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Creative Wandering - A pathway to Design Thinking, Creative Confidence, Systems Thinking and beyond for Youngsters.

This IDEA is for youngsters. It's a long-term potential solution to "Imagine a future in which our youngsters will be adept at engaging emergent Chaos & Complexity with grit and ease. A future in which they emerge as NextGen Empathetic and Insightful - Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Conscious Business Leaders and Professionals in chosen fields of their calling." Once the requisite thinking frameworks suggested in the attached PDF have been embodied by our Youngsters, the challenge of: “How might we build better employment opportunities and pathways for young people around the world? “. Will be in the hands of gritty, empathetic, insightful emergent leaders who will co-create a tomorrow that we wish were here today!. -Problem solved!.

Photo of Rajendra Bendre
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Please download the attached pdf for details.

The thinking frameworks such as Design Thinking, Systems Thinking, Entrepreneurial Thinking, Leadership Thinking, Polarity Thinking, Agile Thinking, Lean Thinking and Creative Confidence methods have been used very successfully  in specific situations depending on the context and scale of the problem on hand.

MIT’s Peter Senge had said some time back that Youngsters have the innate ability to understand interdependencies and change, they have the innate ability to be in a state of awareness of the unfolding of things. They also have the innate ability to sense how systems around them function. However there is not much being done to cultivate these abilities in later life

The endeavour here would be cultivate and nurture these abilities from a young age until the youth are ready to step out of school or college.

Several schools have successfully integrated Design Thinking, Systems Thinking and other frameworks in their curriculum. However what is being proposed here is the "Creative Wandering" framework which will help Youngsters to pick and choose and mix and match from these well proven framworks and the evolving space of "Creative Wandering" can transcend and include new frameworks of thinking as and when they make their appearance in our world.

By making youngsters experientially aware of Grit, Empathy, Insight and Emergence while the Thinking frameworks are being introduced to them youngsters will be able to pursue these methods with the required Grit. The experiential learning of empathy will help them build sustainable systems, products and personal lives. The experiential learning of drawing insights in the continuous process of life will enable them to innovate both in Industry as well as their personal lives. The experiential learning of engaging emergence will prepare them to joyfully deal with chaos, complexity and un-certainity.

Like I have said somewhere:
Grit, Empathy, Insight and Emergence ( GEn IE) will be the key pillars on which I envision these workshops to unfold. Truly a GEnIE at our disposal for life!

The reason why it will succeed is:
Once the requisite thinking frameworks suggested in the attached PDF have been embodied by our Youngsters, the challenge of:

“How might we build better employment opportunities and pathways for young people around the world? “.

Will be in the hands of gritty, empathetic, insightful emergent leaders who will co-create a tomorrow that we wish were here today!. - Problem solved!.[Period]

The questions I have for the community are:
Traditionally we would jump right in, to find quick fixes to this openIDEO challenge by coming up with as many solutions as possible in a very short time.

Can we go down that path without thinking about the un-intended consequences?. Especially if the problem is complex. (Please see backup slides in my detailed PDF for a good example)

Also haven’t we reached where we are today precisely by using traditional methods?

Do we want to prove Albert Einstein wrong when he said -  "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.“ ??

So another question would be:
Can we take a long term approach to get this right by giving adequate thought to existing and new Thinking frameworks that are being very successfully used in specific situations depending on the context and scale of the problem on hand. Paying attention to un-intended consequences on our way…???

One last question is  "Can we Together  co-create this possibility for tomorrow, today!."???

PS: Please read through the attached PDF (presentation) for details on "Creative Wandering - A Pathway to Design Thinking, Creative Confidence, Systems Thinking and beyond for Youngsters"

Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

This idea can benefit Youngsters between the age of 10 to 24. However most of the benefit will accrue if the Youngsters undergo these experiential workshops in a sustained manner from age 10 to age 24, each year undergoing the experiential workshops on frameworks that are presently mentioned and others as they make their appearance on the world arena and choose to drive the experiences themselves based on their own needs. However these age groups need not be cast in stone since the experiential learning can be tuned to the requirements of all age groups from Kindergarten to College and then of course once you understand it's value make it a life long learning experience since we all know how dynamic life is and we need to constantly deal with it's uncertainty, complexity and chaos joyfully!.

