The Google-INK Ambassadors’ Network Getting the next billion online Prajakta Kulkarni, Communication design March’13 Maeer’s MIT Institute of Design
Industry Guide : Deepak Sridhar
Faculty Guide : Ranjana Dani
GRADUATION PROJECT 2013 UG PROGRAMME The Graduation Project Evaluation Jury recommends
Prajakta Kulkarni to be awarded the Graduation Degree of the MIT Institute of Design, Pune IN COMMUNICATION DESIGN (GRAPHIC DESIGN) herewith, for the project titled "GOOGLE-INK PROJECTâ€? Members : NAME
on fulfilling the further requirements by *
(*Subsequent remarks regarding fulfilling the requirements :)
Chairperson of the Jury
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
I would like to thank all those who have helped to make this dream happen. First and most important people I am thankful to Lakshmi Pratury, Co-Founder and Host INKtalks, and Lalitesh Katragadda, Country Head Google for initiating this project and believing in us to be able to achieve the goals. Prof. Ranjana Dani for her valuable guidance and mentorship. Deepak Sridhar, Project Manager, Google-INIK Project, for his guidance and open feedback methods as a mentor and a Manager. Sharat Satyanarayana, Team Manager for supporting decisions and providing knowledge about Marketing and Branding. The Google-INK team members who worked with me in Bangalore - Ajith Ingva (HR Management graduate), Aditya Thakur (Public Managemnet student), Durgha Ramji (French literature and History graduate), Medha Krishnan (Teach for India Fellow), Kruthi Aramanamada (Management graduate), Prakash Peerashetty (Engineer), and Sushmitha Divakar (Commerce graduate). Along with the Bangalore team, the Hubli team has been helping us throughout - Aruna Kulkarni (Commerce graduate), Laxmi Kaparatti (Social Entrepreneur), Priya Goldsmith (Social Entrepreneur) and Rajashree Hunashikatti (Social Entrepreneur). Different volunteer groups and organizations who have shown interest in this project and are helping us to pan it through India, like Deshpande Foundation, MAD, Campus Diaries, BESCOM, Youth for Seva, IDEX and many more. If I get a chance I would personally go and thank the schools, the enthusiastic students, communities and random people on streets in both Bangalore and Hubli that helped us massively in performing our experiments and surveys.
Objective We aim to form a blueprint to create an online, selfsustaining, content-generating ecosystem that leverages the power of the Internet & related tools. Our objective follows this approach: 1. Identify a suitable geography 2. Conduct a range of preliminary experiments to understand the target area & audience 3. Understand the socioeconomic layout & demographic composition of the geography 4. Conduct first round of experiments towards understanding drivers and challenges 5. Identifying the participating local stakeholders in this ecosystem; attempt to involve them 6. Conduct core set of experiments towards driving the chosen audience online ; measure the qualitative and quantitative results on an evolving basis; tweak and course-correct on-the-go 7. Scale core experiment towards self-sustainability goal 8. Scale geographically after identifying a stable blueprint and, considering the local cultural and systemic dynamics 9. Brainstorm new ideas for operational pan-geographic roll-out
Introduction Google and INK have been working together on various initiatives over the last 4 years. Google has been known to be visionary and disruptive in its initiatives. The INK Conference is known to bring stories, ideas and perspectives from around the world onto a common platform. And there is a constant quest to see what is that big idea that can be brought to reality, what is that big initiative that can be disruptive.
early a billion people in India lack access to the Internet or do not understand the benefits of going online. Thus, this was one initiative that needed immediate action. The synergies between Google and INK fused together under the program to ‘Get the Next Billion Online’. The objective is to try different experiments in limited areas- in a city, town and village and gain insights into factors that drive behaviors and how that can be moulded to lead people online. The final outcome is to create a blueprint that will be taken to progressive governments of the country and other partners to help scale and sustain this project. Over the last decade a number of attempts have been made to induce more users of the Internet, with attempts ranging from failures to quasi-successes to pioneering ideas that were too early for the market or existing technology; with projects ranging from Government funded to Government-Corporate partnerships. However, it is still to be ascertained if a plan of this magnitude can be achieved without the active participation and motivation of the targeted public usercommunity themselves, first. This report outlines the insights and learning of the first four months of activity during the pilot phase of the Google- INK Ambassadors Network in Bangalore and Hubli, Karnataka. Many people question the necessity of the Internet in their lives. Some members of the older generation believe the Internet cannot add value to their lives. Having lived their entire lives without access to the Internet, they do not see the value of venturing into the online world with the sole exception of perhaps reaching out to family far away. There is also a great fear of the unknown and confusion about ‘how this thing called the Internet actually works’. For others, learning how to operate a device which allows access to the Internet in itself may be a daunting task even though they are not first time Internet users. The approach that the team is taking follows the framework of- Empathize, Define, Ideate, Test, Prototype. The Google – INK Ambassadors Network began by conducting lots of experiments to get feedback from users on understanding the nuances and factors that will get the next billion online in India. Our own experiments with those we have engaged with show that connecting individuals and communities to the Internet enables access to information, can increase household income and provide greater social freedom. The Google – INK Ambassadors Network are directing those we engage with to make use of the Internet as a tool to make their own lives and the lives of their communities productive and prosperous. The next few chapters will delve into the details of our experience over the last 4 months, highlighting lessons & potential plans for the future of this project. At this stage, we are defining the macro and micro issues that are impacting the evolution of this project. In the following weeks the team will work towards ideating and testing a working model to achieve the vision. Simultaneously, the team will research some longer-term ideas to experiment with, towards prototyping and finally scaling-up pan-geography.
Key Insights Cyber Cafes No-womanâ€™s-land:
Women and girl children avoid visiting cyber cafes since they are male dominated and families are not sure of what really happens there.
Understanding cultural dynamics is critical:
A diverse community (varying socioeconomic levels) seems to have different reactions to the same campaign, occasionally resulting in strife within the community to stay ahead of the rest. Choosing a pilot location with minimal diversity is preferred.
Mobility is the future:
Women learnt to use the Internet on the phones in half the time as they took on laptops. Worth considering equipping the community cyber cafe with phones and tablets along with computers.
Avoid reinventing training curricula: A partner ecosystem will catalyze this programâ€™s success.
Timing of competitions imperative:
Competitions to induce communities into the program are not as effective as competitions conducted after the program has already grown on to the community. An event or mela might be more effective while introducing Internet to a new community.
Socially forward communities are the key:
Imperative to choose socially forward communities to conduct experiments and let the buzz spread from there to neighboring communities. Details of how to identify socially forward communities are mentioned in detail in the report.
Start geographically small: It is easier to manage, learn and scale from smaller segments (300 families or less) for further expansion into society.
Video-search & Social media open doors:
Women loved searching when they saw the benefits. There was excitement in searching for saree and blouse designs, mehendi designs etc. The possibility of speaking with family through kype also excited them. Video search and social media are also aspects of the Internet that can be grasped by first time users.
Convey a long-term commitment:
Communities get excited and participate when they are convinced of longer-term commitments unlike shortterm efforts that they have experienced in the past.
Hunger for learning:
Contrary to local culture, everyone came on time for all training events reflecting their eagerness to learn.
Barriers Creating Gmail ids is a very tedious process. The interface is not user friendly despite having an option for Kannada language. Popular web forms need mobile verification. Smaller children share phones in the family, so often they donâ€™t have phones for verification. Students are not experts at spelling- this hampers their ability to search effectively. Using the keyboard was easier only for those women that had a basic understanding of English. The others struggled. The cost of browsing the Internet in cyber cafes was a concern for some students. Safety and security at a cyber cafe is also a huge issue for all women and girl children. ConcernTwo people got the same number verification on their mobiles to put onto the gmail registration form. Is this a security problem?
Table of Contents Empathize
Training and exposure Every jump starts with a little bit of push. For this push, we engaged ourselves going back to the basics.
Market Research People are not easy to understand. Empathizing with them without understanding is far more difficult. These are some lessons we learnt about our audiences.
Preliminary Experiments (Introduction) With the knowledge of mindsets, we went deeper to understand responses and reactions.
Describing Round-I Experiments This part is about noting down all the responses and defining ways to make them useful.
Problem Statement A problem finally gets defined after a curious discussion of definitions.
Lessons and insights For any problem statement to be strong there has to be long list of lessons.
Future plans These are the sketches for solutions and measures we can develop out of our entire experience in the state of preliminary research and findings. Further divided into Ideas and Next steps.
Concepts and Finalized concepts
Rapid prototyping being done with every new experiment. This is shared throughout the report.
E-nabling Curriculum Video stories content generation
Getting Partners To spread the message across the country
Probable Improvements From feedbacks and validation surveys
Training and Exposure
Training and exposure 1. Two weeks after the team was in place, they attended a 6-day training workshop held at a hall in Chinnaswamy Stadium. This included 3 days art of storytelling (theater workshop) with Script Peoples followed by 3 days design thinking with Murli. Since the team had already completed field surveys for 2 weeks, they had exposure to some of the challenges with respect to community interactions, asking questions, and eliciting responses. So, the team had the practical context as well as clarity on the intended goals. 2. The larger group from INK also attended the training. So, there was diverse perspectives which helped for plugging in the INK culture and aspects. Â 3. Initially, we were planning to conduct this training at a venue outside the city. However, Mr. Murli who led the design thinking session pointed out the importance of being present within the system/context in which we would be working. Being aware of the visuals, sounds and other feedback was important.
