Global Partnerships

The UIF Regional Meetup at Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology (VVIT), held January 30-February 2, 2020, brought together Fellows from around the country for three days of design challenges, activities and speakers.

By the VVIT UIF team

What do you get when you bring together 60 Fellows from across India for three days of design challenges and activities? The UIF Regional Meetup at VVIT! 

After a short evening of registration and introductory activities, the first full day started with an inauguration session presided by M. Sree Krishna (Joint Secretary Academics), Y. Mallikarjuna Reddy (Principal), K. Giri Babu (Principal in charge) and Ghanashyam Shankar (UIF India program manager). A lamp lighting ceremony also followed. 

The sessions started off with an activity called Imagination Station to bring out the creativity of the Fellows. They drew figures according to the instructions given by the facilitator, discovering a unique pattern of drawings from everyone even when the instructions and the facilitator were the same. This activity was followed by ignites from Fellows Anukruthi Atluri from VR Siddhartha Engineering College and Sai Kumar Natukla from VCIT. The next session, Strength of Strings, helped the participants become aware of various leadership qualities, where the facilitator used Marvel superheroes to explain personalities of leadership. 

The afternoon session started with speakers: Sri Venkat S. Medapati from APNRT (Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugu Society) discussed career, job and cultural perspectives around living abroad compared to India; and Abhay Rangan from Goodmylk spoke about his startup and cleared doubts for attendees regarding the market, customer segmentation, financial support, and more. 

After the speakers, the participants went outside! They took part in a prototyping exercise called Learning in the Lawn. Here’s how it went:

  1. The participants were divided into groups, and each was asked to use prototyping materials to make the tallest tower in the given time. This first step was designed to help the participants understand how communication and effective teamwork are important for development.
  2. They were asked to make the tallest towers again, but this time, each participant could use only one hand. This helped them understand how to face problems in an organization when one of the major resources are cut down.
  3. In the third iteration, teams had to make the longest paper chains with one hand in a fixed time, and they received materials based on their performance in the second iteration. This helped them learn how to face a different problem/situation with the availability of limited resources.
  4. In the final iteration, teams were asked to make paper chains, but they could talk and could use only one hand. This is a situation where they were asked to deal with problems in an organization with very limited resources. 

After a share-out and feedback session, and dinner, the participants got some rest to prepare for the second full day. 

On day two, the morning session was dedicated to a design challenge where everyone worked in teams and came up with solutions for the problem statements they chose, from redesigning education to enhancing Design Thinking practices on campus. After lunch, the Fellows visited Efftronics, a Smart City Solutions provider, where the attendees were given demos on practical applications along with a session on the Internet of Things as related to Design Thinking. After returning to the campus, they continued their tradition of share-outs, feedback and food. 

The final day started with the Inspirational Walk, an activity that takes individuals outside to observe nature guided by a personal audio experience. This was followed with a talk by Shailesh Krishna from ITC on developing partnerships in the workplace, and a talk on leadership by Karayil Suresh Babu from the Training and Placement Department at VVIT. Panel discussions took place after this session: one related to academics and jobs, and the other related to startups. The afternoon session started with ignites from two participating Fellows, followed by the change story of VVIT Fellows. M. Sree Krishna (Joint Secretary Academics) and K. Giri Babu (Principal in charge) concluded the event, and the group celebrated with a photo.

It was a weekend of learning and celebration of the UIF community!

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