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

Please read the attached PDF to understand how this idea increases access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people. However this IDEA does not propose any quick-fixes. By taking a long term approach to get this right by giving adequate thought to existing and new Thinking frameworks that are being very successfully used in specific situations depending on the context and scale of the problem on hand. Paying attention to un-intended consequences on our way we can seed an emergent future in which our youngsters will have increased access to employment opportunities and pathways. Imagine what can happen if Youngsters become experientially aware that : 1) Human systems are messy, they frequently need focus and alignment. 2) To understand the complexity, they need to discover the underlying rhythm, the order by which things repeat themselves. This is where we can look at a ‘sutra’ from an ancient Sanskrit text: “Jnanam bandaha”, is the second sutra in the Siva Sutras and means roughly, knowledge is bondage. Later in the text, we are also told that knowledge alone liberates. It is a delicious paradox for contemplation.   The reason I quote this here is that we can end up in bondage if we were to rely on our knowledge of one framework or one model for all kinds of scenarios. But the knowledge of developing the ability to hold multiple perspectives and being able to hold contradictions in the same space can be really liberating. Hence “Creative Wandering!”   Next-Gen youngsters increasingly need to deal with many disciplines and worldviews to consider and consult in addressing issues. They also need to deal with an abundance of perspectives. But without a way of linking, leveraging, correlating, and aligning these perspectives, the youngster’s contribution to the problems faced are largely lost or compromised.   The next-gen Youngster must realize that every word and every language is a model. All maps and statistics, books and databases, equations and computer programs are models. So are the ways in which they picture the world in their heads — their mental models. None of these is or ever will be the real world.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Please take a look at the attached PDF. Also please take a look at the YouTube URL's of the first pilot experiment that was done and another pilot that is scheduled from next month. In this second pilot I want to bring Entrepreneurial Thinking and Integrate this with Design Thinking, Creative Confidence and Systems Thinking. However the format of the workshop allows for the dynamic needs of the school children as well and that is something which will change this academic year's focus to the experiential learning first and then name things than what we did last academic year by naming things first, understanding the concepts and then do the experiential challenges. The engagement of students was very high last time around but we need to see if that can be heightened as well. If anyone in the community has any thoughts please share.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

As a openIDEO community it would help immensely if those of you who are passionate and have this ability to engage with youngsters could conduct a skype session during my workshop/s in a topic that is mentioned in the attached PDF to build momentum and confidence in the community that includes the Students, School, Parents, Teachers, Principals etc. I am working on taking this pilot to another school and that would mean I would need some speaker's who can hold those sessions over skype. I would need the community's help for the following 1) To make this scalable and sustainable 2) Develop a business model to make this self sustaining. 3) Make this accessible using the present day technologies 4) Start a conscious business around this IDEA. 5) May be get access to the resources of the CGI University to jump start this 6) Help from IDEO in branding and fine tuning and perhaps some participation 7) Participation from those connected with Universities where these thinking frameworks are continuously researched and implemented in the real world. 8) Help in forming a strong advisory board 9) Anyone who is ready to help me in implementing this IDEA elsewhere. 10) Financial Support/Funding

The idea emerged from:

  • An individual

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • Keen to prototype it, find partners and pursue implementation

Attachments (1)

Creative Wandering - for openIDEO CGI Aug 23 2014 v1.0.pdf

Creative Wandering - A Pathway to Design Thinking, Creative Confidence, Systems Thinking and beyond for Youngsters. This contains the IDEA in detail with openIDEO meetup url's etc,


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sergio Marrero

I love the systemic thinking... close to my heart. Check this out: Not exactly the same, but is a game for the classroom that lets a team of students approach systemic challenges.

Photo of Rajendra Bendre

Dear Sergio, Many thanks for that link! I simply loved it. I liked the humility, wit and wisdom!. Thanks again.

Would like to read your idea and others in the next few days. Will be in touch with you soon.

Photo of Katie B.

Sergio Marrero I loved that video. The Global Knowledge Initiative (another group who holds a special places in our hearts for systems thinking) came up with an idea around gamification and systemic challenges. If you get a chance to check it out, please let us know your thoughts!

Photo of Rajendra Bendre

Another update from Mumbai, India:

Here's what we've been doing this academic year 2014-15 for the children at Nalanda Public school during this second pilot:

We had Dr. Soren Peterson, a Stanford Alumni and President Ingomar and Ingomar consulting, LA engaging children for 2 hours in a Design Thinking topic "Creative/Inuitive Biases - What doesn't fool you makes you smarter"! and Mr. Nikhil Tipnis a young, charismatic and very successful entrepreneur in Mumbai engaging the children in Entrepreneurial Thinking.