Art of Storytelling
Training Art of story telling workshop
Conducted by ‘Script Peoples Theatre’, a group based
Led by Mr. Murli.
in Bangalore. The instructors were Rajesh P. I. and Sibu Vaz.
In our project, we work with communities, in villages, towns and cities. These are all complex systems,
In our project, we interact with diverse audiences,
as there are numerous sub-systems that connect,
ranging from young students to housewives to small
overlap and work with each other. Understanding
business owners to retired people. Communicating
these connections between sub-systems is critical if
and working with these audiences require
we have to present a case for people to use the web
appropriate strategies and techniques. Add to the
to access pertinent information. Techniques for de-
whole scenario that we are telling people about
constructing a system/scenario and understanding
something that they see as challenging, and we want
the connections that make it, is design thinking.
to be optimal and spend as little time as possible
This workshop covered tools and techniques, and we
with each group. It’s stories that connect people,
went into the specifics of generating a clear problem
and people seek information from various media to
statement and designing a solution. The ways in
further these individual as well as community stories.
which the team can brainstorm the scenario, generate
Learning the essentials of these stories, and how to
ideas, choose the effective ones, and designing an
effectively tell these stories, is thus important. Skills
optimal solution, was covered.
in effective communication is imperative for this project.
g-day We attended the g-day in Chennai on July 19
The workshop went into many of the techniques of
and 20, 2012. It was an excellent opportunity to
playback theater. With everything revolving around
better understand Google as an organization and
the context of stories, the workshop trained us on
understand how different people (students to small
how to ask questions and the types of questions
businesses) use Google products. The questions
to ask. In the sessions, we learned various ways of
asked by the attendees about the issues, challenges
presenting scenarios and messages. The aspects of
and opportunities in using these products, gave
facial expressions, sounds, voice modulation, body
us insights that will be useful in the course of the
language, were covered.
Three buckets for Internet propagation In a discussion with Dr. Nelson Mattos (VP at Google) at the gday in Bangalore, he spoke about addressing the three buckets.
1. Removing barriers to getting onlinethese can be costs, behavioral/cultural. 2. Generate localized content so that people will have something when they get online; making Internet relevant to the community. 3. Growing the ecosystem of those who currently use the Internet.
Market Research The first step of identifying the target geographies was significantly influenced by the team’s Bangalore base. The logical approach was to test areas in our proximity, to put together insights and lessons, subsequently leading to a blueprint that can be scaled across other cities, towns and villages.
and an assessment of existing computer labs in government schools. While a part of this localized research comprised of team members asking questions related to computers, and the Internet, another aspect focused on understanding the socioeconomic layout and demographic composition of the area.
Hence, Bangalore was the chosen city, while Hubli was identified as the chosen town. The presence of the very active Deshpande Foundation in Hubli, and the foundation’s strong relationship with INK, made this choice easier.
Combined with some secondary research of specific localities within Bangalore and Hubli, the team narrowed down the community interactions towards understanding the physical and emotional bonding (close-knit factor) amongst members of these communities.
This mission’s success depends on achieving one primary goal- the creation of a localized, online, self-sustaining, content-generating ecosystem- one that will subsequently not require any outside influence such as ours, except for catalyzing the initiation & ‘stickiness-factor’ (habituating). For us, as a team, the first step was to define the skeletal framework & typical components of such a selfsustaining ecosystem. Collecting, understanding & collating inputs from various types of people (within the team & the communities we’ve been involved with so far), we put together these basic thoughts- 1. The demographic composition of the chosen geography & it’s economical layout. 2. Identifying the participating stakeholders in this ecosystem & the informational/physical transactions between/amongst them. . Narrowing down possible influences within 3 this community ecosystem, such as- corporators, principals/teachers at local schools/colleges, highfootfall businesses/locations, Internet cafes, local business sponsors for old computer equipment, local business sponsors for gifts & prizes, frequented grocery stores (kirana shops), potential donors, local women’s associations + members, retired members of the community who still wield influence, amongst others. The team started with ad-hoc surveys on roads across different areas in Bangalore and Hubli. This was followed by community interactions,
On conducting experiments across different types of audience (women, children, semi-educated men) & at various locations, we came to the following understanding-
1. To kick start a self-sustaining ecosystem it’s imperative to identify communities that are close-knit, physically & emotionally. This forms a base essence of vitality for our mission 2. Women & children make for an easier audience to communicate with, influence & drive the right behavior. More importantly, this audience segment has a significant influence on the choices a family or community makes towards living & lifestyles. And, with Internet access primarily considered as a lifestyle status in this community, we zeroed in on women & children. . In Bangalore, we also targeted the local 3 BBMP (Bangalore Municipality) girls’ schools for furthering our experiments. The double advantage- ensuring our ability to understand & communicate with more girls from a community, while being able to utilize the school’s premises as a safer, more-comfortable alternative to male-dominated Internet cafes, for the local women & girl children. While in Hubli, we identified close-knit residential communities to take forward our experiments.
Preliminary Experiments Bangalore In order to induce first time Internet users we conducted a number of experiments with school students, aged 11 – 16, in Bangalore and Hubli. We began by developing the student profile we were working with – we produced questionnaires to understand their personal interests, discovered the problems they faced, assessed their current knowledge and usage levels of the Internet and identified specific barriers to the students accessing the Internet. The learning from these experiments has been key to the direction and development of our project. When designing the experiments we asked the following questionsDoes this experiment have the potential to go Viral? Is the concept of the experiment creative and innovative enough to generate large scale interest? Is this experiment Scalable? Is the same experiment operationally feasible Is this experiment Sustainable? Can the experiment be implemented by those we engage with if they are trained to do so? Does the concept have the ability generate content online? When we began working with individual schools we discovered that each school was a unique ecosystem unto itself. Listed below are the schools we worked with in Bangalore and Hubli. We targeted government schools and organisations with an intake of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
BBMP Girls School, Bangalore Jeevan Bheema Nagar Public school, Bangalore Resurrection School, Bangalore Holy Shephard School, Bangalore Agastya Foundation, Hubli Design for Change program- Government schools in Devikoppa and Mishrikoti, Hubli. Although we did not conduct sessions with the students at the following schools we still engaged with students and teachers. Parikrma school – visit on teacher day. Why we are targeting school students We decided to work with the segment of school students becauseA large number of students to work with at a time. Targeting the next generation of Internet users. Students open to new ideas and willing to experiment. Quick learners, excited, motivated and enthusiastic. Excellent at teaching their own peers and so can implement peer to peer education in schools. School principals were receptive to working with us once we outlined benefits for students and our own key learning outcomes. Schools happy to provide infrastructure of classrooms and some schools also had computer labs although no Internet connection.
businesses, spreading the entrepreneurial mindset and funding activities which engage the community.
To increase the impact of the Google- INK Ambassadors Network and with an established
As part of our collaboration with DF we will be
connection to the Deshpande Foundation (DF) it was
extensively working with the LEAD (LEaders
an easy decision to collaborate with DF and further
Accelerating Development) programme helping
our experiments in the town of Hubli. U nder the
them with the technical assistance and floating in
umbrella of the DF we had an array of organisations
a few projects which they can take up in their final
to connect and collaborate with.
term. We have given the leaders some web-enabled mobile devices which they can use to capture local
The Deshpande Foundationis a well-established
content. Further, this local content will not only
Foundation in Hubli. The founders of DF actively
serve as documentation, but also to share the details
promote entrepreneurship and innovation as
of the projects with the rest of the world. In the
catalysts for sustainable change in the United States, process, we want the leaders to access the web when India and Canada. They have several programs
designing their projects for problem exploration and
which work towards supporting startups and local
School Experiments Preliminary Experiments
31 33- 45
Sharing stories online
Story Collection Bangalore Hubli
Getting Ward 89 Online
Getting Akshay Col. Online
Redefining Problem statement
School Experiments Including first time users Bangalore 6 schools, 10 weeks, 7 Experiments, 600 Students Each experiment conducted by the Google – INK Ambassadors Network evolved from the learning and insights gained from the previous experiments. Experiment 1 Students worked in small groups on the Internet, unfacilitated. Experiment 2 Shown how to create Gmail accounts, who in turn taught their peers the next day. Experiment 3 Day 1 – Problem Solving – expressed through dance, drama and poetry. Day 2 – Videos on Social ills shown – problem solving using the Internet. Experiment 4 Fun web activities and freedom to explore web solutions Experiment 5 Video shown to showcase creative ideas e. g. Floor Piano mat in subway station played by stepping on it to encourage stair use. Experiment 6 Videos shown to showcase creative ideas followed by1) Individual Idea generation. 2) Groups generated ideas expressed on chart paper. 3) Groups express idea through dance, drama and poetry. Experiment 7 Existing videos of projects done by students, uploaded online – the group with the maximum views spoke at the INK Salon in Hubli,
Preliminary Experiments Experiment 1: Jeevan Bheema Nagar Public School Date of Implementation- 25th July 2012 Objective- To understand what kids use the Internet for and the barriers they face.
