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Co-creating well-being

Empowering students, parents, and teachers to inculcate habits in students' lives that lead to well-being

Photo of Siddharth Daswani
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Student

Tell us about your idea

Today we live in a fast-moving world focused on results. In our pursuit of results and success, there have been signs that we are neglecting our physical and mental wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic has further strained our physical and mental wellbeing, having a greater toll on the latter. This can be attributed to the sudden change in our lifestyle and the uncertainty about the future. In these testing times, one challenge that nearly all young parents are facing is the sudden halt in the academic year. While some colleges and schools have found workarounds, the majority of the educational system has been stopped in its tracks. The effects are more pronounced in developing countries such as India because of the skewed teacher-student ratio and the lack of digital infrastructure to support online learning 

Our Idea is focused on aiding Teach For India (TFI). TFI is a non-profit organisation that educates students from less fortunate backgrounds(Eg. Govt. schools) and provides them with a platform to grow. The students that are a part of TFI not only face a sub-par educational system, they are also part of a less than ideal community, with alcohol, domestic abuse, drugs and divorce being a part of their lives. We thus see a need to focus on creating an intervention that can aid in building a more positive community and support system around the children. Inspired by the MOOC by Dr Laurie Santos of Yale University, we have created a “Wellbeing toolkit”, that allows for increasing happiness and inculcating positive habits into one’s life outside of academics.

The core of the idea

The idea is to empower students, teachers, and parents to practice personal well-being, through a co-creative approach. 

What practices should we follow for personal well-being?

We have chosen the following practices for personal well-being.

Savouring, Gratitude, Kindness, Exercise, Connection, Meditation, Sleep, Goals 

Why these Practices? 

These practices are part of the course science of well-being offered by Dr.Laurie Santos and have a strong academic background to them and are founded in rigorous research in the field of psychology and academia. 

How to enable these practices?

Parents, teachers, and students co-create ways to practice well-being through the use of a toolkit. 

An example outcome of the toolkit that we have presented is a gratitude box. Details of the process that led to the creation of the activity can be found in our visuals.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

We wish to leave behind two things: 1. The traditional practices of teaching which includes only academic learnings and focuses on academic accomplishment. 2. The mindset that only teachers are capable of teaching. We wish to leave behind both aspects because we believe that overall well-being cannot be achieved only through academic teaching. We also believe that learning takes place even beyond the classroom where teachers need not be present.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

We are four Mechanical engineers turned designers who are currently doing their Masters in Strategic Design at the TU Delft, Netherlands. We have an interest in tackling societal challenges. In the past two months, the world has come together to battle COVID-19, in their own way. From manufacturers shifting to producing ventilators to hotels being converted into hospitals. We see the IDEO challenge as our calling to be a part of this global movement. In addition, TFI holds a special place for one of our teammates' hearts as his friend is a member of TFI who is currently facing the challenge of teaching less fortunate children during these tough times. We hope our idea can be one of the many silver linings during these uncertain times.

What region are you located in?

  • Europe

Where are you located?

We are currently located in Delft, Netherlands.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Naman Mandhan

Thank you for such a wonderful contribution to you and your team, Siddharth Daswani ! I appreciate that your idea focuses on the well-being of communities, and draws inspiration from the amazing work of Dr. Santos.

I'm curious to hear any additional toolkits that your team has dreamt up in addition to the Gratitude Box? Also, have you had the opportunity to test this idea with any users to get their feedback? If yes, what has some of the feedback been?

Photo of Dheebak O B

Thank you for your comments Naman Mandhan .

To answer your question,
Yes, we had generated a lot of ideas for each well-being practice.
But here we have presented the gratitude box merely as an idea of what could come out of the co-creating wellbeing tool kit. We envision our tool kit to be used by the students, communities, and teachers to come up with ideas themselves in a way that ensures they would be practicing those ideas as well.

As to how they would be using the tool kit is yet to be worked on and as for testing we haven’t done any tests in co-creation manner yet but they will begin when the schools reopen after the summer break ends back in India.

That being said, we have been in talks with the teacher about the idea about implementation intentions and when and where they could implement the co-creating well-being toolkit and how can these co-creation sessions take place.