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Harnessing Creative Play

Here's a couple of images I've captured in slums in India (Mumbai + Ahmedabad) which show children being inventive with what ever is available. Can a platform be designed which encourages, builds upon and rewards this kind of creativity – possibly with a focus on recycling/sustainabilty?

Photo of Meena Kadri
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Themed competitions? Maker Faire-type thing for older kids? Might lead to fun entries like this (from AfricaGadget site) Would this empower children who have practical skills to share them with other kids? Or to take it further... could winning contestants/makers collaborate with teachers to create engaging weekly classes which shared their skills?

This notion of empowering then leveraging the skills of the empowered builds community strength, spreads skills and encourages participation. It touches on some of the P2P discussion elsewhere on this Challenge. Is lots of fancy equipment required (products) to achieve this or is it more a case of designing a platform? Could we learn something from the digital realm (eg. Foursquare badge rewards, Facebook 'likes', OpenIDEO Build-Upon feature) and come up with analogue equivalents to cross-pollinate ideas and encourage interaction?

Just a few thoughts which I'm hoping others can take in various directions...


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Photo of Mayowa Olatoye

Children naturally explore the world around them. In fact, I'm convinced children are generally more attentive than adults, which paradoxically explains why they are also more restless than we are; they notice every physical sensation, new colour, smell, etc.

We need to start education children from THEIR point of view, and not from ours.

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