Rangoli is a form of art in which patterns are created and colored with sand, flowers, etc. A specific form of Rangoli popular in Karnataka, India follows 3 steps
We can apply the methods of Rangoli, an art form, to solve practical and even intellectual challenges. Let’s consider how we might create intellectual Rangoli by following the same three steps.
Step I: List down some facts or specific thoughts. These correspond to the dots of the pattern.
Here is an example. It is probably very specific to the US.
Step II: Connect the facts/thoughts. As you start connecting, an intent or solution will slowly evolve during the process. That corresponds to the design. In this example, the intent is to include the less privileged. Let’s start connecting
#1 shows how humans as a species are progressing by being more inclusive.
#2 tells us that companies which offer these services make the delivery fee cheap or free to attract more customers. They in turn end up paying low wages to the delivery folks. These delivery folks use their own car and fuel and don’t get health insurance and other benefits and they end up expecting the tip. In the current system, although it is not mandatory, it is just the right thing to tip them. If you cannot afford to tip them, may be this is not affordable for you. Routinely availing the services and not tipping because it is optional and you rather save some money is excluding the less privileged. This is unhealthy symbiosis where the less privileged end up not getting fair compensation for their work. Now, let’s join #1 and #2 and call this entity A = we have started to include what we once excluded but we are creating new relationships in which new groups are being excluded. Is this bad? Well, it certainly isn’t good, but it is quite natural for new problems to arise as we try to solve existing problems. What really matters is the awareness of the situation and willingness to correct it.
#3 Says that people have the willingness to do the right thing. Joining A and #3 (calling it B) = people would be willing to help solve these new problems. It is important to understand that it is not the right thing to put mental strain on each customer to help solve the problem.
That brings us to #4 where this responsibility should be given to the product manager. Let’s join B and #4 and call it C. Sustainability should be added as a new parameter for every product and should be measured and improved just like product adoption, features and profit.
Let’s pause the intellectual Rangoli and dig deep into sustainability and the issue at hand.
Resuming the intellectual Rangoli …
We had left at this-
Let’s join B and #4 and call it C. Sustainability should be added as a new parameter for every product and should be measured and improved just like product adoption, features and profit.
This means products being respectful and to include the weak or the underprivileged in the solution and not take advantage of the weakness. Remember? our design/intent of the Rangoli is inclusion of the less privileged.
#5 Diffusion of innovations identifies categories of adaptors of innovations – the innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Connecting C and #5 – Let’s say sustainability should be added as a new measure for each product, who are under these categories?
Innovators – Those products that are already in the market with sustainability as one of their mission
Early adopters – Those with highest social status and financial liquidity that want to add humane dimension to distinguish themselves
Early majorities – Me-too’s
Late majorities – When something gets told repeatedly, human brain believes it as the truth. These are the ones who have now heard it enough times to start believing it.
Laggards – Those who suffer confirmation bias
Step III: Adding color or giving it life or putting it into practice
If you are an individual, you can do what you can to deliberately sustain human ecosystem
If you are an organization, you can introduce sustainability as a new element to measure and improve at the product level. Also, when you hire someone for a responsible position, you could give importance to the virtue and qualities of the candidate and not just the skills, experience and culture fit.
Diversity is the most natural thing. Inclusion is the most humane thing.
We are done with Rangoli. Let me answer 2 specific questions
The topic is too vast to do it justice in a few words, but for the sake of this article, human ecosystem consists of our interaction with each other, with other organism and the physical world. It is complex in its own sense since humans are rational beings. We can think and we can feel; they are both important. The ecosystem is constantly evolving. Eg: new means of communications, new habit of checking the phone often
We should care about it since we are the ones who are causing the rapid evolution and we are also the ones who are suffering the consequences along with all the other organisms with whom we share our environment. In the example of people getting habituated to the phone, it is the result of many apps you use that are all trying to make you get hooked to their product. It is easy to blame each individual for their own habits. Suppose, a seagull eats plastic, it’s like mocking the seagull for mistaking the plastic for food. Someone conveniently forgot to pick up their trash in the first place.
Note 1: I would love the comfort of not having to make the decision on how much to tip. But I am ok to go through the minor discomfort until the system gets fixed.
Note 2: I know, certified humane is not REALLY humane and fair trade is only a bit fairer. Changes don’t happen overnight.
P.S: image not from the original article
Originally published at musicandnoise.com