Digital Transformation in Design Education

The current scenario we are in, change has become the only constant. Designers have always been known as early adaptors and change makers. The sudden paradigm shift in the way lifestyle, health and economic scenarios are building, designers require to evaluate the current health situation is bringing to light problems, changes and opportunities for the industries that make us wonder what is truly important and what is needed to readjust to the new normal. The need to have more designers in the industry to bring out the change has made many educational institutions put more emphasis on design integrated thinking. Management uses fields of design with tools like critical & design thinking, whereas technology is ready to embed and explore design experiences which incorporate the new normal.

Today’s ‘New Normal’ reality is set in motion by the age of global consumption, data mapping and artificial intelligence. As a result, designers needed with updated toolkits to respond to these new conditions. IILM University sees education as a responsibility to equip students with set of tools to understand the contemporary condition and allow for the emergence of new types of multidisciplinary design practices. Speculative design understanding is not supplemental to the serious work of remaking the society, but essential to its responsibilities in a moment of change and uncertainty.

The impact on global wellness and the economy has forced organizations in every industry to flex and evolve, both in real-time and in the long-term. The curriculum we design is a  collection of ideas, thoughts, and strategies, to explore how design can play a role in making the world a healthier place, a successful and forward looking careers that are purposeful and immune to the changing world.

Image Credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Let’s talk about how design education can build an optimistic & equitable Future.

Crisis give birth to creative problem solving. Education has reacted in real-time to the pandemic, addressing tactical challenges of shifting entire campuses online overnight, with innovation and sonic speed. In the process, however, systemic challenges and disparities have been exacerbated. By its nature, learning from home depends on access to technology and Wi-Fi, but on home environment, family situations, and emotional stability for learning.

Keeping in view, Design education at IILM focus on creating learning spaces, whether physical or virtual, that empower every student & faculty equally to create new ventures to exchange the power of knowledge and knowhow. National Education Policy is navigating the strategy of varying degrees, exit points developing an infinite number of scenarios that students can design through, resources, socio-economic landscape, infrastructure, and purpose.

How can we take what we have learned during this time to impart positive change on our future to ultimately shape healthier, wiser, and more equitable communities?

Pandemic is not a change agent, but an accelerant for addressing some fundamental issues for education.

Image: Photo by Gaberiel Benois on Unsplash

A vision for a adaptable & equitable future

The core to the future of learning is learner-centred design, which implies a major repositioning of the learner, the role of the educator, and the environments we design.

Blended Learning is the key

We have been slow at adoption of alternative technologies and pedagogies as human resistance to change. The immediate shift to virtual learning that schools and universities across the world had to make, nearly overnight, has granted us an enlightened perspective. Educational Institutions  need to find new ways to address the needs of every student. The demand for more engaged learning will accelerate new digital platforms, better equipping students to craft their own learning map and future.

Our each program combines hybrid and remote instruction using real world and social emotional learning. The program combines hybrid learning, real world learning, and social-emotional learning to “learning with a purpose.”

Gensler reports that Scott Galloway predicts that online learning and digital platforms will only continue to expand as universities navigate the indirect financial impacts of the pandemic. A focus on the student experience will double-down on the interplay between virtual and physical space. But it’s also critical to address inequities in remote learning, such as disparate access to technology, in order to ensure that digital and physical classroom environments are accessible for all learners.

Learning with a purpose, community & place development

During this pandemic big question has raised on online learning, called into question the need for a physical campus and generated much speculation as to whether the campus would cease to exist. While transitioning to virtual learning has proven successful for some students and for some types of course material, hands-on learning, soft skills, and connection to classmates and course material have been more difficult to translate to learning  online. Many schools and institutions saw the pandemic actually elevate the importance of human interaction, further underscoring place and community as a core value proposition.

Essential to campus experience, the value-add of space and community will evolve in near future. Just as creative environments will employ hybrid solutions for learning, so will student life, dining, housing, and recreation as they seek to engender culture and community. The campus here derives student experience increasingly combining digital platforms with physical space, also reprioritize on-campus activities for “highest and best” use of social and interactive space.