Experiment 2: Jeevan Bheema School Dates of implementation- 26th July 2012 Objective- Exposure to webmail, social media and familiarization to web form filling. Description of the projectThe experiment was designed to be a two day training session including assisted and non assisted practical activities. The three major activities involved were registration (web forms), Presentation (power point and videos for training and engagement) and Practical (training other students). Day 1 Presentation on how to create a gmail account Students then created their gmail accounts Timed Practical activity – to send a YouTube Link to a Google – INK Ambassador – fastest person wins. Day 2
Students worked in groups of three where one student has a gmail account. Student to teach the others in the group how to create a gmail account. Very little assistance was provided by the Google – INK Ambassadors. Emails were exchanged between groups Assumptions made- An email account is highly useful for communication purposes and is the first step to creating an online profile. Social media is highly popular and many students are aware of Facebook and youtube. Therefore online form filling is an important skill. 1. Kids like social media and online Games. They have atleast heard about it. 2. Online form filling is a basic requirement when accessing web. 3. All Students in the sample are above the age of 14. 4. Students learn quickly by doing, so the generic theory + practical approach works. 5. Students can be motivated using incentives. 6. Children like animations(presentation). 7. Teachers and principal are co-operative. 8. Homework assignment if incentive based can give us good insight into children creative capabilities. 9. Team can maintain a high efficiency rate during the activity.
Peer to peer education plays an important role in making the experiment go viral.
Children from low-income backgrounds who are exposed to Internet for the first time consider the computer as an entertainment source.
Handouts are an essential part for future reference, they need to be customized further to make it generic for a larger audience.
It is important to communicate in the local language as well as English. Kannada speaking team members were needed while answering student questions.
Students enjoy playing games or watching videos. Students learn quickly if they are not spoon fed and asked to explore the Internet for themselves. Popular web forms need mobile verification. Smaller children share phones in the family, so often they donâ€™t have phones for verification. Student are literate in English so navigating a page was not a problem but searching for content which needs specific vocabulary was seen as a barrier.
More handouts and printed material for the target group, some more activities planned in between sessions to keep the audience interested. Visit local schools where Internet classes are held and observe. Kids can be a part of our programme to teach the people around them (parents, friends and teachers). Community involvement is a must where cyber cafe owners, parents teachers and other bodies are to be involved as players to create holistic impact.
Students are aware and make use of Cyber Cafes however the cost of browsing the Internet at cyber cafes was a concern for some students.
If the team engages in registration, detailed research of requirements has to be done beforehand. As in this case mobile verification posed to be a huge roadblock on the first day.
Schools have computers but peripherals are often missing and non-functional, e.g. Mouse, keyboard, etc.
Can be used as one of the first initiative to change peopleâ€™s lives by giving them access to information.
Experiment 3: Resurrection School Hoysala Nagar, Indiranagar
Date of Implementation- 31st July 2012 and 8th August 2012 Objective- Getting students to think creatively using design thinking teaching methods to produce offline solutions and then corroborate or look for more inspiring solutions online.
individually or problems their community faced – water problems in Karnataka was identified. Students were asked to find solutions for their problems, which they expressed in different ways (Dance, Drama, Poetry). Students worked in groups and leveraged their knowledge to design solutions without accessing the web.
Day 2 The next day, they were shown videos on the how’s and whys of the Internet, following which Description of the experimentthey found solutions to problems discussed on The workshop spread across 2 days and involved Day 1 on the Internet. a set of activities and practical experiments. Since the students were first time users, we Google- INK Ambassadors showcased decided to split them into 2 groups, each group innovative solutions to some problems given its own space to work on their activities. identified. We set up the practical space in one room and the activities corner in another room. Assumptions made: Students being from the same socioeconomic Practical Space – Here the students were asked background, their responses/reactions to to search for information on social issues/ certain situations might be the same. stigma through the Internet (they were directed according to the category of data they requiredAgain being from the same economic youtube for videos, google images for pictures, background, their living conditions might be Wikipedia/google search for information) quite similar thus resulting in them facing Activity Space – here students were further similar stigma. split into groups of 5/6 and were asked to conceptualize and produce solutions to drinking Most of the students will be first time users. water problems in our country/community through: Students enjoy activities that involve Dramatization application of their thinking and skills in a Craft/Model making creative way. Singing/Dancing Drawing/Art work The MTS dongles would work once connected. Day 1 Students identified problems they faced
Language might be a barrier.
One on One time with the laptops really help the Activities can be used to collect stories from kids as they get individual access to the net and students on a variety of social issues. are not influenced by the peers. A good feedback system can help us build a Getting a student to demonstrate a process more robust curriculum for the workshop. works better than teachers teaching it directly The excitement of the students to work with Practical is meaningful when a certain level of comfort with the machines is achieved. computers and browse the Internet can be leveraged to influence a larger segment. Making the session interactive helps as the kids get involved. This was done by constantly asking more questions to the students. As the whole design revolved around classroom teaching using projectors, the lessons could be taught for a large number of kids. The use of projectors helped us reach out to a larger number of students. The students understood the process as it was visually clear. (Aid used â€“ projector) Routine breaks with activities such as music/ songs/dance helped keep the students attention.
Experiment 4: BBMP Girls High School Jougupalya, Halasuru
Date of Implementation- 2nd August 2012 and 3rd August 2012 Objective- To gain a deeper understanding of these students- interests, ambitions and passion. To delve into problems faced while browsing the net. To find out sites they like to visit and questions if any about the Internet. Description of the experimentThe workshop spanned two days where students explored fun web activities (Beatlabs and Incredibox) and YouTube videos of their interest. They were asked to write down problems, and explore solutions on the web. They explored a tab interface via Mango Reader.
Insights The students were enthused, bright and picked up how to use the Internet quickly. Beatlabs and incredibox (liked more) was a fun introduction to the mouse and the program. The students were better exposed to career options and used Internet time to look up information related to their goals.
The projector helped reach out to a larger audience and helped the students conceptualize. The students enjoyed activities which involved the use of charts. The Mango reader application worked wonderfully with the kids. Supportive administrations makes conducting experiments easier.
Opportunities To establish a permanent computer lab in Library space / community lab and involve the students in setting this up. This school can be used as a model and these students can train other students from other schools or community members. There were about 5 very excited students. We can make these students the local ambassadors when continuing our project with this school. The Principal has offered us to use their 1st floor space (where the project was conducted) for activities with other school students and the larger community.
Experiment 5: Holy Shepherd School Date of Implementation- 8th August 2012 and 9th August 2012 Objective- To make kids unlearn and generate ideas- Idea contest Description of the experimentInnovative videos were shown to students, to stimulate thought process, following which, in smaller groups, they discussed and came up with better solutions to problems
Insights This batch used Internet almost regularly, according to the questions we asked them post the idea contest, both at home and at the cafes. The activity was not very exciting. It felt like an exam hall inside the room- the room was very cramped. The students followed a certain format, and did not come up with probable or creative solutions.
They did not have enough time to innovative. They did not understand the problems at first. We had to explain it to them.
Opportunities The overarching goal of â€œgetting them onlineâ€? wasnâ€™t accomplished. The contest needs a few days to get developed. The students did not present ideas that could be categorized as outside the box thinking. Their presentation skills could also be improved significantly.
Experiment 6 and 7: Hubli Students who visited Agastya Foundation
Date of Implementation- 8th August 2012 and 9th August 2012 Objective- To make kids unlearn and generate ideas- Idea contest. Description of the experimentInnovative videos were shown to students, to stimulate thought process, following which, in smaller groups, they discussed and came up with better solutions to problems.
Insights Local stories inspire the community and the audience could relate to the same. Involving local heroes (people who have created change from within the community) is extremely essential to connect with and drive people online. Need to increase comfort with English as a language for communication in Hubli among the youth. People from smaller towns and older people are more comfortable with the local language, they did not understand the problems at first. We had to explain it to them.
Belief that the Internet is not necessary- lack of awareness of the power of the Internet. Misnomers about virus attacks, cost, and safety aspects need to be busted. Language barriers among the older segmentkeyboard in english and may prove to be difficult to use.
Opportunities With DF and LEAD programs it will be possible to identify and work with changemakers in the community (Hubli- Dharwad). Agastya foundation can be an important player as far as impacting students from smaller villages and low socioeconomic backgrounds, as they integrated such students. Our target audience of students and women (homemakers) can be approached and involved through organizations such as these mentioned above and also through community building activities.
Future Ideas Use community building activities to spread awareness and show the power of the Internet.
Tap on those activities/passion/interests of the people and leverage that to get them online.
There is lack of infrastructure in general.
Use sports as a single activity and design a program to create and measure impact.
Power outages are frequent in Hubli. Lack of exposure leading to a closed mindset
among the general public- this has to change.
Work specifically with the NCC.
