blog post

Question 1.) List five take-aways from Guy Kawasaki’s talk and explain exactly how you will integrate that concept/construct/strategy into your project. Make it compelling. Don’t write generic forgettable text.

  1. One of the most interesting take-aways from the talk that I feel is applicable to our group is to polarize people. I think it is great that we are trying to make our information easily accessible and desired by everyone, and by doing this we are making it as easily understandable as possible. This might not be the best option though. If we were to take the advice, we would section off our target audience to be more specific, and not aimed at the general public or for NGOS OR corporations, but perhaps a specific type of corporation, and do separate investigations and analyses. As of now, we plan to interview different types of companies and NGOs and find the common threads to make useful standards for all of them. Instead of this, we can simply complete our separate interviews and make conclusions produced for each segmented area.
  2. Another very valuable take-away was the 10/20/30 rule. This rule said that presentations built for selling your project or service should be confined to 10 slides, 20 minutes, and a minimum of 30 point font. This could be extremely beneficial to apply to our second presentation in front of the panel, especially because we already have a limit of 20 minutes (including questions). The biggest change would be to the amount of slides that we have in our powerpoint, but by limiting it to 10, we will be forced to be more concise and persuasive with our argument.
  3. Another takeaway that our group will benefit from is to “not let the bozos burn us down”. This is going to serve us very well because we are in the beginning stages of our project but as we go further along and try to expand the audience that we are targeting and the people we are sharing our knowledge with, we will get more critics and more people doubting us. Through all of this, it will be important to remember what we are working on and the impact it will have on people, and to continue in the face of adversity.
  4. Another important takeaway, especially for our group is to just get going. For a significant portion of the semester we were simply conducting research on India and doing research on things that are already well documented that relate to our project in anticipation of what we are to see while there. I think it is important to not fear the unknown ahead of us, and get going with our project.
  5. The last valuable takeaway I want applied to our project, is to find a few soulmates. This was meant to say that you should have a core team with everyone holding a very specific role that cannot be replaced. This is what our team currently has. Each of us is from a different academic background which has proven to be very useful in the tasks we carry out, since we can easily do the one that suits our skills the best.

Question 2.) In partnership with one or at most two team members, present a business model canvas for your venture.

  • Who will you help, key partners: We plan on helping corporations and NGOs in Mumbai by providing them with clear information on how to effectively operate their CSR partnerships. Our key partners include Professor Deo, some of the connections she has already established, and the businesses we will interview.
  • How do you do it? : We plan on doing this by creating a rubric that our recipients would be able to judge their relationships off of and hopefully improve them. In addition to this, we plan on creating a documentary series where we have several small videos with relevant topics surrounding the issue. The documentary’s goal will be to inform, whereas the rubric is more persuasive in getting corporations and NGOs to follow some of the best practices that we compile in the rubric.
  • What do you need? Key resources: We need access to databases that show us the information about companies that we are looking for ( financial statements, where there money goes, etc.) . We have found a significant portion of this information in the database we had a week long trial. We also need information about the work that has been done before us so we can add to it and not overlap, essentially wasting our time.
  • Who do your help? Audience segments: We intend to help the Indian people by increasing the effective CSR that takes place there. There are some partnerships that are working and are executed well, but there are also a lot that simply donate money or avoid the law altogether, and our hope is that with the success of our project we can increase the quantity and quality of the CSR work completed there.

 

