentation Model of the final design to be shown in photos and exhibitions • Publishing strategy. What media? How frequently? KVKs? Agricultural Extension? • May be a need for design input in the publishing phase of the project (marketing materials, etc.)
• IMPACT EVALUATION • Record number of times the drawings are Downloaded online?
• Follow up with fabricators who have decided to built the device after one year to see number of sales? • Follow up with users 6 months to 1 year after purchase to gain valuable feedback on the product
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE WEEDER // NEXT STEPS
TRAJECTORIES The Bicycle Sprayer The Bicycle Sprayer was supported by the NIF team, but we didnâ€™t have enough time / manpower to move it as far along as the weeder. We did preliminary user research, made incremental improvements through user centered design and improved product performance, but did not build a full prototype of the final design solution. At the end of our time at NIF we: A) delivered a final presentation capturing the development of the design B) delivered all of the research documentation for further use C) developed construction drawings and mfg. / assembly instructions for fabricators D) developed an action plan / road map and next steps for moving forward E) worked with junior staff at NIF to ensure everyone was aligned and questions were answered
The remainder of this section will show some of the process, learnings and final designs for the SPRAYER.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER
Once we’d had some time to synthesize what we’d heard / seen / found in Gram Bharati, we developed some concepts for how to improve the sprayer by solving a range of the problems we’d identified. We built rough mockups and sketchmodels to actually test if some of the solutions would work. Here, you can see a concept where we moved the parts to the rear so they weren’t between the riders legs.
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // BUILDING MOCKUPS AND CONCEPT PROOF MODELS
We tested a range of different pumps to determine performance parameters and spec a pump that would effectively pressurize the system, per the needs of the farmers and the requirements specified on the fertilizer packaging PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // PUMP PERFORMANCE RESEARCH
S T I F E N BE
LES Z Z O N OUR F L L A TO P) W M O L U F P L M R ERNA T N I ( • UNIFO S OINT P E G A AK E L O N • RE U S S E R TP N ION E I T C I C F U F R U T •S ONS C T I N U NEO E L S. P E R D N • SIM MP A U P R O 50 F 8 . S R •
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // OUR PREFERRED PUMP PUMP RIG
STROKES / MIN
ACCORDING TO OUR RESEARCH TRIALS: 45 IS THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF STROKES PER MINUTE ON OUR PREFERRED PUMP IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE SUFFICIENT FLOW FROM EACH OF THE FOUR NOZZLES ON THE BOOM.
ACCORDING TO OUR RESEARCH TRIALS: AT A MODERATELY SLOW PUSHING SPEED (UNEVEN FARM SOIL), THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE ON THE BACK WHEEL OF THE BIKE IS ROUGHLY NINE (9)
1:5 Gearing Ratio
ACCORDING TO OUR CALCULATIONS: BASED ON OUR AVERAGE RPMS FOR THE REAR WHEEL AND THE NUMBER OF STROKES WE NEED ON THE PUMP, THE GEARING RATIO BETWEEN THE BIG:SMALL COGS IS 1:5
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // DETERMINING THE GEARING RATIO FOR PRESSURIZATION
Our proposed concept aims to solve a range of the ‘low hanging fruit’ issues we found during our field studies. A) We’ve moved all of the components to the back of the bike to get out from the riders legs, making the bike still useful for transport. B) We’ve used a new pump and reservoir to improve pressure and reduce leakage. C) We’ve secured the tank to the rack for eas of use. D) We’ve found a reservoir with a handle on the top for easy filling and maneuvering in the field.