Sharing Stories Online At the heart of INKtalks is the art of storytelling and sharing untold stories. After conducting the preliminary experiments, the team decided to hunt for stories with impact from within the local community in Hubli. The INK Salon in Hubli demonstrated that given the opportunity to listen to the stories of their children under the limelight of the stage, parents were willing to travel on foot from distant villages to Hubli. The power of the story and particularly the story of someone you have an emotional connection to seemed to drive friends, family members and colleagues to attend the INK Salon. We wondered whether the same could be achieved if these stories were showcased online. Would the pride, the curiosity and the desire to view the story of a child, a friend, a brother or sister drive people to access the Internet?
emotionally. The number of people using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all mediums to essentially share a story have increased exponentially. In our next experiment to increase Internet penetration in India the Google-INK Ambassadors decided to harness the power of social media and local stories to engage those who are currently not online to venture into the online world. Engaging with our target groups of students, women and small businesses we designed experiments to capture their stories and share these stories online to finally culminate in an event for the entire community where local stories will be showcased. These experiments enabled us to engage with our target groups in an informal manner, generate local content in local languages, capture local stories which local people can relate to and survey those we engaged with to understand current Internet usage and awareness levels. We also wanted to test the assumption that sharing stories of nonInternet users online will create new users.
Viewing fellow school friends, colleagues and family members online and speaking to them in their own language will mean the Internet will T o train ourselves about the technical side no longer feel like such a strange and foreign of filming we had a session with Godwin place. Das, INKâ€™s Senior Editor and Director of Photography. To learn of the essentials of The students who had participated in the capturing a story we had a session with Design for Change competition, whose project Laksmhi Pratuary, INK CEO and the curator of videos were uploaded online, were quite the INK Conference. excited to learn that their story had been seen by people from all over the world. Through We used our phones to capture video content the simple action of uploading a video we had from our target groups and created a YouTube already generated curiosity, interest and an channel where the stories we collect will be appreciation for the power of the Internet. showcased. t INKtalks we know that everyone loves A to tell a story and everyone has a story to tell â€“ whether recounting the past, sharing problems or updating your friends on recent adventures. Stories connect us, allow us to learn of different perspectives and can move us
This experiment creates an incentive for those we engage with to access the Internet. Although this experiment does not directly teach our target groups how to access the web it instills the curiosity and the desire to view content they have helped to generate online.
Story Collection Bangalore and Hubli Experiment 1
Drawing and describing
Debates and questions
Stories from the street
Storytelling in concentric circles
Collecting stories of local people to generate local content in local languages. The stories collected in the following few experiments highlight the simple pleasures of life which are sometimes forgotten. We collected impressive stories such as Rebbecaâ€™s, who represented India in a girlsâ€™ football competition in Scotland, and that of Yeshwanth, who campaigned to fight corruption in his area.
“Both the government and citizens are equa responsible for a healthy eco system, one without the other leads to social backward society. ” - Anand, Fruit Vendor, Malleshwaram (Bangalore Story)
“The sharp increase in clientele at the soothsayers and doctors is a predicament of the society today. ” - Shrinivas Shastri, Astrologer/Local activist (Hubli Story)
“Introspect,money apart, what is the one th intention and things will fall in place thereb - Lakshmi Krishnamurthy, Founder Painted
“Justify your passion by doing what you really believe in and or want to do!” - Roshan Raykar, Founder, Artashastra (Hubli Story)
“Conversation of resources is the only way forward. ” - Sikandar Meeranayak, CEO and Founder, Sankalpa Rural Development (Hubli Story)
“I had no one to help me, Internet was my Guru!” - Deepali Gotadke, Founder, WebDreams and ClickHubli. com (Hubli Story)
ing that gives you happiness? Follow that with purity of y leading you to your destination!” Padukas (Bangalore Story)
“Corruption at the individual level maybe small but accumulate to a large sum left unchecked. I prevented corruption to the tune of 1. 2lakhs at the age of 15, If I can, so can you. ” - Yeshwanth, 11th grader (Bangalore Story)
Story Collection- Bangalore We worked with BBMP School, Jeevan Bheema Nagar and Arya Vidya Shala. Having built up a relationship with the students in our experiments we already knew the students were exceptionally enthusiastic, motivated and keen to work with us. Type 1- Drawing and describing Arya Vidya Shala Introductions of team and participants. Brief explanation of Google-INK project Getting kids to close their eyes and think about their happiest moment/ a great achievement/ something that’s excited them. Asking kids to draw a picture based on their story. Asking kids to present back their story while we film it. We pick the best ones and if necessary re –film them. Let students play on the tabs or computers at the end of the session.
Type 2- Schools debate format BBMP Girls’ High School Introductions of team and participants. Brief explanation of Google-INK project. Select three different topics and split students into teams. Announce debate topic and explain that for each point a team makes they get a point, team with the most points at the end wins. Complete 3 or 4 debate topics. Select those who made interesting points to be filmed, explain topics they have been discussing. Make sure to ask if anyone else also wants to be filmed.
Type 3- Stories from the street
Stories generated in this way were the stories of the men and the women on the street. Have you ever wondered about the story of the roadside labourers, the story of your local fruit or coconut vendor. These stories highlighted the history of migration within India for socioeconomic reasons which many people can relate to. Introductions of team, Brief explanation of Google-INK project. Engage in conversation, make person feel comfortable, learn about their story, If worth filming ask person if they are comfortable with being filmed. If they are then ask them to re-tell story and film them.
Type 4- Stories from Women Introductions of team and participants. Brief explanation of Google-INK project. Remember stories from childhood (from design thinking seminar). Share interesting stories. Ask those who want to be filmed to volunteer. The Ladies experiment was mainly done with two objectives, one was to see if they were going to be our target group and secondly to gather stories. The session was action packed with an ice breaking activity; a group discussion to showcase an INKtalks that these ladies could relate to; and ended with a concentric circle storytelling session which the women enjoyed the most. Throughout we had carefully designed the session to understand how and if the section of the society who are device equipped would be using the Internet. The conclusion we drew was that these women are definitely not our target group but could be used as mediums of networks for our project!
Working around the exam period of the students – managing this with the teachers. Finding a suitable place to film students to get best audio and visual input.
street story hunt. Students readily shared stories of their personal achievements and experiences as these are topics they relate with better. Boys enjoy creative activities like art and craft, painting just as much as their peers.
Students feeling shy.
Few girls were shy to speak in front of the whole class.
Not enough time for each student to spend on tabs or laptops at the end of the session – if we had more would, more students would have access.
The quieter students had brilliant stories like Rebecca the national level football player and the state level chess player.
10th standard kids were not allowed for too much time as their exams were approaching.
An outing to a fast food eatery for example, pizza hut gives them immense amount of happiness. Students are way happier while at school than at
While recording the video the background noise home. was very high and the audio quality was very poor and the kids were a bit shy in expressing The kids love gadgets especially tablets. their feelings and on the other hand the few kids were extremely good enough. Letting them play with gadgets acts as a wonderful
incentive post story collection.
Collecting stories from people on the street works well to gain stories – the history of migration, occupations of people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Most of the upper middle class women own smartphones and are active on the Internet, hence are not suitable target groups.
Girls are very talkative and chatty and want to engage – especially those at BBMP
The team to spend some time wandering through different localities in Bangalore, talking to people and gathering stories.
Aryavidya Shale – mixed girls and boys session – girls are quite shy and boys talk more. All the girls were engrossed and gave in their best. The boys from JBN school were interested in painting as opposed to our assumption. Kids Closing eyes and going back in memory, thinking about the happiest moment of their life. This activity worked really well. The concentric story telling session worked well with ladies.
Everyone has a story- as we found from the random
The saga of “How to do” should now be the continuum to the videos collected. We also need to get people to film stories and send them to us – social media platforms + INK conference. Perhaps can have competitions such as the best video of the week to incentivise people to submit videos. So we will need to set up some kind of video submission method. Have a screening of videos shot in schools inviting the faculty and students as audience. Getting media involved and having this as a weekly event.
Story Collection- Hubli The objective behind collecting stories was to highlight the unknown work that people had been silently doing while the city turned a lazy eye at them, people who had gone on to achieve what had earlier been perceived as unattainable, yet chose the firm grounding of humility and continued to strive to better themselves, people who’d been through traumatic/life changing experiences, which if shared could go on to inspire many, and, students who’d made efforts to find time in their busy schedules to take up social initiatives and implement plans to benefit the needy and destitute. We got to know of leads to such stories through Deshpande Foundation, Agastya Foundation, Prajavani reporter, side-articles in the local newspapers and people we had befriended along the way.
In Hubli, we collected 30 stories total and each one absolutely distinct and totally removed from the next. Listed below are descriptions of some of the stories gathered. 1. Meet Panditji aka Shastriji, an astrologer and politician, who also runs an NGO for street children and supports a neglected destitute community by empowering the women to be independent. He works closely with 200 women from a low-income community supporting them at every step as they struggle to make ends meet. These women quilt blankets and mats out of old cloth and rags, earning just about INR 200 a month. The story revolves around how these women have now with the help of Panditji created a mini economic microcosm through their art of quilting.
2. Mrs. Deepali Gotakde, one of Hubli’s first female entrepreneurs, a techie by education, she shifted to Hubli after her marriage only to realise that the sleepy town does in essence support each individual’s aspirations however gruelling they might be to achieve. She decided to enter into the e-commerce business by marketing and providing home delivery of flower bouquets and Ilkal sarees across the country, after a short stint as a lecturer in a local engineering college. The story of her trials and tribulations, failures and successes as she ventured into the world of e-commerce is truly motivating and inspiring. She also runs a web designing/solutions studio wherein she helps other SMEs market their products online, trains other entrepreneurs of the falling and traps they might come across on the web and effective marketing through online social media. 3. Sikandar- A young Deshpande Foundation Fellowship Program graduate, Sikandar decided to create awareness around the importance of conserving water. He has been on this mission for years now, visiting interior pockets of our country, gathering farmers and Panchayats, conducting sessions on the importance of bore well recharging, ground water conservation and creation of bunds. He also promotes working with what’s at hand thus providing economical and innovative methods of ground-water recharging and creation of bunds around farms.
