My week has been peppered with conversations on the use of scenario building as a method of design thinking. This took me back to fond memories of working alongside my inspirational colleague MP Ranjan at the National institute of Design in India who has been pushing the barrow of design thinking and its extensive applications from way before it became a hot topic.

Energetic in mind and manner, Ranjan has been evolving his invigorating, provocative and immensely popular Design Concepts & Concerns course for close to three decades now. A cornerstone of the programme is his learning from the field model which is kicked off by investigating local micro-enterprises.

As design extends its focus from product innovation to social innovation (including significant expansion into service design) one hopes that design schools are exposing students to relevant skills and contexts. And as Ranjan has clearly demonstrated – those contexts can be as close as the nearest street corner.

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