Dreamin - Open Innovation Platform




Project Experience: Sep. 2011 - Dec. 2012, New York City and Bengaluru, India

My Role: Design Strategist, Design Researcher, Knowledge Broker, Coauthor

Contribution: Strategic Management, Open Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Design-led Research

Collaboration: Idiom Design and Consulting - Sonia Manchanda, Rahul Vijaykumar; Manipal Foundation; Nodes - Carlos Teixeira; Spread Education and Consulting

Team: Carlos Teixeira, Sonia Manchanda, Rahul Vijaykumar, Bridget Sheerin, Fernanda Alcocer

Project Copyright DREAM:IN. All rights reserved.

Platform to empower communities within emerging markets


As Designer Researcher and Strategist, I mapped and codified the DREAM:IN Project - an open innovation platform utilizing design led processes to empower communities within emerging markets, such as India, China and Brazil. 


While emerging markets are wired to grow fast and big with local and global consequences, it isn’t clear yet what their future looks like. Carlos Teixeira in partnership with Sonia Manchanda envisioned a dense and dynamic ‘Mind to Market’ model through which market actors can envision, shape, transform and implement inclusive prosperity and sustainable lifestyles based on the dreams and aspirations of their people, culture, and environment.

The DREAM:IN Project is an open innovation platform, utilizing design led processes to empower communities within emerging markets, such as India, China and Brazil. Challenging the notion that future thinking should be informed by people’s needs – the DREAM:IN initiative seeks to explore their dreams; firstly through ethnographic research that uncovers dreams of communities and secondly by a design driven process that transforms these dreams into social and business ventures. The process consists of three phases: Dream phase, Believe phase, and the Realize phase, which occur consecutively with some activities overlapping in time.


Three context specific iterations of the DREAM:IN methodology needed to be developed for: 

  • Tumkur - A rural agricultural district in South India
  • An urban initiative in Beijing, China, 
  • A long term academic initiative with six universities in Brazil. 

As part of the research team, we were tasked with creating a replicable model that could be used in these varied emerging market contexts. 


As a design strategist and researcher based in New York City, I collaboratively researched, mapped, and codified structural components of the DREAM:IN project, aimed at creating a productive, dynamic, and efficient open innovation model. 

As a 3-month on-site researcher in Bengaluru (India), I played the role of Knowledge Broker at the 3-day DREAM:IN Tumkur Conclave with over 60 participating leaders, entrepreneurs, designers, academicians, business professionals, students and dreamers. The teams worked on the task of visualizing, ideating and creating Dream Ventures that could come alive and be realized for Tumkur, after absorbing all the Dreams captured.

The scenarios that emerged by the end of the 10-hour session pertained to projects and ventures in the sectors of education, agriculture, water, youth, farm festivals and farmer’s market, wellness and ecotourism. Each team presented the scenarios that they had created at the end of the session. The central character in the scenarios was identified as the future Agripreneur (Agricultural Entrepreneur), aimed at innovating on rural farming practices in Tumkur, India.

  • 13 DreamCatchers 
  • 10 Taluks 
  • 60 Participants at DREAM:IN Conclave 
  • 800 Dreams
  • DREAM:IN Journey - MAY 18-25, 2012
  • DREAMSCAPING Session – JUNE 1-2, 2012
  • DREAM:IN Conclave - JUNE 5, 2012


The DREAM:IN Project was awarded the 2013 Game Changer (Research) award by Metropolis magazine. As Design Researcher, I also co authored ‘Design process as innovation technology for creating value in emerging markets- DREAM:IN project’, at the 4th International Forum of Design as a Process, Belo Horizonte, Brazil 2012.