Encourage interdisciplinary approaches.

For nearly a decade, culture of innovation has held its place of importance — both inside and outside of the classroom. This urgency to transcend silos has changed the way departments solve problems both academically and administratively, and the pandemic has only heightened that trajectory.

Now campus assembles core planning teams, championed by senior leadership, that cut across disciplines to produce comprehensive solutions for immediate and near-term plans. The ability to solve challenges that have emerged from the pandemic will foster a lasting interdisciplinary mindset.

Our Campus develops enhanced infrastructures of technology and services Additionally, new career paths continue to emerge out of this need to collaborate in uncharted ways. To support the integrated thinking process and spur intrinsically-driven motivation in students, the spaces we design continue to provide a level of diversity, multimodality, and flexibility.

Turning campus into synergy spaces to build new processes

Connections made beyond the campus through partnerships with local business, government, and community makes learning resonant. With the pandemic, such connections are identified as essential for operations survival. As public and civic entities form new alliances between industry, technology, and education as a way of plotting the course to reopening, imagine what could happen if these alliances stayed together to solve problems going forward.

 

Experiential Learning Through Summer Internships

Summer Internships are an admirable way to start building a sturdy foundation for a successful career path. IILM University provides students with numerous such opportunities to work with NGOs and Corporates in order to enhance their experiential learning experience. Students get a chance to have an incredible experience by working directly with the companies.

Below mentioned is one of such experiences felt by our undergraduate student named Harshit Sultania, BBA 2019 Batch, when he got an opportunity to work with an NGO called Seva Bharti Foundation to fulfill his role as a responsible citizen. We all think of doing something good for society and hope for that little opportunity that would create a little difference in someone’s life.

That opportunity was given to the students by IILM University through an internship initiative to work with the Seva Bharti Foundation. This program gave students a chance to help the unprivileged group of students. The program was for six weeks and every week they used to spend at least two hours with our buddy via telephonic or video calls.

In Harshit’s words – “I was very much excited about the concept of helping and guiding students. Because obviously! it’s the student who knows best about the student. They know what and how to talk and what exactly to work on. All of us were allocated one student each from Seva Bharti Foundation with whom we talked about their career and other concerns as their buddy mentors.

I was lucky to get the opportunity to be the student coordinator for the program where my job was to ensure the smooth coordination between the students and their buddies. And similarly, a few other students were also made student coordinators and each coordinator got ten students to supervise and help in the smooth functioning of the program. With much enthusiasm, I started with week one by getting connected with my students. I explained every detail about the whole program to everyone individually. Initially, it was difficult to motivate the underprivileged students to continue the program, but with little more effort, I started getting the result.

As from week two, things finally started to move in the right direction and students started talking about their career goals, living conditions, and other areas of interest. I tried my best to mentor and guide them in the right direction making them aware of the kind of additional online courses they can do to enhance their learning. I managed to listen to their concerns patiently and help them in whatever way I could.

Students also were coordinating well with their buddies and started to share their awesome experiences with us. And at the end of every week, I had to send a weekly report covering all the aspects discussed. Time flies really quickly just like those six weeks. But yes, I have to accept that I learned a lot from the student coordinator job. I learned how to talk to people and motivate them to come forward with their concerns in a professional way. I learned how to solve issues in a proficient manner and most importantly I learned how to manage things in an efficient way”.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness to the IILM University, without them this whole journey would not have existed in the first place. It helped me in knowing more about the lives of underprivileged students and gave me a platform to help them in whatever little way I was able to manage. I am pleased to share that it certainly added value to my learnings and my journey with Seva Bharti Foundation concluded with a happy ending” – Harshit Sultania.