People relate more with storytelling rather than interviews, hence they become cautious of what they speak. Speakers perceived that their videos would be uploaded on inktalks. com Our promotion strategy was questioned as their was no physical implementation of promotion strategy or production design. It became difficult to be persuasive in this area. Virality of the experiment is in question and is yet to be seen how this approach will cater to the broader idea. Limited scope of virality in the approach used, thus team cannot focus on making videos and promotion the same. This limits the scope of realistic results at the end of exercise. There is no real gains for local market businesses in Hubli by going online. The local web developers talk about how they convince the businesses to go online with static pages and help them with Search engine Optimization.
taking time to plan an event which will be an event conducted with DF LEAD where students will engage in activity involving uploading of content.
People usually underestimate their story and they hesitate in talking about their lives. Local business owners showed great level of interest in getting their story documented effectively. Policy and corruption among the public service departments is usually greater concern. Hubli locals appreciated the weather and the helpful nature of the people in their town. Uploading content became a major issue. The Students of BVBcet robotics department are looking for ways to market their products over Internet. In Hubli people generally look for promotion and financial gain.
Incentivizing people to put content online provides with opportunity if the various actors (cyber café owners,college administration, college clubs,etc ) involved in the same can be invited at same platform to discuss the various ways they can move forward with not just static presence on web.
The Internet infrastructure for students of established universities are below optimal and this discourages them thus directly terming Internet as a waste of time.
Internet speed yet again proved to be a major barrier because it generates reasons for the public to not trust the use of Internet.
Jobs are the major concern among youth and apart from campus placements they hardly have ideas to get employed.
Schedule of the experiments, delay in coordination and information flow led to slow advance in Hubli. This was improvised with
LAN gaming is slowly starting to gain popularity amongst school kids. Cyber cafés have set up their facilities following this trend.
The educated and aware people are bent on talking to us in English.
Getting Ward 89 Online 4 Components- Community Computer Center, Diwali Decoration Contest, Lead 20, Buzz around the competition Area- 0. 91 Sq. Kms Population- Over 34,000 Target Audience- Women (and children) – Over 16,000 women Setting the scene- To get more women online by familiarizing them with the Internet via an online competition centered around Diwali. Voting Portal- Wordpress Plug-in Enlisting Participants- Lead20 women will assist other women in the community to register for the competition, via home-hubs (they were supplied Internet-enabled-laptops) or at certain local cyber cafes where Internet time was paid-for up front. PrizesGrand Prize- Lunch Party for 25 friends Runner up- Flipkart Voucher worth Rs. 2000 Special Prize to Ward 89 Ambassadors- Watch
Jogupalya and Appareddypalya The Google – INK Ambassadors Network conducted numerous Internet sessions with the girls at the BBMP School. Working with the girls we became familiar with the socioeconomic background of the students and the geography of the surrounding area of Jogupalya and Appareddypalya. We saw a great opportunity to work with the residents of this community and in particular the women and girls in order to raise
awareness of the Internet to transform the entire community. Ward-89 has a population of 34,611 with a population of 16,901 women. The community is mainly made up of Tamil, Telugu and Kannada speakers. Ward-89 is a very dense area with a thriving business community. The community is very well connected and word travels fast. This is one of the reasons why we chose the municipality – to take advantage of the strong local network which we believe can be mirrored/ transferred to the online world. Close Knit Community. Infrastructure such as cyber cafes, phone shops, computer labs in schools exist (we will be connecting with these local vendors To create an initial impact we hosted an event in partnership with the BBMP Girls school, the Corporator, Gautham M Kumar of Ward-89 and local businesses.
Purpose- To empower and train 20+ women of Ward 89 to train other residents. Training- 3 days culminating in handing out smart phones to women to help facilitate the competition.
Creating the Buzz
Diwali Stall and Live Screening of some INKtalks (in Kannada language) during the Diwali period. Attraction tools- handed out diyas, set up large celebrity cutouts. Due to complications, we couldn’t have an auto photo booth where pictures would be taken, posted online, and emailed to participants.
Overall InsightsWomen and children would not go to cyber cafes. They view it as an inappropriate place mainly visited by men. Just not conducive.
occurred while we were registering the Gmail ids for the women. Is this a problem? The women were always on time for the interactive sessions. This reflected their interest. Some of the women brought along guests during subsequent sessions.
Creating gmail accounts is tedious. They share phones in the family. They don’t have phones for Mobile devices are a huge boon- Should our verification. community centre also have tabs and phones instead of just computers?
Training Sessions Insights-
Women love searching. They found it very easy searching for saree designs, mehendi designs, blouses, etc. On the first day, no one knew the difference between the Internet and the computer. This includes women who work as receptionists at offices to tailors to store owners to housemaids. The time they took to get used to the devices (laptops) was faster than we thought- about 1530 minutes! Tabs and phones are twice as easy as laptops . Took a long time to get used to the mouse- hand to eye coordination- how to tap on the touch pad etc. Women who didn’t know some basic English struggled with the keyboard. But most women knew passable written english and so it was manageable. We did a demo of video skype call. They were very excited about it. Creating ‘whatsapp’ account is much easier and some of the women chatted with distant loved ones. 2 people- kruthi and prajakta- got the same number verification to put on gmail. This
Community CentreNeed to find innovative ways to make it self-sustaining. The buzz created by the program, got BBMP to have GE sponsor and do up the community center- electric lines, painting etc, for their CSR initiative. A long-pending request for UPS for the center, got approval due to this buzz (after 6 months). Doing up the dilapidated building- 25 lakh approval announced by the Corporator (only announced) on the day of the launch.
Major Lessons Learned1. Don’t attempt to take on the whole ward
in one shot. Choose an area where there is less diversity socially, economically, etc. Jogupalya is economically forward but socially backward. AppaReddypalya is economically backward but socially forward. You need a place that’s socially forwardeconomically it doesn’t matter- forward or backward. Need to learn to judge whether a place is socially forward.
Bangalore Getting Ward 89 Online
2. Bonding with the people. Identify the welfare association people. Visit the community regularly and spend time with the women, at their homes and community hotspots. Identify if the corporator is supportive and can provide on the ground support and resources.
Create emotional bond- show them English Vinglish on youtube (Tamil version)- fits the theme of empowerment. Establish a self-sustaining community centre – identify and train volunteers.
3. Look for partner organizations like Rotary Whisper campaign to create an emotional to see if they can adopt the community center and similar initiatives.
4. Identify potential place for community center. 5. Identify local businesses that want to advertise, sell products- ISP, tabs, phones, etc. 6. Do an event- mela instead of a contest. 7. Identify partners that can do more long
term training programs. 8. Teach few people who’ll train the others in their community.
9. Identify the right set of ‘starting team’ from the community. Women who have taken small leadership roles in their local communities Go to the kinara store and ask them who are the most powerful / influential people in this community
Immediate Future Plans in Ward 89 Prize distribution ceremony
belonging to the program & its values.
Identify a more appropriate set of Lead 20 women going forward. Dream Connect to train some people from community who can train others further.
Event Flow- Successes and Challenges Initial excitement from corporator was high- Corporator arranged a surprise launch with head of BBMP schools and others and conducted a function, without consulting or informing the team in advance. While this did create significant amount of buzz, it did force the team to accelerate the program rollout ahead of planned schedule. Next 3 days training session for Lead 20- 20 women chosen by corporator- last day was a session on the phone. The phones had bad calibration but it didn’t hamper the women or their excitement. The way they learnt how to click a picture and email it to other women, go to the Google Play store, download whatsapp and configure it to start using it; this was an eye-opener. Front facing cameras were a big hit among them since they could see themselves.
Bangalore Getting Ward 89 Online
We procured SIM cards- got their forms filled up, however the vendor failed to respond in time. After trying other vendors unsuccessfully (lost 2 days), we recharged the personal SIMs of the Lead20 women in order for them to go ahead and start the campaign to enlist others for the competition. Further, we faced some problems with the phones. And the 2. 5G network was weak in the area, or the phones faced intermittent failures to network access. Some steam was lost on the project. However, the women seemed excited enough to return to the classes to learn more. Excitement of the people when they came to know that an Internet enabled phone was available within 4k was very high! They checked the speed of 2G and 3G and when they got to know 3G was just 200 INR extra, they were flabbergasted. They wanted 3G only! The public screening of INKtalks in Kannada did garner attention, since it was set-up at a high traffic zone (pedestrian). However, there was the issue with drunkards and other unruly elements disturbing the show. It is better to conduct this for a focused crowd in an enclosed location; such as for the women at the community center. This could impact participation numbers though. Diwali holidays in schools further stalled our efforts to set up the community centre. The timing for this contest was not entirely appropriate for this community. The Varamahalakshmi festival would have gathered more active participation, while Diwali is celebrated as a minor festival; holidays for which are utilized to travel to native towns.
