Thuru is launching a superior seed pod with the technology from SLINTEC to accelerate reforestation.
- problem-solving needs to be unimaginably quick
- The first instinct in the case of a bright idea, should be to express, discuss and thus improve it as opposed to isolating it and keeping it to oneself
- most systems, especially in Sri Lanka overlook the element of diversity
- The greatest takeaway from the event was the simple lesson of how strength exists in unity and how innovation is not achieved alone
Finding solutions for the Earth’s destruction is a responsibility that has been thrust upon all its dwellers -not just upon the ‘experts’. Taking this fact into account, the Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL) launched ‘Green Conversations’ in 2018 -an initiative to create a space for environmentalists, the general public and organizations to discuss, debate and advocate on behalf of Mother Nature. Having blossomed through this project, Thuru and EFL united to introduce design thinking and prototyping as the newest instalment in a series dedicated to combat deforestation. Thuru is a fast- growing volunteer organization which introduces new technologies to accelerate re-afforestation. The workshop was conducted by its Co-founder Heminda Jayaweera and the team at EFL at Hatch on the 1st of June 2019.
In a world where problems continually evolve and multiply, problem-solving needs to be unimaginably quick. How do we do this?
From the wise learners at the Alexandrian library, and the greats of the Renaissance era to today’s success stories from universities like Harvard and Stanford, Jayaweera described the power of conversation and how it rattled the world. The first instinct in the case of a bright idea, should be to express, discuss and thus improve it as opposed to isolating it and keeping it to oneself. He presented idea-collision and communication as the bridge between a thought and an innovation. This ‘think-tank’ like atmosphere was then recreated at the workshop using participants of varying work backgrounds, interests and expertise.
Jayaweera described how most systems, especially in Sri Lanka overlook the element of diversity. We have software engineers at software companies, lawyers at legal firms and financial experts at finance companies solving problems in their relevant areas of expertise, leaving the bigger problems unanswered. He referred to leading companies like Google and Facebook where success involves diverse groups of people brainstorming together. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of this strategy, the participants were grouped into random mixtures which included lawyers, environmentalists, economists, architects, air-force officers, marketing representatives, software engineers and others. Each team was to then select the craziest and the easiest ideas from a pool of individual contributions- all within a matter of minutes.
He presented idea-collision and communication as the bridge between a thought and an innovation
“Think crazy. Don’t mind implementation,” Heminda instructed. Quick thinking and rapid prototyping were witnessed in real time as teams worked together animatedly. Ideas like combining drones and satellite technology to monitor and extinguish wildfires, developing winged devices to facilitate mass-scale seed germination and vertical, sustainable housing schemes were bounced around. As instructed, the propositions were theatrical, loud and imaginative.
However as each team presented its prototypes, the diversely opinionated audience made their remarks discussing logistical, legal, economic, technological and other aspects. Thus ‘the craziest’ ideas started to become more practical, realistic and possible. The chosen idea from the workshop was to be further evaluated through EFL’s expertise on the subject and Thuru developing the technology to implement the solution.
The greatest takeaway from the event was the simple lesson of how strength exists in unity and how innovation is not achieved alone. From solutions for local crises to facing grand global challenges, it was made clear that the conservation of the planet was all our weight to bear. .
Creative solutions for deforestation were proposed in minutes
Diverse minds from diverse fields working on solutions together
Heminda Jayaweera, Co-founder of Thuru conducting the workshop
Participants testing out design thinking and prototyping