Dr. Rachna Madaan

An Ideal Law School

The question that most frequently crosses our mind while selecting a college to pursue our higher education in law is what we need and what they offer? An ideal Law college should be a paradise land offering a mock of the entire life ahead of every budding lawyer. It is paramount to understand that a lawyer is not only the one who practices the law. Instead, a lawyer is expected to preach its values and propagate them in society. This brings us to the foremost value every budding lawyer searches for in a law school, the quality of being able to be good. Law school should focus on the speaking abilities of every law student, even of the ones sitting in the corner of the class. To polish this skill, law school should regularly engage their students in moot court competitions, panel discussions, debates, and classroom interactions. The use of these practices makes the students confident to face the world with much ease.

The second virtue a law college should offer is the opportunity to let the young minds speak, write and publish. An ideal law school is the one that pushes all its students to contribute towards the law journals of the college and also help them build up their research skills to enable them to publish their works in other journals. The next essential trait a law student looks for in a law college is its ability to offer internships and placement opportunities. Law school should also focus on co-curricular activities apart from the regular law classes, which will ensure the student’s overall growth. For the overall growth of students, the students should be able to stay in touch with their teachers even beyond the classroom and college years. The professors and mentors should establish healthy relations with the students or a system that offers continuous mentoring of the students by following some unique mentor-mentee system. In addition to this, any law school that follows the Socratic method of teaching will raise the more analytical and intellectual lawyers. That involves complete participation of the student in the learning process, whereby he gets the freedom to ask questions and the confidence to raise his voice.

So an ideal law school should follow a student-centric approach, keeping in mind that a law student is not made a lawyer only by reading the books, instead what he experiences through out the law school. A student becomes a lawyer with all the experiences he/she shares with his/her fellow students and mentors at the law school.

 

 

The Challenges faced by Finance Industry

The Finance Industry features a huge role to play when it involves making business purposeful. This sector currently faces multiple challenges, but the two most prominent ones are information asymmetry and financial illiteracy. The cutthroat competition within the industry has led to several institutions flouting norms. Wells Fargo may be a case in point wherein the culture and unsustainable targets led to employees committing fraud and the senior management turning a blind eye, therefore, enabling the act. Another even more potent example is that the concealment by HSBC in Mexico and Colombia for Drug Cartels. In both these cases, the institutions were excused by just paying fines, which was nothing more than seven days of profits for them. These institutions know that they are too big and influential to be jailed because they are too big to fail and thus can escape perhaps with the foremost notorious and irresponsible behaviours.

Definitely, the planet is ill-equipped to handle another Lehman Brothers, but that does not mean that the planet should need to see thousands of people being killed by the drug cartels that these institutions use to move their money. To prevent these and bring justice to already what has been done wrong, these firms should be held accountable, and therefore the CEO should be held liable for the actions of the institution.

As we steel ourselves against a post-Covid-19 economy, the long term of the finance industry looks drastically different. Additionally, to the changes within the way banking would be conducted, which is about to become highly digitized, monetary institutions’ role is also going to change. The whole world is looking ahead at an enormous recession. These institutions would need to be the first source of liquidity to the firms, which might stimulate demand within the economy

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/five-ways-that-esg-creates-value
https://www.ceres.org/sites/default/files/reports/2019-04/Investor_Influence_report.pdf
Edmans, A. (2011). Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices. Journal of Financial Economics.
Edmans, A. (2015). The social responsibility of business. TEDx London Business School. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5KZhm19EO0.
Gartenberg, C. (2018). Corporate Purpose and Financial Performance. Organization Science, Forthcoming.
Edmans, A. (2019). How great companies deliver both purpose and profit. London Business School. Available at https://www.london.edu/think/how-great-companies-deliver-both-purpose-and-profit.
Edmans, A. (2020). Does Pieconomics Work?: from ‘Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit (pp. 77-96).
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/five-ways-that-esg-creates-value
https://www.fintechmagazine.com/fintech/deloitte-how-financial-services-responding-covid-19
Robert J. Rhee (2017). A Legal Theory of Shareholder Primacy