Internet-Autorickshaw had to be abandoned. Made up by conducting a door to door campaign, sent pamphlets to create buzz for the campaign, then created hubs in womenâ€™s houses â€“ This effort had minimal impact on the whole. Saturday and Sunday were different experiences. Both days were ad-hoc single day. Focus on 17th (Sat) was to get 25 women to participate, excite them so that the following day, they would each get 4 more women to participate in the Rangoli contest. These women were brought together- their email ids were created so they can be ready for the contest the next day, and subsequently for the classes. 18th (Sunday) â€“ Until noon it seemed like none was going to participate. A dejected team retired to lunch. However, on returning the entire Appareddypalya locality was abuzz with streets full of women and their families, busy with the Rangoli decorations. This went on till Sunset. Over 350 people were involved, and the message regarding the Internet center was promptly spread. While the goal was to get the Lead20 women to upload the photographs of each participant and register them for the competition, using their (new) mobile phones. However, only 5 Lead20 women turned-up. Additionally, the data network was patchy, hindering the upload process. The team had to settle with taking the photographs and manually registering the participants.
Additionally, an RTO holiday prevented the team from getting permissions for rickshaw to create buzz. The idea of using the
Getting Akshay Colony Online Our connection to Akshay Colony To help pick and choose an area, we decided as a team on 3 essential parameters, against which we thoroughly scrutinized each of our considerations.
Recipe, Rangoli and Folk music are the three categories for the competition tuned to Diwali celebrations, starting from the 7th to the 17th of November 2012.
Participants have to record videos pertaining to the above categories and upload it onto Densely populated area. their youtube accounts and then copy and Approximate 1. 5 to 2 sq. km area, 0. 5 to 1 paste the video link on to an email and send it to a common id (inkinHubli@gmail. com). km radius on the higher side.
Lower middle class- middle class dominion.
Winners are judged by a combination of ‘likes’, ‘views’ and any other parameter that the judge thinks is suitable.
The colony houses close to 500 houses, which Each of the categories have two prizes for the we assumed to be perfect for such an initiative top two, with a recipe having a grand prize of It is densely populated by lower-middle/middle lunch for 50. class families. The area houses a school, 2 cyber cafes, and a couple of colleges in the vicinity- thus making for prospective community spaces/e-enabling centers. There exists a very active ladies association and the colony in-charges seem open to change Based on a random sample survey we conducted, we found the residents to be extremely invested in the idea of using the web.
Event Flow: On completing the survey at Akshay colony, and having zeroed in on the same, we connected with the women’s association in the area. Enthused and charged up after the our interaction, ten of the most active women with a thirst for knowledge volunteered to undergo intensive training and help facilitate video and Internet training to others in the locality- thus the Internet champions came to be.
We set ourselves up at the women’s center, where we were provided with space to educate and help anyone who came there to learn with our laptops. We engaged them in sessions where translated INK videos were played and engaged with them in discussions of the power of the story and how it enhances when shared to the world. We then dedicated several hours each day for three weeks in training several homemakers, starting from scratch (creating gmail accounts to recording and uploading videos on youtube) in addition, the 10 Internet champions were taught the use of smart phones which we provided them with to help them help others. We used pamphlets which we gave out to everyone who came to the center to learn and each of them took copies and distributed them further and brought in more people.
Banners were put up, inviting the community to participate. Spoke to the principal of Global college and invited his staff to participate. Connected with the cyber cafe in the area and bought out space for few hours each evening for the duration of the competition. We had a pre-launch event for the residents of Akshay colony, where we spoke to them about who we are and what we do and got them to share their experience post training - the event was attended by over 120 women and about 50 men. We invited the nominated corporator of the area Hubli-Dharwad to come up and address the gathering and offer his support. The Internet champions help the others in the community in recording and uploading videos. We are encouraging and facilitating get together and tea parties at individual homes where several people gather and teach them how to use the Internet.
Observations High energy levels and enthusiasm among the women. Children accompany women almost everywhere. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Husband and children use the Internet. Most of them have facilities for accessing Internet at home.
Insights Initially shy and conscious but later grew comfortable and outgoing. Women are mostly homemakers and are occupied throughout the day. They are keen to learn and use the net. Afraid to use the Internet as they might spoil/ damage the phone or computer. Competitions are an excellent way of getting community participation. Picture contest would have been better, generated more response and easier.
Challenges Uploading videos a tough task for many Lack of bandwidth for the above. Reluctant to use the cyber cafe, unless it is all women. Women donâ€™t find time in their regular schedule Getting all the women together at one time is very difficult. Women lack self confidence and have to be hand held a lot. Slightest miscommunication leads to a feeling that we are being partial/unfair. They didnâ€™t quite understand the role of the Internet champions and why we are training them specifically - we had to re-explain a whole lot of things. Children interfere and start doing things thus women have to ensure that they keep the child away strictly. Intimidated by long processes
Define: Bangalore and Hubli Following 4 months of experimentation, empathizing with the target audience group, we have come to a point where we can reasonably and clearly define the ground-situation towards ideating a scalable blueprint to induce non-users into the world of the Internet. The below set of points highlights the teamâ€™s cumulative understanding of some of the ground realities, some probable approaches and steps for the future of this program.
Similarly, getting used to the laptop was easier than the desktop. We believe this might be due to limited hand-to-eye coordination requirement in the case of mobile phones. Additionally, since touchscreen mobile phones have a more visual interface, the users can explore with limited reliance on English language (which is still a significant stumbling block). We believe that creating a tablet/ mobile-phone environment for training will have better impact in terms of introducing the Internet and its benefits.
One would consider that Cyber Cafes are in plenty, however, women and children avoid going to cyber cafes, since these locations typically have a seedy, inappropriate reputation, and are largely visited by men; just not conducive.
For the sake of sustainability, a more concentrated effort has to be made towards involving local businesses and government and municipality representatives in order to provide basic infrastructure requirements for a community Internet training center. The community has to participate in the effort to involve local businesses that supply IT/mobile hardware, mobile and Internet connections.
During the interactions and experiments, training to create gmail accounts was provided. However, creating gmail accounts is cumbersome at this stratum of society. In the lower to middle-income group, family members share a single mobile phone, thus hindering the account verification process. Additionally, the process to set up an account requires more time than available patience. Further, with the fast pace of Internet names being taken up, it was observed that choosing a suitably memorable username takes a while longer. It will be useful to have a user experience that requires minimal windows to process through. While attempting to setup a self-sustaining content-generating ecosystem, the local cultural dynamics play a significant role. It is important that the socioeconomic and cultural set up is consistent in the target area, with a significant level of cooperation amongst members of the community, before putting together an Internet awareness campaign. The target audience took to the touchscreen mobile phones quicker than the laptop.
It will help the cause, to involve agencies/ NGOs/foundations that have already developed such training curricula. While we can identify the community and the proactive representatives from within, every region has NGOs that have already laid the foundation with regards to curriculum, processes and cultural insights. Additionally, it will help to make such foundations aware of utilizing the web for their training and community outreach programs. The team will experiment with this approach in the next phase. Additionally, involving some key local government representatives such as the municipal corporator, the head of the police station, and/or the most well-known businessman in the locality will help catalyze the program in the initial stages, when gathering interest is of primary importance. Ideal starting points for such ground-level research are the local kinara/grocery stores (especially one run by a local).
Competition as a method to induce interest in our mission is not effective; the community members (as a result of the impact of existing marketing culture) tend to focus on the competition’s prizes rather than the actual long-term plan, following the competition. It is imperative to first create an emotional bond with the community through a sustained whisper-campaign (that targets the higher human values and exhorts them towards evolving and maturing-through-participation rather than focusing on their deficiency needs and the inadequacy approach that traditional marketing follows) and personal interactions to build familiarity, and to identify prime-movers in the community that can further the cause beyond our presence. This way, competitions that are conducted after the start of such community training can have values- and experience-based prizes rather than monetary /material rewards. More importantly, such competitions will have community members participating for the sake of evolving their learning experience rather than for the sake of the competition itself. A contest to introduce a concept will not work but to sustain something will work. Going forward the team will experiment with the idea of creating an Internet mela/exhibition after training a significant number of community prime-movers. However, we have come to understand that socially forward communities will look beyond a competition and participate wholeheartedly towards achieving the larger goal, in the interest of the community.
simply referred to as the Internet champions. Identifying these representatives requires a sustained interpersonal effort through training interactions and field trips. Such community members should not be chosen based on reference (as occurred in Bangalore, following the Corporator’s recommendation), as the program gets taken for granted. Most importantly, and this applies to choosing the target community as well, unless the team is sure that the chosen community or member is socially forward (rather than being economically forward). Some tips to identify the state of a community-
It is absolutely necessary to create a sustained buzz with on the ground activities within the community to raise awareness around such a program. This requires reasonable time to plan along with ensuring relevant permissions from the local authorities.