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // DESIGN CONCEPT // THE TOTAL PACKAGE // REAR VIEW
BICYCLE SPRAYER // DESIGN CONCEPT // FLEXIBLE RACK CONNECTION WILL MOUNT ON MOST BIKES
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // DESIGN CONCEPT // BOOM ARM CONNECTION
The exploded view was the basis for a small visual document that we put together in order to explain how to assemble the prototype. It was designed with input from the junior engineers at NIF since they would most likely be the ones overseeing prototype development. It will need to be revised and translated for local fabricators usage in the next go. 12
10 8 13
Rack Attachment Rack Attachment Clamp
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Pillow Block Boom Support Assembly Fluid and Pump Reservoir Reservoir Straps Plastic Hoses Hose Splitter Boom Post Boom Arm Connector Outer Boom Arm Inner Telescoping Boom Arm Spray Nozzle 60 Tooth Cog (Not shown, see drawings)
x1 x1 x1 x2 x5 x1 x1 x1 x2 x2 x4 x1 x1 x2 x1
Spacer Ring (Not shown, see drawings) Half Ring (Not shown, see drawings) Pump Rod
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // EXPLODED VIEW
NEXT STEPS • EXPLORE THE CONCEPT AND GET FEEDBACK BEFORE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT
• WHO: Agr. Extension Workers, Gram Bharati Experts, Mukesh Chohan, Small Farmers, etc. • WHO: Innovators and Fabricators - Mansukhbhai Jagani, Subhesh Jagtap, Gopalbhai Surtia, etc. • WHY: To get outside feedback on the concept and its potential before investing more time and resource
• PROTOTYPING AND CONCEPT PROOF MODELS • Taking the concept from paper to reality • Check with Jagani to see if he’s interested in working with NIF to develop and refine / fabricate • IF SO, work locally at his shop to understand production capacity and problem solve together • IF NOT, what about Jagtap and Surtia? Or fabricate locally at NIF FabLab, Gandhinagar • Research current pump offerings further and find state of the art to guide design • Test the prototypes with potential users to get feedback in iterative cycles before developing final models
• ERGONOMIC and PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AGAINST CURRENT • FARMER DEMONSTRATIONS, TRIALS, FEEDBACK • OPEN SOURCING • Final updated construction drawings and instructions
• Presentation Model to be shown in photos and exhibitions • Publishing strategy. What media? How frequently? KVKs? Agricultural Extension?
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // BICYCLE SPRAYER // NEXT STEPS
TRAJECTORIES COMBO PLATFORM Of the three Projects that we worked on during our time at NIF, this one was possibly the most exciting, but also the one that received the least amount of time. Not because it wasn’t supported or didn’t gain interest, but because it emerged from the work we were doing on the Weeder and Sprayer and didn’t come around until late in the game. As such, it was only taken to the CONCEPT STAGE (no prototypes, nor construction drawings). But when we presented the concept, people were excited to work on it. Here’s what we delivered: A) a final presentation capturing the development of the concept and the salient features B) all of the research documentation C) an action plan / road map and next steps for moving forward
The remainder of this section will show some of the process, learnings and final designs for the COMBO.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // THE COMBO
“It would be really nice if the weeder also had a sowing device. Small farmers would really benefit. YEAH! A sprayer would be good too. The farmers that I know would probably pay Rs. 5000-6000 for something like that...weeder, seeder and sprayer. It’s a nice idea. Also, many times, extension officers aren’t familiar with devices like this so farmers don’t find out. Manufacturers need to get in touch wit the Thaluka level extension office for marketing.” PRAVIN PATIL // AGRICULTURE EXTENSION OFFICER // JAMNER, JALGAON, MAHARASHTRA // +91.827.531.8895
THE COMBO // CONCEPT GENERATION // INSPIRATIONS // PRAVIN PATIL // JAMNER EXTENSION OFFICER
Mukesh Illustrates his approach using toys to help us understand
“Right now, I push the bicycle plow to make the rows, my wife comes behind me & drops seeds into the rows & then we go back over & close up the rows with our feet. It takes the two of us to do it. And sometimes, if I do it myself, it takes twice as long. I have to make the rows, go back and drop the seeds, then close the rows. It would be nice if there was a way to make the row, drop the seed and close the row all at once.”
MUKESH CHOHAN // NIF TEST PLOT FARMER // GRAM BHARATI, NR AMRAPUR, GANDHINAGAR, GUJARAT // +91.787.486.8373
THE COMBO // CONCEPT GENERATION // INSPIRATIONS // MUKESH CHOHAN // NIF TEST FARMER
“It’s Chicury [cattle feed]. This bundle weighs 5060 kilograms. Sometimes I carry it, but Kailasben [my wife] often does too.” KANUBHAI RATHOD // FARMER + CLERK // GRAM BHARATI, NR. AMRAPUR, GANDHINAGAR, GUJARAT // +91.992.492.7759
In Amrapur, cutting Chicury seemed to be a fairly regular fact of life for many farmers with cows, bullocks or Buffalo. Transporting the cattle feed often required heavy bundles to be carried on the head, sometimes for multiple kilometers. We thought: What if there
was a sturdy and easy to maneuver cart? Would farmers use it?