blog post

  1. List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate.
  1. We are assuming that the nonprofits the companies engage with will have some benefit to them, even if they are not in the same field, and this validation can make our project very interesting for years to come.
  2. Another assumption about our target customers is that the corporations are in need of better more efficient ways of picking their partners to work with.
  3. We need to validate our assumption that the NGOs will be more willing to talk to us whereas the corporations will be short with their times.
  4. We need to validate that Indian corporations and government suffer from a lot of corruption and sneaky business.
  5. We need to validate whether or not the gender gap truly is being worked on India like the articles we have been reading proclaim.
  6. We are assuming that the Indian people will be honest and open with their interviews, but that is definitely something we need to validate. If they are not, this could significantly impact our project.
  7. We are going in assuming that all of the companies are well aware of the implications of the law, but that might need validation from some of the smaller firms we interview.
  8. We are assuming that they will be respectful with us, even though we are not all caucasian, because our professor said that is what they will expect of American university students.
  9. We are assuming that we will be able to conduct the interviews together, and if not all asking the questions, we would at least be able to sit in on them with each other.
  10. We are assuming that if this goes well, these companies and NGOs will be willing to work with us in the future and keep providing information as time goes on as well as when amendments come about.
  1. List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork.
  1. One assumption about our target audience that needs validation is that the Indian non-governmental organizations have a lot to benefit from the work we are doing. We have been conducting a lot of research as a team about the implications of this law but we need to validate our hypotheses that the NGOs have a lot to gain from better relationships between them and the corporations they are working with.
  2. We believe that management being more involved with the CSR projects will make them more successful.
  3. We are assuming that the interviews will take only about thirty minutes to conduct. Most of the time consuming parts will be in the write-up as well as the analysis of the information we get from the interviews.
  4. One of the hypotheses we have that we need to test is that the parties we interview will allow us to record them in some way so that we do not miss any of the valuable information they provide us with.
  5. Another hypothesis we have about our project is that we will be able to interview companies of all sizes and NGOs with our time.
  6. A hypothesis about our project that we need to test during our fieldwork is that the companies that have been practicing CSR before this law was passed will have more success than the ones that started after the law mandated that they do so.
  7. Our hypothesis is that the larger companies will do better jobs with the CSR money because they will have the necessary assets to execute the job as well as more publicity on the line.
  8. Our hypothesis is that we will be able to find areas of improvement for the relationships between NGOs and corporations simply from the interviewing both sides and observing their work.
  9. We will mostly be working in Mumbai due to difficult transportation, but our hypothesis is that the patterns we discover will be able to be applied to other areas in the country as well.
  10. We hypothesize that the companies that do the most harm to the environment will already be doing CSR work to counteract some of the damage they’ve done, most likely before the law.
  1. What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class? Please be specific.
  • I think I bring positivity to my team as well as an open mind. I have been very accepting of the various ideas that my team has presented because it will be beneficial for our work together and more effective collaboration. My perception of my strengths and weaknesses has changed in realizing how much influence I have over those around me. Often times if I am taking lead, more productive ideas will be shared but in times when no one speaks up it will often stay silent. I think this is important to take note of because this is evidence of my natural leadership skills which I should capitalize on.

 

Blog Post 6

For the Corporate Social Responsibility team, we do not need IRB approval. We have decided that we will not be needing approval for a few reasons. The first of which being that the projects that need approval are specified to be “research on individuals” and our work, while it is research, is going to be on groups not individuals. We are obtaining  information on large corporations and medium sized nongovernmental organizations but are not necessarily interested in the work of any of the individuals in these organizations but rather the work that they complete as a whole. Another reason we do not qualify to seek out approval for the IRB is that the work we are obtaining is not private. All of the knowledge we are compiling is public information; the significance of our work will be in how we compile it and present it to outsiders.

LOGIC MODEL

Inputs: The top three inputs we will be taking advantage of are planning time, knowledge base, partners. For each of the weekly meetings we have with our group leader/Professor Nandini Deo, we plan what we will want for our project to look like as well as what we plan to accomplish while in India. Knowledge base is also extremely important to us in how we are going to be successful in our work. We have some of the information already from previous years of Professor Deo’s work, but we are adding more. For example, we are in the process of getting access to a database that reports all of the NGO and Corporations that have completed CSR within the relevant years of our interest. Partners is also extremely important to us, as they will be our source of information. We are getting our information first hand, through the forms of interviews. Due to this, our relationships with our partners will be crucial. Over this spring break period, our team plans to start reaching out to the ngos and corporations that are willing to talk to us, and establish relationships. If the interviews go well and they are willing, we hope to continue to be partners with these companies and meet with in India as well.

