How to build stories for making a great movie?


Cinema; the thought of it, the emotions, Heroes, heroines, action sequences, the story and what not brings great feelings. Cinemas are made of stories. Stories are mostly about love, good verses bad, heart touching, memorable actions, twists, turns and melodrama. We see people making movies for mainstream audience and some young aspiring artists making movies for online channels such as YouTube, waiting for a big break.

Stories are created from live events, from the rich imagination of some, some follow the proven formula, some come from historical events and some follow a template theme. One such template is called “story spine”, originally created by playwright Author Kenn Adams, is a tool for creating well-structured stories. The template helps to quickly build a story. It consists of

The platform.  Examples..

          Once upon a time….

           A man walking on a road ..

The catalyst

          But one day..

          Suddenly something happened to the man walking on the road..

The consequences

          Because of that….

          The Man started chasing another man

The climax

          Until finally..

          The man stopped the other and said “hello friend”…

The resolution

          Ever since then..

          The moral of the story is..

          The man and the friend both went to a restaurant and recollect their memories.

Then there is another way of building stories , called what story, how story and why story.

What story.  They simply tell what happened  

Examples…

          A story about an incidence that happened in a village….

          A story about a family that saw their ancestors…

          Boy meets a girl and falls in love but friends don’t like it….

How story. Stories that tell how that happened.

          There is a big hole made in a haunted house.. Villagers are thinking how that could be..

          how are ancestors show up like that …

          How can friends think the boy should not love the girl..

Why story,  analysis of the issue.

          Villagers found some ancient coins near that house…

          Why are the ancestors interested in that house…

          When the boy talked to the friends they told a story about their childhood incidence…

So by having a template like above we can make our imagination work to create stories. Modern cinemas are now made using cutting edge technologies and are influenced by modern society’s change of tastes.

Now being a Software guy I thought of creating a cinema template in the form of a flow chart. I’m using Microsoft word flow chart diagrams , so there will be a limit to my imaginations. But let me try.

The idea is to create a flow chart which can give us multiple choices for a particular theme. The flow chart enables us to come up with several logical conclusions while building some complex themes. So this template will be quite useful to test different ideas with a particular theme.

To create some great stories the trick is not to use the language Cinema people use. We have to change the language in order to come up with more creative stories. one such tip is to select a word and build a story on that word. For example in my flowchart i used a word called “Whisper”.

 I know there are experts on movies but I just want the movie makers to know that we can use innovative way of building stories. Ultimately I love to watch movies that are refreshing, touch the raw nerve, memorable, different and at the same time make me laugh. I made a story while building this template but want you,  the reader to build on the different choices I gave for the story to build your own story out of it. Please do write your conclusions to the story i created as comments…

Story telling
The flow chart for making Movies by RK skillsnest.. Better life with Best practices.

The Museum in you


The unhindered enthusiasm to discover the world when you are a kid start creating a museum in you

The aspirations and perspiration of parents growing you adds spice to the Museum in you

The enduring childhood, the thrills, shrills and drills at school shapes the personality of museum in you.

The social activities, confused and dazed teenage, pressure to excel decorates the Museum in you.

The untiring efforts towards challenges, the grit to succeed, and the mark to make a difference are the endearing characters of the museum in you.

The   temptations, the failures, the weaknesses, the frustrations become indelible memories of the museum in you.

The faith, belief, criticism, health, age, upbringing, infatuations, frustrations, bliss, happiness, moods, cherished friendships, soulmates, classmates, society becomes the tapestry of life in the museum in you.

The journey of life appears better than the end, the patience to wait for achievements, getting there to the cherished goals is the final bliss and tranquility of your Museum in you.

How to build a Start-up from a real Challenge from MyGov.in


“Live and think like a child. Or have that childlike curiosity and wonder. That’s probably the most important trait you can have, especially as an entrepreneur.  Brian Chesky, Cofounder of Airbnb”

Being an entrepreneur can be challenging, rewarding, frustrating, satisfying, disappointing, and exhilarating. But when you look back at your efforts you will have a state of mind called Bliss. You will never regret for trying your best even if you did not realize your dream.