Being an Ally to the LGBTQ+ People

The 21st century has brought a lot of changes in the world, ranging from technology and science to reformation in societal norms and stigmas. The LGBTQ+ has been one such aspect that has created some stir worldwide. However, the LGBTQ+ community needs more and more allies to feel accepted and comfortable. Such allies can be instrumental in raising the effective and powerful voices for LGBTQ+ equality and aid them in coming out in their respective society and help others realize the vitality of equality and unbiased behavior for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Most of the LGBTQ+ community members decide to come out for the first time when they are in high school or university. There is no full-proof or single way to be a perfect ally, but one can practice the multiple ways to be a more supportive teacher, mentor, friend, parent, or colleague. You can start by being open to learn, listen and educate yourself, which involves knowing the difference between sex and gender and keep yourself updated on LGBTQ+-related news and issues. Secondly, you need to start speaking up or confronting people when you hear offensive or anti-LGBTQ+ comments and let your friends, family, and co-workers know that you find them offensive and degrading.

Thirdly, stop making assumptions that all your friends, co-workers, or relatives are straight as someone you know could be looking for some support in their coming-out process, and such assumptions can meddle with space and comfort they might have anticipated. Fourthly, understand that language matters, and if you’re not sure of someone’s pronoun or label, just ask them respectfully. And, lastly don’t hesitate to apologize when you mess up or assume someone’s sexual orientation and ask for guidance which will be appreciated.

In addition, being a good queer ally begins with taking a step back and listening to the people you want to help. The LGBTQ+ people are well aware of how to liberate themselves. Therefore, by truly centering their voices, the non-queer folks can provide an allyship that will have the power to promote real and lasting change.

LUXURY REDEFINED – Making Sustainability Fashionable

Luxury has always been synonymous with the terms expensive, status, power and exclusivity. While the luxury consumer of the past was the extremely wealthy and still represents an important segment, they are no longer the only audience in town. There are younger consumers, especially millennials that are making up an increasingly large share of the luxury market.

Would this segment of consumers be interested in sustainable or ethical fashion?

Sustainability is a concept with many definitions and its application in fashion involves diverse outlooks, covering environmental impact of materials, social justice and issues concerning labor rights. A topic that is so widely covered in conferences & creative interventions around the world and yet remains a mystery to most.

It is mostly since there is a lack of knowledge of sustainable fashion and the destruction caused by the fashion world to the environment. The perception of products and their accessibility, availability and pricing also play a big role in a sort of ignorance towards sustainability.

The consumer’s mindset in a developing country like India is most interesting and different age groups and social strata of society reveal the complexities of contemporary consumption behavior.

While the discovery is slow, it is steady. This movement is gaining momentum with celebrities endorsing the cause of responsible consumer behaviour via digital media and popular brands promoting it via ad campaigns.

Even though the majority of society does not really understand or worry about the repercussions of their actions, there is a growing number that would be happier to choose products wisely. Knowledge is key to the growth of the sustainability movement to empower consumers and future designers in society. 

The more endorsements and popularity that this wave of ethical fashion gains the more people would want to adopt it and luxury would have a whole new meaning – sustainable and responsible. The design courses at IILM are geared towards inculcating these very ideas in our students.

 

 

“When the going gets tough, the tough keep teaching online”.

By a total surprise, we got into lockdown, no ten-day notice, no world is coming to an end, a simple stay home stay safe alert. And from there on, came a supposedly temporary arrangement of teaching classes from zoom so that we could get over this unknown virus soon. Must admit it was so tuff, like going online for all classes, something totally unimaginable by teachers and students alike.

As all new things have a flavour of surprise, we all took the plunge and felt something different about teaching and learning from our homes. Suddenly, there was no private life, as we could bring our students to the dressy part of our house and teachers could log into their students’ private corners of the house.

Obviously, when this new normal looked like it will stay and all baking and cooking did not look fun anymore, we started getting edgy about zoom classes, scattering about attendance and participation of students in “classes”.  As Covid 19 cases started to rise, so did the pressure to continue dedicated classes and assessments, something no one had any experience with or knew how to make it look close to fair assessments.