Outputs

  • Who we reach: We are looking to establish new relationships with NGOs and Corporations, separate from the ones that our professor has already been in contact. We have spreadsheets showing which companies have already been contacted in hopes to avoid reaching out to the same companies and reach new ones with this project. With the product that we are producing, which will most likely be a rubric, our consumers will be the general public. We hope to make the rubric easily understandable and accessible so people who aren’t familiar with the topic can become educated and hopefully take away enough information to apply it to their own relationships between two partners.
  • what we do: We plan to develop a rubric that guides/rates the different techniques and methods used for relationships between ngos and corporations. As the law stands, the ngo to be worked with is, is of the discretion of the corporation so we want to get a deeper understanding of what makes them pick their partners. Afterwards, we plan to rate how well the relationships work and rank the qualifications that they go off of and how effective they actually make the partnerships. We will most likely begin with delivering this rubric through the Lehigh community with professors and other qualified adults, then move on to students to see their interpretation of our results.
  • What we create: We hope to create a more informed and educated public. We know that disseminating our results might take work, but we hope to get our work published and seen by many so that people can be inspired the way we communicated our work and what our findings show.

Outcomes-Impact

  • Results in terms of learning: After this project, we will be much more aware of how business works in India, their values, their idea of CSR, and the significance of relationships to them. We are already more aware of India as a society because of the news journals we complete weekly, the book about India we read, and the articles we have read for our class. We will vastly increase our knowledge bank from this experience from before the trip as well as after the infield time. I expect our attitudes to change as well as we learn about a culture so different from ours and hopefully get to experience a business and nonprofit world very different from ours. We really want to get behind the motivations of these companies and see what inspires them to work together. Of course we hope that they are actually motivated by their desire to participate in CSR, but if that is not actually it and they just want to abide by the law then we want to know that as well.

 

blog post 5

  1. Based on your life experiences, skills and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like?
    1. Based off of my life experiences if I were to create a design process the process would be very unstructured and slightly unorganized but always with the end goal in mind and determination being a key factor.  I cannot think of a single instance where I simply gave up and I think in a design process that is extremely important. this is in addition to being very open to change which is something that I value in my life as well.  everything in life is starting to change so it is much easier to adapt if I am ready for changes, rather than avoiding them. I mentioned slightly on organized and unstructured because I typically go with the flow and don’t always have a specific game plan in mind before starting a task.  however as mentioned I have a bigger goal in mind and I maintain determination in order to get there no matter the obstacles. All of these experiences of mine and mentalities would be extremely beneficial in the design process. Another experience/ interest that would be benefits on the design process is my roles in leadership positions. As a designer you need to take command over the situation similar to the way a leader does. An aspect of my life that I can apply to the design process is knowing how to be a team player. It is not often that an idea will come to fruition with the mind and work of one single person but rather the collaboration of a team. This year especially at Lehigh I’ve been more engaged in teamwork efforts than ever before.  I have become a part of the E-board for both the step team and the belly-dancing team as well as my work-study position with the source where I am an administrative assistant along with other students. we have weekly meetings and complete large semester long tasks together.
  2. How will you validate your project concept, technology, usability, operational/business model?
    1. In my team for corporate social responsibility and the interactions with nongovernmental organizations in India validating our business model by producing a piece of work that gets shared and analyzed with esteemed Lehigh scholars as well as people outside of our immediate network. As a business student I never imagined being able to take part in a project such as this where I would be able to complete research.  because of this I am extremely motivated to do well and produce either a documentary or a written work that satisfies the demands of a professional overseer.
  3. Articulate your philosophy of engagement with communities, partners, and markets
    1. I think it’s particularly important to engage with the community that you’re doing business with in order to maintain mutually profitable relationships.  there’s also important that corporations give back in ways of service or donations or volunteer hours in the communities that they are operating in due to the fact that they are revenues are Source directly out of the area they are located,  for engaging with partners, it is important to maintain respect and constant communication in order to satisfy each other goals and desires. for markets I think the most important philosophy of engagement is to stay relevant. consumer beliefs and preferences are constantly changing and with data analytics it is becoming easier to access this information so to remain competitive in the market is important to be aware of the consumer behavioral changes and buying preferences when engaging with them.

