Gathering Insights with MIF Teams

On Thursday October 17th, recipients of Marico Innovation Foundation’s ‘s 2013 Social Innovation Awards from all over India descended on Bangalore for an action-packed, two-day intensive insight seeking workshop.  As part of a two-year acceleration engagement, the 11 social impact ventures design a “Deep Dive Study” to seek user insight to find innovation levers to scale their impact.  Planning a “Deep Dive Study” requires the teams to identify new geographies, new potential consumers, or new products and immerse themselves into these areas.  This process can be abstract and difficult, and so we brought our teams together to work through these challenges and learn from each other.

As many of our teams have been working in their respective fields for decades, it can be difficult for them to “unlearn” and look upon their problem area with new eyes.  In order to open up and help our teams to see anew, Parvathi Menon, Innovation Alchemy’s Managing Director, led playful activities to get the teams thinking “outside of the box.” We examined common biases and internal limitations that affect the way we view the world, and learned methods to open our mind and allow us to see beyond our pre-established lenses and frames of reference.

We brought in impressive speakers to provide various perspectives on identify, reaching, and gaining insight from consumers.  Our guest speakers included Mr. Gautam John of the Karnataka Learning Partnership who explored the use of mapping to track impact.  The KLP has built an extensive mapping and data gathering dashboard, with innovative information gathering and sorting methods, on primary and pre-primary education in Karnataka.  They are successfully using this data to gain insights from education interventions in the state and hopefully affect the impact of these interventions.

Mr. Karthik Srinivasan, Head of Social Media at Oglivy & Mather gave a fantastic presentation on how to use social media to reach end users, relevant stakeholders, and create a rave following.  As a cost effective and far reaching form of marketing, social media is one of our team’s most powerful tools, and Mr. Srinivasan’s presentation proved extremely relevant for our teams who are strapped for cash yet need their outreach efforts to have maximum impact.

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