Open book exam got a new name, in the form of online assessments and suddenly CGPA’s started blooming all over. Students who initially seemed enthusiastic to keep their cameras on slowly slipped into the mode of keeping their cameras off and when asked complained of network issues.  The world of learning and teaching was solely surviving on the speed of network connectivity as work from home and study from home became our reality.

Two years and no respite, we look to online teaching and learning to escape from growing anxiety lurking outside on streets in the name of social distancing. What was a class once filled with happy faces, dressed up in their favourites, trending the trends and catching up or bunking classes turned into no escape from online classes?

But I ask, is everything lost? Has online teaching been that bad? Well, this can be answered in many ways. Redundant old ways of teaching and rote learning found a jolt and everyone who is a part of the education system irrespective of nation and economy had to change. This change was something new and challenged a lot of beliefs of what is an academic success is and how learning can be seen besides exams.

Online learning has made it easier for students to freely access their classes, see recorded videos and go through the content to clarify doubts and grasp the subject. Resources once only available in college libraries have found comfortable outreach and sharing amongst students.

What continues to be a large concern is unstable networks, a poor economy affecting students and teachers, no protocols of ethics of online teaching and learning.

Would like to conclude by saying, pandemic took us by surprise, leaving us unsettled and then came our endeavour to be busy with classes to keep distractions at bay. Turning a new leaf in education both for educators and student’s perspective is showing fruitful results in our resolution to learn.

A Cross Cultural Perspective on Child Rearing – Student Blog – Ritwik Khurana

 

Parenting is regarded as one of the most challenging tasks for a person to take up. It requires patience, understanding, unconditional love and support. There is a quote that states “A single tree cannot grow a variety of fruits”, which implies that a person cannot possess a multitude of qualities to sustain a desirable life. But how does this translate to parenting?

There have been many stories of children who reminisced the times spent with their mothers and fathers, whereas there also have been horror stories of childhood abuse and parents who neglected their children. But overall, on average most children can provide a testament to having nostalgic and vivid childhood experiences in their adulthood. Parenting requires a person to possess the same multitudes of qualities as mentioned above, which proves this statement wrong. Humans are complex, are prone to lapses in judgement but are capable of possessing a variety of desirable and positive traits.

Universally, the challenges of Child rearing are very similar but differ in practice according to one’s culture. In todays Blog post we will try to understand the impact of parenting styles on Child rearing and mainly the cultural differences between Eastern & Western Child rearing practices. Diana Baumrind (1950s) revolutionized the existing thoughts on parenting by introducing 3 types of parenting styles, which are; Authoritative, Authoritarian and Permissive. Now let’s apply these concepts on Eastern & Western Child rearing. Countries like India, China and Vietnam are often recognized as truly Asian, because of their strong collectivistic values.

Indian parents are often typified as being “Authoritarian”, being too controlling and worried about their child’s future. This is often displayed through “High academic expectations” where these parents force their children to pursue excellence in studies and co-curricular activities. China also follows a similar model, barring cultural connotations. This attitude of parenting often stems from an excessive reliance on communal image and personal goals at the parental end, which harms the emotional and cognitive development of children.

The strength of cultural conformity and family bonds has even extended the authoritarian rights to neighbors and other adult members of the society. This often causes problems among the younger members of society, who require deserved autonomy in their youth. But on the other hand, the youth are usually well supported by their parents – emotionally & financially, until they can afford this autonomy on their own. Resulting in some members of this culture doing well for themselves. Which is not the case in Western culture.

On the other hand, a research conducted on American & Western parenting practices by Sandra Hofferth in 2015 discovered that America has higher proportions of poor and low-income children than other developed nations, and poverty explains more differences in parenting practices than family structure. It is slightly ironic, but can we infer this is as a reason for problems observed in Indian parenting, from the given statement? This statement gives us a reason to believe that the financial resources of a family in any cultural context, is the biggest extraneous variable in research conducted on Parenting & Child rearing practices. According to Hofferth’s research, the parents were performing well on average, but two aspects need improvement in American culture, as these cause a lot of developmental problems.