Blog Post 4

  1. Give three examples of how you can use nature as a model / mentor / measure for your own designs (and life).
  • Table of how I can use nature as a model for my own life is to remember that everything happens for a reason as things do in nature.  it was a common belief in the different sources that we read that nothing is a waste in nature, and if I apply this concept to my life then no mistake or negative event was without purpose.
  • another way I can use nature as a model for my own life is in recognizing the importance of growth and never being stagnant with my success as life has and continues to recycle.
  • lastly I can use nature as a model for my own life in remembering that everything is subject to change and being at peace with that reality. Nothing in nature is  constant and nothing in my life will be constant so I should apply that mine said they’re as to not find myself being worked up or disappointed by changes that occur.

 

  1. Pick one of Life’s Principles. Explain how you might apply it to your work and life (could be unrelated to your GSIF projects).
  • One of life’s principles that I can apply to my life is the principal of locally tuned and responsive. I and use this and being more aware and involved in wildlife and the smaller settings. As a college student sometimes it’s very easy to get wrapped up in long-term goals worrying about our future and other factors that might be out of our control, but if I apply this principle and bring my thinking and mentality back to a local or smaller scale this could help reduce stress levels and increase  efficiency.
  1. How do you envision integrating the Cradle to Cradle Design concept into your project (and life)? Give one compelling example.
  • I envisioned our corporate social responsibility and India team incorporating the Cradle to cradle design in our  project bye really valuing the insights that we get from the few ngos and corporations that we interview and applying the information they provide us with  to a broader scale. if we are successful in our project we will truly better grasp at how Corporate social responsibility Works in India the purposes and implications of this law and with that we can apply our findings 2 other corporations and other Partnerships within the country.
  1. Give three examples of something very interesting you learned from a friend that was a completely alien concept to you.
  • Something that I learned from a friend also completely alien concept to me was from my British friend Alda. in a random conversation she informed me that over in London almost Everyone Gets Braces in their preteen years because they are free in America this is not the case a lot of people that might want or need braces actually are able to get them because they are so pricey and that’s what I’ve always thought braces. I never imagined them being something that is readily accessible for the masses so this was very new to me when she told me.
  • Another very interesting thing that a friend has told me is that is actually better for your body to take showers every other day. Apparently there are studies that confirm this, but since knowing that I still take my showers on a daily basis,  but it is very interesting to know that but is actually not the most healthy way to treat my skin.
  • Another very interesting that I’ve learned from a friend  is that applying to medical school, are the required service hours you’re allowed to use experiences that date back to high school. my thoughts were always that you would have to use volunteer experiences that occur during college but I recently found out that this is not the case.

 

Blog Post 2

1.) Give three compelling examples of how cultural issues affect your project.

  • One example of a cultural issue that affects our project with CSR in India is with corrupt political figures being a core part of Indian society currently. Politicians as a middle man between the corporation and the NGO have control over what type of projects will be paired, which allows them to use the good will as a way to win over their constituents for reelections. This will have an negative impact on the sincerity of the work being done, as the partnerships were not made for truly beneficial reasons but rather for show.
  • Another cultural issue that may affect our project is the caste system in India. It is similar to a combined social hierarchy, race and religion, and income system as that in America. Whichever caste you are in (also depending on your geographical location) will impact the relations you have, so this can affect partnerships that are created. For these partnerships to be successful, it is imperative that trust is established, but if going in, the manager from the NGO and the CEO from the corporation do not trust each other due to rivaling castes, that will not be attainable.
  • Another cultural issue that can affect our project is the increasing regulation over what the Indian people, especially the youth, are allowed to say with regards to the government. Because our project is about a law that was enacted by the Indian government, we might not be able to find accurate feelings about the law because of fears of being persecuted.