Please take a look at the youtube videos and post your comments if you are still coming back to this challenge :


Creative Wandering is a great concept for young minds to come out with innovative and creative ideas. Kudos to Mr. Bendre for taking initiative in this direction and helping my students (Sandur Polytechnic) who are highly appreciative and enjoying every bit of it. Mr. Bendre has been associated with Sanpoly (Sandur Polytechnic) for quite some time and has been actively involved in programs on communication skills and personality development. Creative Wandering will help our students think about new ideas and freely communicate it to peer group and staff members. This program will also make students understand their entrepreneurship capabilities. I wish Mr. Bendre all the success in this initiative to help young minds become entrepreneurs!!!

Photo of Rajendra Bendre

These words are very encouraging and should pave the way for the second pilot which I am sure all of us are eagerly looking forward to!.

I would encourage the openIDEO community to take a look at Sandur Polytechnic's humble beginnings and wonderful achievements at the following URL:

I would love to get openIDEO's community support in exposing these bright youngsters to experts around the world. Thus helping build the creative confidence in these youngsters and help ignite the entrepreneurial spark in them as well.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Wow – lots of great work here, Rajendra and the OpenIDEO Mumbai Meetup crew! (will you be adding more OpenIDEO Mumbai Meetup people to your OpenIDEO Team?) Sounds like you've been putting in loads of great effort. Do you have specific thoughts about the kinds of tools and tactics you might use with older children who are closer to working age – to help them link to employment opportunities and pathways? Have you had any early success stories of older youth entering the work force in more confident ways due to participating in your workshops? We're excited to learn more and wish you the best in your onwards development of the program...

Photo of Meena Kadri

And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can dig who they're collaborating with here. Think skills, experience, passions & wit!

Photo of Rajendra Bendre

Dear Meena,

Thanks for your response.

If you see my write up you would have noticed that it is more of a long term solution meant to seed the emergence of youngster who will build better employment opportunities of the future and will lay the pathways that lead to the opportunities that they create.

I will be happy to work with older youth however since I work here in India as a Systems Engineering & Architecture professional/IT Infra Arch I get to work on this Idea on weekends and to scale up as well as build well I would need some help from folks who are already doing good work using the frameworks that I have mentioned in my presentation PDF. Another reason to start at an early stage in school was because I find that the structures that kind of seem to get a little rigid as we grow are not very much there when you start young and I think it might be good to start early on. However I am already in talks with a Polytechnic in the south and if things go well will get a good opportunity to work with older youth.

It's Monday morning rush to get to work so will update the openIDEO profile as soon as I get a chance.

More comments and suggestions welcome. It's great to see all these wonderful ideas pouring in!.


Photo of Rehmah Kasule

Dear Rajendra,
This is a great initiative, we always use systems thinking in our projects, but we have never used creative wondering. It will be great to learn more about it. And yes, it will be great to collaborate so that you implement parts of our project in India.

On another, it will be good if you incorporate parts of the PDF you are referring to in your main write up. It is not easy for one reading to keep opening and referring to the document.

Photo of Rajendra Bendre

Dear Rehmah,
Thanks for your kind response. Would be great to collaborate. Any experiential ways of igniting that entrepreneurial spark in youngsters will certainly be a long way in being on a meaningful path. Also the systems that hold an ecosystem that is capable of nurturing this entrepreneurial adventure will need to be thought out well bearing in mind that at the end of the rainbow they also need to have a healthy planet.

The PDF contains the details, diagrams and pictures of events and was meant to be the main document that you would read through in a sitting or more. The reason I have mentioned the PDF several times in the write up is to make sure that is the one you end up reading eventually!.

Looking forward to hearing more!.

Thanks much.

Photo of Rajendra Bendre

I sincerely thank the Principal Mrs Nandita Khanna of Nalanda Public School, Mr. Aleem Ahmed Principal of Sandur Polytechnic and Dr. Bharat Bhushan Sharma Principal of VG Vaze College in Mumbai for their kind co-operation and encouragement and of course participation from the students at these esteemed institutions!

I also sincerely thank Brett Thomas at Conscious Business Coalition and his team of brilliant coaches for their constant encouragement.

My sincere thanks to the STIA+NOW community for allowing me to host an openspace event on the internet on "Creative Wandering" on the 21st of August. I will update here on the openIDEO forum when the recording is made available.

I also sincerely thank Gene Bellinger for allowing me to use the diagram and text in my presentation (attached as a PDF here) from their digital book beyond connecting the dots.