Inqui-lab Foundation

Partner From
08/01/2019 - On Going

https://www.inquilabfoundation.org/


Supported by: Wipro

About Inqui-lab Foundation

Multiple reports (OECD, Adobe Educate), India’s National Education Policy, and our experiences in teaching demonstrated that: Students need a space to explore and develop interests, think originally, learn about and contribute to the real world because future-readiness (i.e. creativity, innovation, and problem solving) is currently not prioritized by schools but is essential for their success as thriving individuals and meaningful contributors to their surroundings.

With a vision to nurture problem-solving capacity in the next generation (youth aged 12-19 years), our mission is to design platforms and interventions that build this capacity in children. Our primary focus is Quality Education (SDG4), aiming to upgrade the skills of students (SDG4.4), promote sustainable development (SDG4.7) and in the long-term, create a more capable workforce (SDG8.6 and SDG9.3, SDG9.6, SDG9.b), and a network of active contributors to SDGs. To realize this, we conceptualize and run programs that are developed for in-person, at-home, and online deployment.

  1. These are designed to equip every student with the skills to engage with real-world problems, come up with innovative ideas, and attempt to solve them through prototyping and testing.
  2. By providing opportunities for skill building, incubation, productization, and exposure, we enable youth to develop the attitude essential to thrive in the future.
  3. By continuously nurturing invested problem-solvers, we hope to empower a community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and change makers, who are connected with each other.

This 3-phased approach is part of our Theory of Change, geared towards building a world that is socially inclusive, economically vibrant, and environmentally sustainable, with youth at the forefront.

Programs

Our flagship program, the Think & Make Program is designed for in-school, peer-led, team-based implementation, with depth of problem-solving engagement through Design Thinking activities, prototyping sessions, and team presentations. Schools’ closure due to COVID-19 prevented us from piloting a newer version of this program, but it did give us the opportunity to revisit the program framework, iterate it substantially, align it to our research findings, and even win financial support at the UNLEASH+ Pre-acceleration Program.

We also spent the past year engaging around 274 students through WhatsApp groups, Zoom workshops, virtual events, and home learning kits, with high engagement but low retention.

Approaches adopted in response to COVID

COVID-19 also helped us conceptualize and execute online + hybrid programs, the largest and most ambitious being the School Innovation Challenge, a state-wide online problem-solving course that saw 23,881 high school students and 5,067 teachers of Telangana participating, with prototyping boot camp facilities for the top 25 student teams, and incubation support for the top 10 solution teams.

Aiming to provide long-term support to invested problem-solvers, we strategized Student Opportunities as a means to identify problem-solvers and their interests, and map them to aligned opportunities, for either skill building and solution implementation or advocacy. We will be piloting the SO Framework in 2021 and build a pipeline for Phase-I foundational course students to continue solving problems.

Participating in Training Courses/Workshops has helped us improve in areas of familiarity (Content Design, Experience Design, Facilitation, Prototyping). It also helped us share with others our areas of relative experience (Design Thinking, Impact Measurement, Program Design).

Having been incorporated as a section-8 non-profit organization (with 12A and 80G certification), we are currently applying to be eligible under FCRA. Our team has grown sizably, with capacity building having nurtured the first-line and second-line management teams and employees at Inqui-Lab. There is greater alignment and investment from the team for our organizational vision and vibrant work culture that we want to create.

Active engagement with our Board of Advisors has helped us think through stronger frameworks and build resilience in terms of Strategy, Finance, and HR to name a few. It has helped us structure our approach to financial semi-independence (by testing and eventually scaling revenue generation properties) as well as break down our 3-year Plan to cater to project objectives and vision-mission alignment.

Plans for the coming years

We aim to follow a multi-pronged approach with scope for financial sustainability via revenue generation, and strategizing projects geared towards:

  • Depth, from cluster-to-district (Think & Make, Community Workshops).
  • Breadth, from state-to-national (School Innovation Challenge, Home Innovation Kit).
  • Collaboration (Events, WhatsApp Engagements, Student Opportunities).

We are grateful for the support and investments of multiple kinds provided by Wipro and look forward to nurturing more innovators, entrepreneurs, and change makers who transform themselves and their communities.