These are Poverty & Parental relations; Poverty and homelessness are the biggest causes of childhood abuse and exploitation in developed countries. There are many cases of resilience, but a lot of children succumb to their adverse circumstances. Strong Parental relations is a good indicator of peaceful family life, It is worth noting, moreover, that despite the preponderance of children living with two married parents at any one time, more than half of American children will spend some part of their childhood living in a household that does not include two biological parents who are married to each other.

This small overview has been presented to provide an insight into the commonly observed Child rearing practices between Eastern & Western cultures. The institution of marriage is highly regarded in the Indian culture and its impact can be evidently observed on child rearing practices in India. Whereas marriage in western cultures is often characterized as the “Next step”. It is very important to note, that when cultural contexts change the problems will also change. Countries like India & China, which have a higher density of people residing in an area, are prone to more collectivistic consumer-oriented parenting. Whereas North Americans are used to Individualistic consumer-oriented parenting. Here consumer-oriented refers to the impact of popular culture on Child rearing practices.

I hope you learned something today, and are able to take something home. Don’t get alarmed by these statistics, refer to the first paragraph of this post. Good Parenting can happen with patience, understanding, unconditional love and support!

For more Blogs on various Psychological Facets follow blog.iilm.edu.

By – Ritwik Khurana

BA Psychology

New outlook to work-life balance: Rejuvenation a necessity – Shruti Mishra (PhD Scholar)

In the world of chaos and unrest, it is essential to look within us for stability and comfort that will pull us away from burnout. The competition in today’s world is so intense that letting go of your guard, even for a moment, makes us feel like giving an opportunity to another person. You need to know where you are and where you are going, so it is important that you are able to enjoy what you doing rather than getting into the rat race. It’s because of this reason that Generations X, Millennials, and Generation Y are all in favor of personal growth and often find opportunities for self-renewal and self-development, and in the process find a career which best suits their unique self.

 

It is this search for self that has given rise to a boom of small business organizations or entrepreneurship in the last decade. While this might be true for some, youngsters in large organizations have found a different approach to take care of themselves. They are opting for sabbatical or paid leave to relax, to see the world, or better themselves in the search for self. It is a process of rejuvenation or self-relaxation that helps a person, before re-entering the rigmarole of working life. This process does not just enrich them, as a person, but helps them tackle the workload with new zeal, leading to benefitting the organizations. It is also because of this reason that many organizations are taking an active interest in sabbatical and the importance of encouraging employees to take them when needed.

 

Therefore, it is important we understand the word sabbatical in detail and what it means in today’s world.  When we look at the etymology of the word ‘Sabbatical’, we realize that the word has its origin in the Hebrew word ‘Sabbath’ which means rest. According to Bible Sabbath is the seventh day of the week for relaxing. It was in the 1950s that the Mosaic law was passed, and Sabbatical year came into existence. It was the seventh year when the fields needed to be left untilled and debtors and slaves released. It was from here that the word evolved and started being used in academia. It was a word first attested in Harvard in 1880 and became a part of academia (Walter Crosby, 1962). In everyday use, the word sabbatical to mean ‘break or change from a normal routine’ was first used in 1903. The word now is actively being used to mean a break from active working life – it could be for academic purpose, gaining a new skill, or just relaxation. More and more people are understanding the importance of it and are taking the benefit of it.

 

Studies have shown that it not only has a positive effect on the overall health and well-being, it also helps to rejuvenate, creating a perfect work-life balance. (Davidson et al, 2010) (Jarrod M Haar et al 2014). This is why second innings or second begins are equally important. Having worked in marketing and having traveled the world because of it for 12 plus years, starting your education afresh is a new and invigorating challenge. A challenge that IILM like a true friend helped me overcome. An encouraging word and a guiding light are all you need in a journey like this, which made the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” so true

 

Really is it True- Do we all Think Alike?

