As I listen to talks from Prof. Scott Sherman here at StartingBloc, my belief in his ideas becomes more stronger every day. Prof. Sherman has done extensive research on Transformative Action to understand whats the key to successful social change and is currently testing his work around the world. When I wrote a post on Design Thinking for Social Innovation, I mentioned that the first rule in the process of social innovation is idea generation. So how do people generate ideas? Can a team or group follow a process to do that? Being very receptive to common observations in the real world and thinking about the problems we face on a daily basis, is one easy way. Field visits and interviews with people facing problems also helps in creating ideas. But what is most critical in the process of idea generation is, being open to ideas?

Think about a team experience you have had! When we work on projects in teams, we do a lot of brainstorming but what makes a brainstorming exercise extremely effective? Yes. It is the idea of not judging anyone! At this conference which I am attending, we were asked to do an exercise in teams of two where one person would say something and the other person would agree, add to that and then both of them should keep repeating this. This proved to a great idea building process for a lot of us.

My point is that we should always be extremely open to ideas, comments and views from others. This is particularly relevant to us as Acara teams are inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary, which means that we come from different backgrounds and have different strengths and weaknesses.

Some of the greatest ideas in the world were badly criticized when they were first proposed. Had those people turned back, our world would be so different!