4. The presence of a ‘residents welfare association’ is also indicative of a socially aware mindset.
The team experimented with identifying a lead group of community representatives who would potentially become the torch bearers of the Internet awareness campaign in the community long after the project team has moved on. In Bangalore, these were called the Lead20 women while in Hubli, they were
1. If the homes are reasonably furnished with creature comforts, however power-theft is evident (clumsy crisscrossed tapping of power lines on the street); this is indicative of the community being socially backward and regressive thinking. 2. Another indicator is the visible presence of power meters. For example- In the Bangalore experiment, while a hut in Appareddy layout had a power meter, a full-fledged multistory building in Jogupalya had stolen power. 3. The general hygiene of the community surroundings, the cleanliness, not just in their houses but on the streets and in public areas, for example, garbage strewn around on the pavement, children defecating along the roadside is a strong indicator of social backwardness.
5. Small focus group sessions to gauge reaction and responses of the community members will be helpful. Pointed questions to understand their expectations from such a program can help the team zero-in on a particular community. Essentially, their interest should orient more towards the benefits of learning to use the Internet rather than a contest or selfish/political motives.
Define- Bangalore and Hubli
Starting with an entire ward, especially one that might have a diverse demographic mix, makes such a program roll out significantly difficult. It is best to start with smaller communities of 300 families (or less) and move on. This approach will be further experimented during the next phase.
Working with school students requires that the school principal and teachers investment into the program so that they realize that the Internet can enhance their own teaching experience as well as studentsâ€™ participation in the classes.
Searching videos seems like the easiest way to get the audience interest going, and is a lot easier to manage in comparison to the generation and use of an email service. Similarly, social media networks seem a lot more accessible and acceptable.
Earlier attempts by other NGOs/Foundations have left the impression with communities that such programs are short-term engagements that do not have the bandwidth to work towards a finite result of getting the entire community online.
Redefining Problem statement The 4As
On conducting these series of experiments, we evolved a set of key insights, of which a majority fall under the â€˜awarenessâ€™ banner. The audience has a misconception about the cost of access to the Internet (either for devices or Internet data plans), which has reduced significantly over the last 2 years, and displays indications of further accessibility, availability and affordability
Accessibility Curriculum Location Influences
Affordability Parteners Services
Awareness Interests Emotional drivers Aspiration
Availability Parallel experiments Campaign
Redefinition We believe, 1. a clear set of guidelines along with a structured curriculum will augment effective outreach (‘Awareness’) 2. that we must understand the perspective from the ground-level (community members’ points-of-view) to develop a clear idea to involve a community’s key stakeholders to ensure balanced & pro-active participation (‘Accessibility’) 3. it is imperative to work with partners in order to effectively roll-out & experiment with a blueprint for digital literacy across geographies (‘Availability’) 4.working with local businesses related to IT/Mobile products & Internet connectivity will assist subsequent self-sustenance of the eco-system (‘Affordability’) We are driving towards entrusting experimentation of this blueprint across volunteer communities that can share their feedback, for us to fine-tune the blueprint & facilitate the journey for the next billion into the world of the Internet.
Future Plans Future Plans Introduction Ideate Ideate Concepts Next Steps Final Concepts
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Preliminary research Following the teamâ€™s first attempt at creating an online, selfsustaining, content-generating ecosystem, and studying the lessons/insights from this experience, a revised set of plansfor-action have been listed. In the current scenario, we are in the process of researching the feasibility of each of these potential options.
Ideate Education and Government Services related Wi-Max network: The goal is to have a digital inclusion of the communities, where we can use the existing ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) for solving day to day needs of our communities. Such a solution could be utilized for education, tele-medicine applications, educational delivery networks, empowerment, e-Governance, disaster management & response systems, agricultural knowledge system, etc. Conceptually, we could create community knowledge centers powered by renewable energy, connected with Wireless technology i.e. , WiFi and WiMAX working on license free ISM band (2. 4 GHz and 5 GHz). Most of the cellular providers might not be interested in venturing into last mile solutions due to ROI factors in the rural or semi-urban areas. However, if we involve the community itself for driving the digital inclusion it can work; this would become a community wireless network. We can employ Wireless Technologies (WiFi and WiMax) for achieving last mile delivery of data from the Railtel’s feeding points of bandwidth to the location where stores are located or to the feeding point which distributes bandwidth to different stores. Configure WiFi and WiMax to work on ISM bands (5GHz and 2. 4GHz) to have low installation costs. The long distance backhaul links to connect different nodal points from the Railtel/ISP’s terminating point could use WiMax. For connectivity to clients at the nodal points we could use WiFi on 2. 4 GHz so that it would be zero-entry level cost for the customer. The Backhaul links would be point-to-points links working in a full-duplex or half-duplex mode. (Full duplex would give a actual through
put of 600 Mbps, half duplex links would give a throughput of 300 Mbps). # Approximate costingWifi about 40,000 INR for 1 point to point link (with duplex 40Mbps throughput) excluding installation. WiMax about 200,000 INR for one point-topoint backhaul link (with duplex 600 Mbps) excluding installation. The solution would be software upgradable to LTE. This solution is cost effective compared to Optical cabling installation cost (assuming average distance of towns/villages from district HQ or nearest Railway station about 50 to 100 KM). These estimations are based on the preliminary assumptions but based on the site survey the installation costs can differ. Given the evolution of the Aadhar program into a potential platform for applications that will benefit the society as a whole (reference- Nandan Nilekani’s recent talk at the #NAMA conference where he suggests that it can become an open platform for public goods infrastructure- Aadhar as an identity validation tool for e-commerce), this is an interesting concept to pursue. In this solution, a high-speed wi-max network can be created in the 2. 4GHz or 5GHz spectrum. This might require taking backhaul services from a firm such as Railtel and local basestation/tower rental from BSNL at subsidized rates to offer Internet access to a pangeographic CBSE Education network, combined with other e-Governance service initiatives. In this solution, the local community will be responsible for maintaining the infrastructure, and the access-points will be public hubs (such as library-like space).
National Digital Literacy Program (GoI & IT firms): A number of the large IT & Mobility firms such as Intel, Microsoft, Airtel, and Idea are working together on an informal basis with the Government of India, pooling the insights and efforts from their various individual programs for product and services outreach. The goal behind this collaboration is to come up with a combined and sustainable effort to bring the rest of India online. This requires further research and networking with the other firms. In a preliminary discussion the team at Intel is interested to approach Google to join this initiative.
Hubli- Dharwad online tax payment initiative: According to the latest report (http-// timesofindia. indiatimes. com/city/Hubli/ In-Hubli-Dharwad-not-many-click-to-pay-tax/ articleshow/16583089. cms) by IndiaTimes the local initiative has failed to kick off and earn any significance, the users of the region have opted for manual procedure above easy online solution. According to the author
the main reason is said to be inefficient marketing and awareness campaign that followed the installation. This offers us an opportunity to study closely the behavior of the local community towards the usage of Internet and services that provide solutions to primary problems, we can find out how the e-gov initiative can be utilized in getting the population online which is among the least interested ones when it comes to online presence.
Bicycle Internet Trainers (for villages): In Bangladeshi villages, the ‘Info Ladies Project’, created in 2008 by local development group D. Net (along with other community organizations), enlists local women, trains them on the use of Internet. These women ride on bicycles into remote villages with laptops and Internet connections, helping tens of thousands of people – especially women – get everything from Government services to Skype chats with distant loved ones. These women are recruited from the villages and trained over a period of 3 months to use a computer, the Internet, a printer and a camera. D. Net also arranges bank loans for the women to buy bicycles and equipment. In turn these women charge marginal rates to the local women who use such services. We believe such a model is worth exploring, and intend to connect with NGOs such as D. Net to discuss further.
Concepts Training NGOs-
A number of NGOs such as DreamConnect (dreamadream. org) are already involved with providing training & processes to underprivileged children (aged 14-18 years). We are exploring the possibility of having the chosen localityâ€™s Internet champions trained by such organizations such that they set-up a trainthe-trainer format to carry the program forward until the community becomes Internet savvy.
Volunteer network brand (students)In these four months experimenting in Bangalore and Hubli, there have been numerous occasions where the team has felt the need for additional hands on the ground to support the program and its campaign. Towards this we believe it might be of use to develop a volunteer brand that specifically attracts current students and fresh graduates to assist with the Next Billion Online programâ€™s pan-geographic efforts. The G-INK leaders program, a peer to peer learning program is to be to be rolled out in the schools that the Google â€“ INK Ambassadors engage with. The students will be given targets to meet on fortnightly basis to ensure sustainability.
Partnership ecosystem for specific services Ensuring the success of this vision requires the participation of influential local players to ease aspects such as infrastructure, facilities, training material/support, and to carry forward the program after the team has moved on to another locality. In this regard the team aims to approach some local businesses in the domains of IT/mobility products, ISP & mobile communication retailers to subsidize aspects of Internet access. The concept is to allow for these local businesses to advertise (limited space) within the community computer center
in return for subsidized offers to committed and regular users of this program. Additionally, this concept involves the selection of some dedicated local students/graduates from lesserprivileged sections to be provided complete training from NGOs, while other (larger) business brands (such as FMCGs) can sponsor regular Internet melas/exhibition, that will be completely managed and run by volunteers.
Community CentersPropagate the use of community centers across the various communities we have worked with and create awareness about the benefits of the web and easy access through these centers.