2.) Have you ever experienced or observes any of these situations at home? Describe at least three such situations.

  • Yes I have seen a lot of examples of discrimination take place because of factors people cannot change, similar to that of their caste system. In America, people can be targeted for being non-white, poor, non-heterosexual, female, having a disability or other characteristics. For example, there have been 45 presidents in the United States, which are all male, have all been heterosexual to date, and all white except for one. These cultural issues are just as impactful here as in India.
  • I have observed political corruptness in this country as well. Politicians act similarly when it is time to re-elected, they try to find areas that their constituents care about and focus their intentions there. They make these social efforts at times that are advantageous for them, but do not actually care(usually) about the social issues they are getting involved with.
  • In a much smaller sense, but if you ask someone survey questions about their job but not in an anonymous fashion you are unlikely to get genuine answers because people might fear being reprimanded or fired for any negative things they say. An example of this is with professor surveys at the end of the course, which are luckily anonymous now. I know for myself and most likely other students, we would not feel as comfortable sharing our opinions on areas that need improvement if the professor were to find out exactly who said it.

3.) Give three examples of cultural practices that can be leveraged to address community/market problems.

  • One example of a cultural practice that can be leveraged to address community/market is by networking. This is an important cultural practice all around the world, but especially in India where there are so many people and therefore the encounters that you make need to be extremely impactful and well kept if you want your relationship with them to last past that initial encounter. Because of this, we have reached out to Indian students on campus and have asked if they have any connections with any medium to large companies in India that they would be able to put us in contact with for the trip.
  • Another example of a cultural practice that can used to address market/community problems is us utilizing grass-roots techniques. A lot of the information we have received already is from the governments ideas of how they want the law to be carried out. If not from there, then from corporations who will also give a biased opinion on what needs to be improved about the law. When we go to India, we plan to meet not only with corporations but also with NGO’s to get a fuller picture of what the implications of the law are and where we can hopefully help and benefit the community more.
  • Another cultural practice that can be leveraged to address community/market problems is respecting the caste system. It is something that is deeply rooted into Indian culture so for us to come over as foreigners and tell them that they should disregard it in order to expand the connections that they are willing to make with people.

GSIF Post 3

  1. Describe the five major stakeholders for your project and their motivations.
    1. The corporations we will be interviewing
      1. Their main motivation is the fact that they are being required by law to complete this corporate social responsibility and donate a percentage of their profits. Beyond that, the corporations look forward to enhance their brands and credibility. In this day and age, companies that get involved in the communities around them are more legitimized than those that do not partake.
    2. The NGO’s we will be interviewing
      1. Their motivation coming out of out project will be better relations with the corporations we are working with. If we are successful in compiling information about the way this law has impacted CSR in India, we will hopefully be able to improve communication and mutual understanding between these two parties. They are benefitting the most from this because they are receiving financial help from them, which they often severely lack.
    3. The Indian people
      1. They will be majorly impacted by any changes that occur after our documentary or published paper. If these relations are improved, people that are receiving help from the NGO’s will be positively impacted. With more funds, they will be able to do more great work with aims already set on trying to benefit the community. On the other hand, people within the corporation will hopefully feel better about the fact that they are helping those around them.
    4. The government
      1. If we improve relations ourself with the publication of our findings, the government officials will likely wonder what is the source of the change. Their attitudes towards our information could go one of two ways. They can see our work as belittling to the work they do, or they can be grateful for the help we are providing. If the latter happens, they can possibility implement some of the changes/improvements that we have found to be beneficial for both the corporations and NGO’s.
    5. Politicians
      1. Politicians will also be affected by our project, because they are essentially the middle man currently in this partnership. They have power over where the money from the corporations goes, as far as what social issue they want to aid. This allows them to help their own image and helps them in upcoming re-elections. More exposure about the corruptness of this system will disallow the politicians to benefit off the CSR partnerships.
  2. Describe three ways in which you will validate your project and enhance your credibility over the course of the semester.
    1. One way I will be validating my project over the course of this semester is through the paper I am currently completing on Good Practices for Successful Relationships between Corporations and NGO’s. This is an individual task that I am taking on in my team, and it will help me to apply to CSR in India. This will expose me to methods or tips that have worked in other places besides India, so I will be able to compare.
    2. Another way that I will be enhancing my credibility is through the fact that I am going to workout travel plans to be able to travel with my team to India this summer. Without the fieldwork, I would not be able to fully understand how business in India works. I got accepted into the Iacocca International Internship Program, and the dates of it are from June 6th to August 15th. Since my team has now changed the dates of our trip, I will be able to join from August 15th until August 23rd. I will be able to fully immerse myself into the culture and the project, as well as our followup in the fall semester.
    3. My accounting professor from last year Professor Gupta has been an informal mentor to me for two semesters now. After speaking to him about this program, he spoke about how he is actually teaching a class on this exact topic, and was in India while the law was being enacted. He has offered to explain things to me, and share the knowledge he has already accumulated about the topic. I plan to stay in frequent contact with him to further develop my understanding of Indian politics and this law.

