Chapters x
DOT Curriculum Philosophy

Designing for the most challenging problems of today demands a new kind of leader—one who is prepared to think creatively, embrace innovation to cross traditional boundaries, and be guided by empathy and compassion.


We crafted our curriculum around five learning objectives:

CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING To learn and practice a structured approach to taking on wicked problems using a diverse set of tools, methodologies, and frameworks. Our study of creative problem solving cultivated the capacities to question any premise, design experiments that uncover novel insights, and fluidly work across a wide range of multi-disciplinary inputs.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT To develop a deep understanding of how global development systems work and how they scale with respect to context, history and culture. We cultivated a theoretical grasp of economic development and the capacity to understand the context-specific nature of effective solutions.

DESIGN THEORY & PRACTICE To build an understanding of the fundamentals of design, as they manifest into the development of products, services, and systems. We combined our field level exposure with a study of design theory to build a solid understanding of appropriate application to the work of social change.

BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION To understand the frameworks which create viable new business models for a changing world. We studied this topic from a perspective which recognizes that the future of change demands we understand how to design and scale business models that are inclusive, generative, and sustainable.

MORAL LEADERSHIP To develop the mindsets that enable one to take individual action and the resilience to sustain as a leader. We grounded our leadership study and practice in the belief that leadership must be grounded in the compassion and humility that comes from recognizing that we are connected to one another and that our everyday actions add up to be just as important as our grand vision of the future.
EXPERIENCE 1: DESIGN RESEARCH
Bridging the Unpaid Work Gap We partnered with a grassroots social enterprise, EduCARE India, to conduct a qualitative study on how unpaid work—homemaking, childcare, farming, etc.—limits women and girls in many parts of rural India.

Over 12 weeks, we led ethnographic research within the community to uncover actionable insights and breakdown the larger challenge into tangible opportunities for design. This entailed extensive immersion to with local families and the deployment of culturally relevant research methods.

From the identified opportunities, we spearheaded the design of a women-led micro-enterprise concept to provide women with the opportunity to develop skills and generate income, while showcasing the untapped potential of women and girls in rural communities.


EXPERIENCE 2: DESIGN STRATEGY
Increasing Access to Higher Education We partnered with Quicksand, a global design thinking and innovation studio. Over 12 weeks, we worked alongside a small team to build and launch a new company addressing India’s college affordability crisis.

We blended the roles of product designer and business strategist, and led the founders through research and business model development. We conducted interviews with over 52 participants, facilitated ideation around our research insights, conducted market due diligence, and pitched to investors in India and the UK.

At the end of the project, the team launched a unique offering designed to maximize the return on investment for college students, through better choice making and easy access to inexpensive sources of funds.


EXPERIENCE 3: STORYTELLING
Immersing in Rural Entrepreneurship To gain first hand perspective on the impact of entrepreneurship on livelihoods in the context of rural India, we completed a 5-day immersive working at a roadside tea stall, India’s most popular small business.

We shadowed the owner of the shop, doing everything he did—cleaning the kitchen, taking orders, and of course, making delicious chai. We captured his story by documenting the experience through written narrative, photo, and video.


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hello@designersoftomorrow.org

THE DESIGNERS OF TOMORROW PROJECT

2 STRANGERS. 12 MONTHS.
9000KM FROM HOME. 1 QUESTION:

What happens when we stop waiting for permission to create change?

In 2016, we ditched elite jobs and the well-worn path of graduate school to create our own education in design and social change.

THIS IS OUR STORY.
THE DESIGNERS OF TOMORROW PROJECT

2 STRANGERS. 12 MONTHS. 7000 MILES FROM HOME. 1 QUESTION:
What happens when we stop waiting for permission to create change?

In 2016, we ditched elite jobs and the well-worn path of graduate school to create our own education in design and social change.

THIS IS OUR STORY.


Continue to
CHAPTER 1: Where We Started
CHAPTER 1
Where We Started


A dream, a rejection, and the birth of an experiment.
We have big dreams about creating change.



But this story doesn’t start with dreams, it starts with rejection.

Hi, I'm Anmol.

I’m an engineer. But I’m not your typical engineer. I’m into challenging systems. I like people.

Last year, I wanted a master’s in design to get smarter at building new systems for a better world.

But without a portfolio, design schools wouldn't let me in.

Hi, I'm Anmol.

I’m an engineer. But I’m not your typical engineer. I’m into challenging systems. I like people.

Last year, I wanted a master’s in design to get smarter at building new systems for a better world.

But without a portfolio, design schools wouldn't let me in.

Hey there, I'm Christopher.

I’m a management consultant. But I’m different from most consultants. I like creativity. And social change.

I’ve always wanted my work to be at the intersection of those things.

But when I applied to companies which use creative tools for social impact work, I discovered that they don’t hire people like me.

Hey there, I'm Christopher.

I’m a management consultant. But I’m different from most consultants. I like creativity. And social change.

I’ve always wanted my work to be at the intersection of those things.

But when I applied to companies which use creative tools for social impact work, I discovered that they don’t hire people like me.
We were rejected.



But we weren't ready to give up on those dreams.
A year ago, we started to play with a crazy idea.


What if we took control of our learning by designing our own education and gaining practical experience in business, design, and social change?


Continue to
CHAPTER 2: The DOT Project Begins
CHAPTER 2
The DOT Project Begins


Experimenting with a new kind of education.
Our first days in India weren't easy.



The context was complex and unfamiliar; the work felt new; each day brought a fresh wave of ambiguity and uncertainty.
But week by week, we began to build and evolve a custom education, and learned through self-designed assignments across 5 subjects.
Learn more about our curriculum

To ground our learning in practice, we took on challenging field experiences in design research, design strategy, and storytelling.
Read more about our field work

By the end of the year, we developed strong portfolios and novel perspectives on business, design, and global development.
We also learned more about change than grad school could have ever taught us, and did more than a job would have permitted.
See our five big lessons on change

This year changed us.



It wasn't just a year of building new skills, but a journey to overcome doubt and transform ourselves into more resilient and creative global leaders.


Continue to
CHAPTER 3: A New Perspective
CHAPTER 3
A New Perspective


Change starts when we stop waiting for permission.
We started this journey focused on getting closer to the permission granted by certain degrees and jobs.



But in the process, we discovered something else—we didn't need it all along.
 We no longer have to wait for permission to transform ourselves, our communities, and our world.
Each of us can begin working on the challenges facing our world, now.



If you're ready to take the first step, we invite you to start imagining, and working toward your own story of change.
We're sharing the lessons from our year to make it easier for you to get started.


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Waiting for permission is a thing of the past.
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hello@designersoftomorrow.org
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Meet Stepwell Studio.
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Post about The DOT Project.
Get in touch

Email us:
hello@designersoftomorrow.org
See what we're up to next

Meet Stepwell Studio.