College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering
http://cse.umn.edu/

India 2014

Jun 11, 14

This is India

Before this trip, students asked us questions about aspects of India that appeared illogical to them. Often our response boiled down to: "It's India." Over the past three weeks, students began to understand what that phrase meant.

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Jun 7, 14

Winding down our trip

Today marked the final day of the Acara Summer Institute. For our last day of classes, we finally presented our business plan pitches to the group.

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Jun 6, 14

Story-telling

We began our day talking about what we've learned in India. We also heard stories about turning ideas into businesses. Finally, we reflected on how we'll apply what we learned in India to our jobs, education, and future ventures.

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Jun 5, 14

Acara Summer Institute: Day 4

Today was the fourth day of the Acara Summer Institute. It started off with yoga on the roof of a hotel and continued with a visit from a lawyer and presentations from entrepreneurs.

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Jun 4, 14

Social Entrepreneurship : Financing

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Jun 3, 14

Acara Summer Institute: Day 2

After working yesterday to complete a problem statement and value proposition, we learned about how to measure "success" of our venture and apply everything we learned so far into a business model.

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Jun 2, 14

First day of the Acara Summer Institute

After two weeks of field visits, we began the first day of the 2014 Acara Summer Institute at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements.

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Jun 1, 14

The next chapter

Today we had most of the day to rest, reflect, pack up before relocating to our new home at the Green Path Hotel on the other side of the city.

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May 31, 14

Farming in India

Today we learned how farming in India is very different from farming in Minnesota. At a visit to the Navadarshanam sustainable farm, we interacted with local farmers and learned about their lives and farming techniques.

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May 31, 14

Navardarshanam community visit

Today we visited the Navadarshanam farming community, where we learned about the permaculture farming techniques practiced in the area.

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May 30, 14

Walking the market

We visited the Malleshwaram Market in Bangalore, which was filled with tiny shops selling trinkets, ritual items, spices, flowers, fruits, vegetables, clothing, jewelry, and freshly prepared meals.

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May 30, 14

Providing eye care to the poor

We started off the day by visiting the Sankara Eye Hospital, which seeks to eradicate preventable and curable blindness from India, where about 25 percent of the world's blind live.

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May 29, 14

Another day of contrasts

We ate rice and spicy gravies from a banana leaf for lunch, and then visited a Bangalore slum. During an interview with community men and women, we learned about their situation and lack of water resources.

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May 29, 14

Securing water access through rainwater harvesting

This morning we visited a wealthy middle class community in the greater Bangalore area, where the families took it upon themselves to secure their water access through sustainable rainwater harvesting initiatives.

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May 28, 14

Empowering women, changing futures

We visited the Women Technology Park, organized by the Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE), a place of empowerment and dissemination of new eco-friendly practices and technologies that could increase the quality of life for women.

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May 28, 14

Promoting development through technology

Our trip today was to a Women's Technology Park run by non-profit organization Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE). The project displays various technologies, trains local women on how to use them, and gives these women the opportunity to earn an income.

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May 27, 14

The Ugly Indian: Cleaning up Bangalore

We helped a social movement called The Ugly Indian in scrubbing and painting a 300-foot wall and sidewalk in Bangalore.

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May 27, 14

Visit to a government school

We visited a government school today and were able to interact with some great kids while also learning about the Indian education system.

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May 26, 14

The easy day that wasn't

On our way out of green and beautiful Coorg, we stopped at an elephant park, where we saw dozens of elephants bathing, snacking, and lounging amongst tourists. Traveling back to Bangalore, our bus blew two flat tire, giving us an interesting "side trip" in our journey.

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May 25, 14

A slice of Scotland

Today we packed our bags once again and headed for Coorg - or, as many Indians call it, the "Scotland of India."

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May 24, 14

Mysore, a different look at India

Today we travelled roughly 90 miles southwest of Bangalore to the city of Mysore. On the way, we enjoyed a respite from the heat in our air conditioned bus and got our first look at a less urban India through our bus windows.

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May 23, 14

Design thinking solutions

Today, we had a first-hand look at using design thinking for challenges facing low income communities, particularly in the realm of accessing clean energy.

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May 23, 14

Indian slum

We visited Thubrahalli, a slum in eastern Bangalore, where the inhabitants live in tent-like structures made from blue tarp roofs and mud bricks. The experience was very different than we expected.

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May 22, 14

Life as a waste picker

Along our journey today through the garbage cycle in Bangalore, we discovered a family living and working in a waste dump site outside Bangalore city limits. Members of the family told us how they became waste pickers and spoke candidly about their struggles and making a living off others' waste.

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May 22, 14

The value of trash

Today we learned the true meaning of the phrase, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" when we visited a scrap market, where all sorts of waste is sold in bulk to merchants who will turn around and sell the valuable waste to recycling facilities.

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May 21, 14

Learning about biowaste solutions

After our Bangalore scavenger hunt, we visited the Akshaya Patra facility and learned about alternative ways to dispose of food waste.

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May 21, 14

Exploring Bangalore

Today we learned about Bangalore with a presentation at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. We then set out to explore the city for ourselves through a scavenger hunt!

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May 20, 14

It's hot, Hot, HOT!

When people told me that Bangalore would be cooler because of its higher elevation, I probably should have considered that in comparison to the rest of India. "Cooler" in Bangalore is still HOT! Today, we enjoyed delicious (and spicy) food for lunch, learned how saris are made with a loom, and walked through a commercial area of Bangalore.

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May 20, 14

Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens and the Bull Temple

During our first day in India, we went sight-seeing to Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens and the Bull Temple. We visited the famous Glass House and enjoyed seeing different types of bonsais and other flora. We're already being immersed in the local culture and even enjoyed fresh coconuts from a street vendor!

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Apr 25, 14

Design for Sustainable Development: Discovery in India

May 17-June 9, 2014

The world is faced with complex but solvable challenges. To make real change, students and professionals must be prepared to collaborate across academic disciplines, continents and cultures. They must also understand the role of entrepreneurs, non-profits and communities in implementing sustainable solutions.

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