THE COMBO // CONCEPT GENERATION // INSPIRATIONS // KANUBHAI RATHOD // FARMER - AMRAPUR
MANUAL SEED DIBBLER
Innovator: Gopalbhai Surtia
Innovator: Mansukhbhai Jagani
During our time at NIF, working on the bicycle sprayer and weeder and dealing with the database, we learned a few things. 1) NIF is very much motivated by doing right by and for the innovators in the database. 2) Some of the innovations taken in isolation aren’t that NEW, but if you put some of them together, you can add genuine value by unlocking new sources of value and functionality at low cost for the target users. So, based on a good deal of the research that we’d been doing on Sprayer and the Weeder, and our knowledge of how things worked at NIF, we decided to put together a concept proposal for a combined farm tool platform based entirely on innovations from the database. PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // THE COMBO // A SYNTHESIS OF INNOVATIONS FROM THE NIF DATABASE
3 GRASSROOTS INNOVATIONS.
1 NEW FARM TOOL PLATFORM PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // THE COMBO // CONCEPT PROPOSAL // ORIGINS
COMBO Weeder / Seeder / Sprayer
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // THE COMBO // CONCEPT PROPOSAL // THE PRODUCT
PROJECT TRAJECTORIES // THE COMBO // CONCEPT PROPOSAL // THE PRODUCT EXPLAINED
COMBO Weeder / Seeder / Sprayer
CONCEPT PROPOSAL // COMBO: A FARMER’S FRIEND // INSTRUCTIONAL GRAPHICS
FINAL REFLECTIONS So now what? Now that we’ve completed our stint as (on-the-ground, embedded) fellows, left our temporary home in Ahmedabad, India, re-adjusted to life in the west, and had some time to think about and reflect on our experience, we thought (maybe) it would be nice to write a little bit of a closing piece about what we’ve been thinking, feeling and going through recently. And despite the fact that we spent six months together, day-in-day-out, living together, working together, playing together, doing everything together, there are actually two of us and we’ve now had some time apart to reflect independently. So, here’s a very short note from each of us to leave you, oh faithful reader, with a feeling of closure. We hope it’s been an enlightening and interesting journey for you. It surely has been for us.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // FINAL REFLECTIONS
IT’S HARD TO PUT THE PAST 6 MONTHS INTO WORDS. IT SEEMS LIKE ONLY A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT WE WERE ALL TOGETHER IN BANGALORE TRAINING AND ANXIOUS ABOUT STARTING OUR PROJECTS. SOMEHOW THE TIME ENDED UP FLYING BY. I WISH I’D HAD A BIT MORE TIME. First, and most generally, the fellowship was an amazing experience. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, at times challenging but totally worth it. It really allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone and grow, personally and professionally. I was able to use all of the skills I’ve developed as an engineer and designer while at the same time immersing myself in a new culture, and in a different language, while trying to balance and navigate the Colombian, Indian and American work styles to create a successful project. Not easy tasks, but so rewarding. In terms of our specific project work, being able to work on products that would increase the quality of life of small and marginal farmers and experiencing the lives of the people were some of the most meaningful and memorable elements of the fellowship. Those relationships and experiences I will carry with me. But my biggest takeaway was discovering that there is a lot of space for social innovation in the agriculture and rural sector that will help alleviate poverty. Before coming to India, I didn’t really know that the agricultural space was such a huge opportunity, but now I feel confident that I’ll be working on it in the near future.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // FINAL REFLECTIONS // MARIO VARON
MY TIME IN INDIA DEFINITELY HAD A MORE PROFOUND IMPACT ON ME THAN I INITIALLY REALIZED. IN THE HEAT OF PROJECT DELIVERABLES AND WRAPPING UP MY TIME THERE, IT WAS HARD TO REFLECT. BUT NOW THAT I HAVE SOME DISTANCE, I’VE STARTED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE SUBTLE SENSITIVITY THAT INDIA AND ITS PEOPLE AND ITS COMPLEXITY AND CHALLENGES HAVE HELPED ME DEVELOP. New York City is not the most patient of places, and being back here directly following a long stint in India brings that fact into clear view. But the role of PATIENCE in our lives in India was so central, it’s hard not to take some of it with you. I find myself walking slower (a sin in NYC). I respond to emails at an acceptable but not breakneck pace (also seemingly a sin in NYC). I give people (friends, family, colleagues and strangers alike) more time. I take the long view. Who knows how long it will last, but at the moment, it feels right. Looking back over our work and our process (our successes and failures), I also realized how stunningly successful genuine collaboration can be. To be totally honest, there were times in the six months when working with NIF was a real challenge. People were busy. Priorities weren’t aligned. Etc. But the times when groups of us were all working together and we achieved results, those times stand out as feeling the best to me. Creating the right environment and finding the right people in life to make those moments more regular will be a priority for me in whatever I do. Despite naively thinking that living and doing socially motivated work in India would be an easy transition, IT WASN’T. It was, to date, one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. But it was worth it and I’d do it again. In fact, I wish I could have stayed longer. To really get it, to adjust, to grow, to push, to stretch, to connect, to adapt...all takes time. I’m happy to be able to drink water straight from the tap and to eat raw vegetables, but I’m jealous of the next cohort of DI fellows. It will be amazing to see what they can do in the next year.
NIF // BICYCLE INNOVATION // FINAL REFLECTIONS // JOSH TREUHAFT
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