Partnerships Rotary- We are exploring a partnership with the local Rotary club to create community centers in Hubli and conduct classes. The local corporator, Mr. Mahesh Burli has connected us with the president and secretary of the Rotary club in Hubli. Akshay Colony- Identify most active and resourceful women from this community and get them to form a community group where they spend a certain number of hours each week spreading awareness and getting the rest of the colony online. To also encourage women to start small business at home through the Internet. To encourage residents to put up literature in Kannada (poetry, stories, incidents etc), to tell picture stories and upload videos post the event, to show them Skype functionality and test how it may be used by them to reach out to their near and dear ones. Aerobics online- Met a Mrs Shobha, who has done her course in stage performance (acting/theater/direction/lighting), has acted in several hundred plays across Karnataka and a couple of serials on silver screen, left that life behind for her husband and kids and moved to Hubli from Bangalore.
The Deshpande Foundationâ€™s flagship LEAD programme works towards educating and enabling local entrepreneurs. We intend on working with the Deshpande Foundation to get a significant portion of the reporting done by students of their LEAD programme, online. The next step would be to create such a program for LEAD students to generate content and steadily make a continual change in their documentation method as well as getting them to include this as a module structure in their LEAD training. At the moment, we have E-nabling centers- We propose to create a center at Agastya foundation where we provide designed an experiment and have received permission from DF to pursue this in the next 5-6 computers and Internet. We have also phase. identified two other areas, one where the stakeholders are completely invested in the idea and another where infrastructure in terms of space for the center have been offered, however it has not been explored yet. She runs an aerobics center at home and is keen on knowing more about the Internetgoing forward, we are looking at getting her to launch her aerobics classes on the Internetwith pictures, short videos, health tips, write ups etc and maybe even online classes. A lot of excitement and energy is generated through our current contest in Akshay Colony. We have to build on it so that the local communities bring more people online.
NCC- We plan on engaging the NCC and get them to create an online NCC portal where talented cadets can put up writings, videos, pictures of their skills, also looking at it serving as one single space where cadet activities, camps, write ups etc can be a portal of knowledge to others and inspire students.
BvbCet robotics department students had a conversation with an idea to hold a potential hackathon for applications on social innovation. The idea is feasible, however it requires proper conceptualization with the college authorities and students body.
Final Concepts E-nabling Curriculum : why?
A structured and planned curriculum, flexible enough for localized tweaking, is the primary foundation to enable participants to understand the Internet, and fulfil their informational needs.
By creating a curriculum which will enable and expose the masses to the internet and empower them while at the same time track their progress.
Targeting 2 Million adults and children across the partner network, over Q1 2013
Video Stories: why?
To generate localized online content on YouTube, by using the interests and questions of people offline.
The volunteers will take a kit box for creating stories of small businesses and showcase the impact and power of Internet to them.
Pilot phase: 250 students of media studies across equal number of communities. Pilot phase for Fasal members across every district in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka.
1. E-nabling Curriculum Targeting 2 Million adults and children across the partner network, over 2013 This curriculum is targeted at first time users who may have never used a computer itself. We run through the basics of the peripherals of a computer before launching into tasks such as completing a google search, creating an email account and using the internet as a key communication tool. We first tested this curriculum at BBMP Girls School and Jeevan Bheema Nagar school in Bangalore. Based upon the feedback from the students and our own learnings and insights the curriculum has been appended and refined to its current version. The ten day curriculum can be used by anyone whether you are a teacher with a class of 60 students to an independent adult learner. If you are a complete novice our advice is to run through the curriculum in chronological order as each day builds upon the learnings of the last. Each day we run through the teaching methods, provide a basic checklist of the equipment you will need, the learning
objectives for the day, the Doâ€™s and Donâ€™ts from our own learnings and a page to record your insights and feedback. To start with our curriculum aims to be a self evolving system which would eventually help facilitators from different organisations working together on sharing their feedback and insights on these progressive experiments. Volunteers, students and facilitators will form the backbone of this feedback system which will help the partner organisations as well as other interested parties to gain an understanding of the current trends and create their own strategies towards addressing the issues faced by them in attracting their target audience. It would enable our overall goal of bringing together organisations which work on improving internet literacy or might be a IT infrastructure provider who in turn can use these insights to better their approach towards the market and understand the dynamics of a specific ecosystem that they would like to target.
2. Video Stories - INKbox Targeting 250 students across equal number of communities throughout 8 states of India. This program is designed for the purpose of getting videos online through student communities and local businesses to generate online content. It is designed with an aim to find the two USPs of Google and INKtalks together, to get people generate online content through awareness and affordability communicated. It also conveys availability and accessibility through the medium of video content. The program is divided in a 7 stage process.
Step 1: Select Area > 1 day Community where they will take the video/ story from
Step 2 : Select Person/Story > 2 days The relevant person/story for their knowledge and benefit
Step 3 : Curation > 4 days The ideal art of storytelling in a step by step process
Step 4 : Shoot .> 3 days From planning location to shooting and recording the story
Step 5: Upload Approval.> 2 days After an approval from a management representative, they upload video on YouTube
Step 6: Showcase > 1 day They showcase the video in the community for creating awareness about internet, and then in their college for knowledge purpose. Step 7: Utilize > 2 days The volunteer plans and executes simple ways to make the program sustainable in his/her environment as an end activity.
Impact To cover an impact of a nation-wide system, we need to test it as wide as possible We have pointed out 64
partners and by now partnered with more than 35 in just 3 weeks.
This has proven to us that people are believing in the success of this project.
The E-nabling curriculum was promoted on social network website with over
1000 views from
all over the world in just 2 weeks for the online publication. It was a massive response for us. Along with that the easy way to get stories online is being asked for in many communities. We have schools and colleges from all over Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh willing to add the curriculum in their timeline. The success rate of E-nabling curriculum is made by a specially designed rubric. The experiments that we have done till now have had a more than 80% impact on students, which proves that the design is stable. Our partners are helping us find communities, translate projects and get feedbacks from highly educated people all over the world.
We have received funding from the Google (client) to make it more sustainable and viral by the end of 2013. This is a sign of encouragement and achievement.
Probable Improvements The aim to validate a concept. There are many ways the curriculum and the Video content generation experiment can be improved and set off on a larger scale.
1. Translation in various languages will help the scaling on a larger scale.
2. If there can be a way, wherein the curriculum is undertaken by the government of India, Education board as a compulsory part of education for kids of age 13+ the problem of awareness can be solved at a faster rate.
3. Different sustainable plans and their executions by volunteers on different levels.
4. Affordable web application for lower income and less educated groups of people in India.
5. Self-sustainable ecosystem of distribution of the Curriculum and Video-Stories.
6. Free and easy access to wireless Internet on streets and public places.
Timeline Overview Design Process Client brief Data collection
Month June June
Join Google-INK Team
JB nagar start
INK labs Story collection
Redefine problem statement
Prototype production Prototype testing Prototype production Prototype testing
December January February March
"Creatives" Visiting cards Posters
Portfolio success Illustrator Advertising + hand drawn illustration
Posters, certificates Ilustration + advertising Posters, invitation cards, bookmarks, banners advertising + print production
Idea run movie Video guidelines Logo, banners, posters print & web, certficates, signages, collaterals, map, INKlive etc. Animation,speaker presentations, production help, INKtalks etc. Posters (english & kannada), banners, invitation cards, pamphlets, leaflets, certifcates, Jougupalya + Hubli illustrations Report publication Google report Posters, Curriculum certificates, charts Curriculum Publication Video stories System design Video stories Curriculum + Video System stories Curriculum + Video stories System Final Design Management
Communication design skills limits of curiosity Being in a team
Conduction of perfect surveys Concept generation quality in kids how it can be used for information access
film editing in 2 days film editing rules
Backstage production importance Celebrating stories and creating platforms Understanding target audience
Event advertising and collaterals
Responsibility and leadership
Back stage production
Being able to make contacts and gain perspectives from different people of different backgrounds
Multilingual advertising, event advertising, print production
Event planning for awareness and campaign
Advertising Publication design System design planning System design testing
System design 1 Brand outreach Partner Outreach + leadership
Being a Google-INK ambassador Being a communication designer
Retrospection A philosophy that turned into a design strategy and now into the verge of becoming a system. I joined this project with four years of experience in Design education and a very strong motive of completing my Graduation project with two important companies namely Google and INKtalks. There are times when you look up at the sky wondering which is the best way to find an answer. There are millions of ways right? And the best way might just change really fast. Change is this another dimension of world that no one expects to wait, but complains to be too fast. What is change? Change is inevitable, yet unaccepted most of the times. Why does change affect us so much if we are changing right this cry second, and will change more in the next one? It is not change that affects. It is the negativity in change. Change is for hope. Change is a positive theory. So is internet. Change and internet are directly related. They both are positive. The question is, how to link these and make the people believe that change is good. Today I know how to make people believe in change as a better aspect of their life. I take it as a huge achievement. For a designer, I have a skill to change the mindsets of people. My experience with INKtalks has simply taught me to communicate and converse problems till a level where change can be easily achieved. Google has acted as any other corporate and asked for brand values and needs in exchange for the funds they provided for this project. Google-INK Ambassadorâ€™s Network started as a philosophy to improve knowledge and information source in India and now has come to a stage where it is about to become a self-sustaining content generating eco-system. The past nine months have changed my life, so drastically that it changed my philosophies of â€œlifeâ€? atleast twice.
Published on Oct 27, 2014