We were up early. We had to be at the university, ready to start the meeting for 9:30. We ate and packed and then headed over. It was VERY COLD outside.
Then we were at a Laurentian building that has Ministry offices, business offices and some conference space. Talk about blending of fields! We carted all our stuff up and set up again.
On day three (read here about day two) we spoke more broadly about how the different pieces worked together.
Brianna Smrke has been working with the simulation team at SiG@Waterloo. She blogged about our Sudbury simulation intensive at downwithvowels. We’re reposting her first-person accounts of those sessions. (Read Sudbury Day 1).
I realized (probably because people were telling me directly) that this is the first time anyone’s tried a social innovation lab with simulations. We’re trying to mash together technology and people to be able to tell the story of this system and this problem; but to do so in a way that allows others to poke around with the ideas we come up with.
Shibani and Piyuli
Today, as I walked off of my plane and into the Delhi airport, Prashant was waiting for me. If you remember, about a month ago he was the same person who welcomed me to India. He works for the airport hotel. Now that I think of it, I probably didn’t mention his name on the blog. He just happened to be on shift again when I was arriving. A nice little coincidence.
It was a bit like groundhog day; as if the whole month hadn’t happened. I made the same mistakes trying to get through security and into the hotel. My room looks the same. And yet, of course, so many things are different.
For a change, you won’t hear from me today. You’ll hear from someone else. I was the note taker again at the last session of the workshop and Vijay Bhai, the executive director of the Sri Aurobindo ashram gave us this wonderful closing address. Please picture a vibrant man in his sixties (?), wearing all white, radiating wisdom and gentleness.
Public Garden in Pondi
Today, I wrote seven thousand words. I saw an elephant but did not have my camera. I laughed loudly in a “silent zone” (I didn’t know it at the time!).
I was the note taker for the workshop. We were in the same space as the first workshop, but Pradeep had all the tables and chairs removed. We sat on the floor: professors, on-the-ground implementers, runners of entreprise incubators and the Canadian girl taking notes.
“Boy, was she typing fast.” You say. “Exactly. It’s like you were there!” I say.
The “Indian” table
Today Pradeep woke me up to go and see the sunrise. “How the tables have turned!” I mumbled as I opened up the door to see his mischievous expression. “I’m not even really awake right now,” he told me. “I’m just running on willpower!”
We went for a walk with Kabir and Preeti, the team of architects who run Buildings as Learning Aids (I think I talked about them before). Pradeep was trying to convince them to stay on for his workshop on the rural schools project. He gave them and me a puzzle to ponder.
Sea and Sky
I was up at 5:30AM, sat on the rocks and watched fishing boats glide purposefully by as the sun rose. I had gotten up earlier than the sunrise. I got up earlier than Pradeep, as well, who had been up late again doing this thing people call “work” (I wouldn’t know very much about it).
Today the “meat” of the conference was tossed in our faces. A lot of us didn’t know what hit us. We had a talk from Steven from OECD and Clair from HP about how we can integrate evaluation into our daily practice as leaders of innovative projects.
Rocky beach. That’s a Gandhi statue in the distance.
I woke up at 6AM. I had promised to wake Pradeep up so we could go for a walk as the sun rose. We had been up late the night before preparing for a presentation he was slated to give the next day. I was his spell check and prodder (someone had to keep him awake, after all). When he opened the door, begrudgingly, I could tell he had stayed up even after I left.
Today, I had tea in Bhopal, breakfast in Mumbai, lunch in the air and coffee 20 km from Pondicherry (whose name is now Puducherry).