This week I find myself in Bangalore lending a hand in the flurry of activity leading up to the DREAM:IN Journey. Challenging the notion that future thinking should be informed by people’s needs – the DREAM:IN initiative seeks to explore what Indians are dreaming about. It intends to create a dynamic database of dreams gathered in cities, towns and villages across the country. These will be categorised, analysed and shared with business leaders, educators, social entrepreneurs, policymakers and designers to devise transformative and inclusive future scenarios. DREAM:IN intends to collide the dreams of a diverse India with the thoughts and actions of leaders across a range of sectors.
101 student dreamcatchers have been selected from over 20 Indian institutes of management, design, communication and film. Next week they will be dispatched in groups across 11 itineraries which traverse rural and urban India. Along the way they will be questioning locals about their dreams and aspirations – for family, work, recreation, products and services – and capturing these on video. They are expecting to collect thousands of dreams from across the country. Before heading off they will receive training from a team with various backgrounds including ethnography (I’m pitching in there), education, advertising and cinematography from across India plus Brazil, Italy and the US. This group features professionals from Nokia, Ogilvy & Mather and Parsons the New School for Design. The findings will be returned to the DREAM:IN headquarters in Bangalore to be collated and categorised.
In February the DREAM:IN Conclave is a summit which will bring together a selection of students, educators, policymakers, social entrepreneurs and professionals from sectors such as finance, IT, retail, telecommunications and energy. Participants include powerhouse retail entrepreneur, Kishore Biyani and Fast Company’s Bruce Nussbaum. Findings from the Dream Journey will be shared through a series of workshops. These will be used to inform future scenarios via a rigorous design-thinking methodology – with the view to devising concrete projects to effect fresh thinking around delivering products and services at scale.
From February onwards an open portal will be launched which allows users to upload and categorise dreams by sector – adding to those collected on the Dream Journey. These will be supplemented by scenario building tools to assist professionals to translate the dream database into insights which can inform their future strategies. Drawing on the larger canvas of dreams over needs is expected to fuel enhanced creative thinking.
So with dreamcatchers arriving tomorrow we’re hard at work finalising itineraries, naming teams, refining methodologies and editing presentations. Ironically – there’s little time for sleep – let alone to dream.
One Billion and Counting
DREAM:IN – Hunt to Harvest, II