We’re excited to introduce you to Mansi Parikh and Aaron Wong, our volunteer Cross-Pollinators for the End of Life Challenge. They’ll be working with the OpenIDEO team to build connections and facilitate conversations between like-minded people in our global community. In the upcoming weeks, Aaron and Mansi will also be working to strengthen collaborations in the Inspiration and Ideas phases of this challenge.
Aaron Wong is the Owner/ Creative Director of Studio Slate in Philadelphia. He also serves as a Program Advisor for Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership (DSIL). During our recent Exploring Open Innovation Sprint, we recognized Aaron for his insightful contributions to the OpenIDEO community.
Mansi Parikh is no stranger to OpenIDEO. She has been a rockstar community member who has participated in multiple challenges since 2013 — including serving as a Community Mentor during the Healthy Lives Challenge. Mansi is currently an entrepreneur and marketing professional based in Mumbai.
Tell us about a meaningful connection you’ve made on OpenIDEO.
Aaron: I was talking to Arjan Tupan through comments on my Field-Immersions for Open Innovation post, and felt a real connection with someone like-minded but with a totally different perspective than me. It was refreshing and exciting! We were able to expand our conversation to how complex systems in geography, ethnicity, beliefs systems, professional experience, and more affect our perspectives.
Mansi: It's difficult to pick just a single meaningful connection I have made on OpenIDEO. What this platform has provided for me is a connection to a community willing to take on the 'wicked problems' we face today. It's my ambition to launch a think tank that uses design thinking and speculative design to solve the world's biggest problems like financial inequality and illiteracy. Interacting with the OpenIDEO community is a fantastic way to keep in touch with people who are creating impact every day.
In this challenge, why will building connections between community members be important?
Mansi: The topic is something most people find difficult to talk about. Members will be sharing extremely personal experiences. Building connections between members will foster meaningful dialogue and lead to rich insights and more collaborative solutions.
Aaron: The End of Life experience is a delicate matter, and that should be recognized and respected, first and foremost. Everyone will have a different experience with death, and I believe that we need to be authentic, sympathetic, and empathetic towards our community members and their stories in order to find common ground or to build onto each other's ideas.
What's one thing you're hoping to see in this challenge?
Aaron: I hope to see authentic stories about our experiences with the End of a Life and the End of Life phase. I hope that community members will be open and unashamed as we share our experiences.
Mansi: The end of life holds different meanings across cultures. I am hoping to see a dialogue amongst the diverse OpenIDEO community on the cultural implications of the end of life and how that influences our decision making.
Join Mansi, Aaron and the rest of the OpenIDEO community in the End of Life Challenge.