I was reading in the morning paper about how a game of Ludo saved our lives during the lockdown. The collective power of distracting ourselves from the pandemic glued people the world over to gaming. Obsession and now so much time on hand, made some people go back to board games, especially Ludo- the traditional four players’ game. Families hurdled up together for some fun time, given when they were free from their work from home schedule to enjoy each other’s company. Some took to phones and started playing ludo with friends and family near and far to play ludo on the app. It was all good fun and in essence, has taught many of us the virtues of living life. Pandemic was not only an eye-opener for so many of us who were living life in the fast lane but was also an insightful year to reflect and relax in life- we only get it once.

Ludo as explained by Wikipedia is a strategy board game for two to four players, in which the players race their four tokens from start to finish according to the rolls of a single die. Two, three, or four can play, without partnerships.

This game brings out the best in us- to win and go home and be happy or the worst- to keep killing other players’ tokens so that you can overtake them and win. A lot of animosities also stems up from those who are not interested in being killed and sent back to wait for a roll of dice to make a six and be released all over again in the game. This game is not for the weak-hearted, as only the most meticulous, careful, and fully aware player will make it first to home without a scratch.

Like others, I always begin the game hoping for my dice to show six so that my tokens will freely roam around the square of the board, only to occasionally meet threats from other players, who would be determined not to let my token take a peaceful walk by home, unscratched.

So, while I am rejoicing for my tokens and at the same time worried that other players may not harm me, I wonder, do we all play fair? Do we all think alike? Is it true that like-minded people think alike?

Thinking is a mental process of experiencing present events and making critical judgments from past experiences. Thinking is used almost every second of our living and most of the time engage in thoughtfulness without even thinking. It is like a habit you flow into without you realizing you are doing it (nail-biting for example).

We all display similar yet unique styles of thinking even though we can be characterized into personality types, yet something in our nature makes us individually unique. To explain how we think, I will bring in Sternberg’s ideology of thinking styles.

Sternberg (1988,1997) proposed his own theory of thinking styles, a theory he named the “theory of mental self-government”. He used the metaphor of mental self-government to portray how the human mind works. His theory postulated 13 different mental styles to manage our daily activities. To make it simpler, I would like to explain different mental styles with examples of players on a Ludo game and their strategies to win.

A legislative player will use his own method, not follow others, and look for winning moments but creatively.

An executive player will follow only a structured method and hopefully will not cheat.

A judicial player will evaluate other players’ moves and constantly comment in the game at them.

A monarchic player will spend all his energy on one token to safety than putting all his tokens in the game.

A hierarchic player will put all his tokens out in the game and make the most calculative moves to save his tokens.

An oligarchic player will be in a hurry to win and will move without looking in the game.

An anarchic player will go all out to win, unlike an executive, unlikely to see risk assessment of other players moves.

A global player may look like a loser in the beginning but will keep looking at the bigger picture than a quick win.

A local player will keep thinking, time-consuming player of the game, and take small steps.

An internal player is someone only playing for himself even if it is a group game, no partnership, no mercy to others.

External player unlike internal player is playing with everyone, will let others go at times than cutting their chance and putting them back in the box. He likes partnership.

A liberal player will keep changing his own strategies to surprise other players with unpredictable moves in the game.

Conservative player will be the predictable player of the game, everyone will know his moves even before he moves his tokens.

We like the players in Ludo have different thinking styles which we display in different scenarios when thinking critically and working through problem-solving. To make effective decisions, most of us jump from one thinking style to another, maybe from personal to professional concerns of decision making.

There is no one reason to explain this variation, but yes, some generalizations can be as to how skilled we are, varied past experiences, the seriousness of problem-solving, time at hand, and of course our temperament influences the way we think and from that thinking behave.

To conclude, thinking influences all facets of our life even when we are mindlessly doing something, say as simple as a board game. Interestingly, even if everyone knows how to play ludo, they will always play it differently than the last time; just like our thinking styles alike- yet different.