Blog 1 GSIF

Why did you enroll in this course (motivation, prior interests)?

I enrolled into this course for some personal reasons as well as ones bigger than myself. I have always wanted to help people and feel as if my contributions have made someone else feel better in some way. Going into the business field, I unfortunately came to terms with the fact that I would most likely not be helping people, and even in some ways hurting them financially. However, during my time at Lehigh, I have found various outlets to still participate and excel in business without going the traditional route. One of those was the global citizenship program which I took the course during the spring of 2018. When I applied to be in the program, they denied me. I almost felt as if my ability to expand past corporate boundaries was doomed at that point. Much to my delight, I found this program afterwards and applied here and got accepted. To be able to work with companies as they are adjusting to regulated corporate social responsibility is perfect. I have had prior interests in business, so the fit was automatic there as well. Our only impact on this world will be how we treat each other with the limited resources that we have, so we should take care of those without an abundance of them. This means mandating that all corporations share the wealth they have with less profitable people, especially in order to align with the president’s new targets for equality across all realms.

 

How do you envision this course making you a better (<your major>) student?

This course will help make me a better business student in multiple ways. For one, it will allow me to have experience doing research, which is not something a lot of business students have the opportunity to do. Also, this course will prepare me for the inevitable failures and successes that come with a project. I expect us to have difficulty determining which direction is best, which goal is paramount, or which part of our budget will we have to cut. These are all important decisions I am anticipating making, and the experience doing so will make me more resourceful as a business student. I also think this will improve my communication skills, from preparing blogs, research papers, presenting in front of a distinguished audience, and even more.

 

The World Health Organization estimates that over one billion people who need eyeglasses do not have access to them. The vast majority of these people live in developing countries like Kenya where there is barely one optometrist per one million people. Given the high poverty levels, access to eyeglasses is almost non-existent. Lack of proper eyeglasses severely impacts people and their livelihoods by decreasing their productivity at work, limiting or eliminating new opportunities, affecting their quality of life, deteriorating their general health and possibly leading to (preventable) blindness. What solution do you propose to address this problem?

 

To address the problem as is and treat the effects, one method that could be used is requiring that all students with poor vision/need glasses sit in the front of their classes to prolong the blindness. To help this problem at the source though, glasses companies could do a deal like Toms where with every one pair of glasses bought, they donate a pair. Another idea which might need some technical manipulation, would be to reuse the old screens of smartphones that often get thrown away instead of recycled. Hopefully with the surplus of glass, glasses will be able to be reproduced at a much cheaper price where poorer people have access to them. Also, the rim of the glasses can be reformed using the outer shells of the smartphones so that they are cheaper as well. If these exact materials don’t work, that is fine but the underlying solution is to recycle smartphones to reproduce glasses at a more accessible price.