In order to help you in your journey of becoming an entrepreneur I have taken up a real case of a start-up challenge on the Mygov.in portal and will explain how to create a start up from this.

Here is the link to the real challenge posted on the https://innovate.mygov.in/  site https://innovate.mygov.in/birac-innovation-challenge-award/   “Platform technologies for reducing the burden of Diseases (Communicable and Non-communicable diseases”

The problem (opportunity): is to prevent communicable and non-communicable disease from spreading.

Below I explained how to analyse, define, design and create a new Start-up on the above opportunity

A start up means there uncertainty, sweat, stress, self-doubt that one has to overcome first.

First finding a Good name for the start-up. In this case let’s call this company as “Consolidated Wellbeing Management Systems (CWMS)”

First step is to get clear idea of the opportunity by having a business model canvas.

Business model canvas

The Business Model Canvas offers a concise tool for thinking through the business and keeping the key points highly visible to you, your team and all other stakeholders.

Now we need to visualize the company’s present and future operations in the form of a Infographic. I used D3JS Java script , PHP and Xammp  and developed the following structure. You may consider using other software tools.

Like a well-built home, great software focuses on giving its users hundreds of small, satisfying interactions.

“It looks different, it feels different and it sounds different.” Should be the feeling users should have.

We wanted to build something that can be used by many people from diverse backgrounds. Before writing the first line of code you should do some research, make plans, create to-do lists and sketches, and try to visualize what you will want to have in the end.

Since the Layout is too big to fit into one screen I have sliced it into multiple screenshots as follows to show the complete start-up hierarchy and its activities

The most important points to remember for a start-up is to know the last mile i.e you should be able to visualize your company 20 years forward and come backwords to have clear vision  of how to sustain that long. Since this is a software based challenge what differentiates and sustains this company is choosing the right IT infrastructure and clearly understanding what value can be delivered to customers (citizens, Business Government agencies, Doctors Hospitals etc.).

Here are some important points to remember while developing the software platform.

  1. Very simple user interface with an eye on aesthetics and mindfulness that citizens with no technical background will be using the app.
  2. Minimalistic design such as a single button for citizens to just notify that they have a disease.
  3. Notification of the disease to nearest Health providers and government agencies.
  4. Speech recognition software for Doctors and Government agencies to add further information on the patient’s button click message.
  5. APP features for Health providers should have interface connection to AADHAR(India’s unique Id No), using http://indiastack.org/about/ (IndiaStack is a set of APIs that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to generate patients profile, geographic locations and all other information)  that allows Government and health providers to plan the logistics in controlling the disease spread.
  6. Planning the use of AI, IOT sensors and Machine learning tools to create a global software platform and integrate it with multiple health and other related infrastructure, scalability of operations, and performance of the software information systems is very essential.
  7. The integrated system should achieve the following goals.
  • Allow citizens to report about the disease and alerting government and other agencies to notice that there is a disease about to spread.
  • Allow health providers , government agencies and others to know about the geographical location of spreading  disease
  • Display the available transportation logistics to reach the location
  • Display the nearest health care providers information, enable users to alert the concerned professionals, collect real time data on the spreading disease using IOT sensors at strategic locations such as hospitals.
  • Allow Doctors to monitor the flow of patients and availability of medicines and support staff.
  • Create a Dashboard for command and control monitoring at the federal and state level with all statistical information related to disease, transportation, location, costs and any other information needed for fast action.
  1. The software should be scalable, adoptable and should have operational efficiency and integration capabilities to future inventions such as Speech Recognition, IOT, Machine Intelligence and Artificial intelligence and integration to health Monitoring equipment’s.
  2. The software should be cloud based and should be hacker proof and should have integration with all payment gateways Example fo Cloud based service providers are 1. Microsoft Azure 2. Amazon Web Services AWS IBM 4.SalesForce 5.SAP

In India top 10 cloud services providers are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys Limited, Wipro Limited ,Cipher Cloud, CtrlS Datacenters Ltd.

Next Blog will have more deeper analysis on this subject. Thanks for reading. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

The transformation of academy to Economic and well-being clusters


We are in an age of complex challenges which demands a broader vision, capabilities in critical thinking and logical deduction without which we cannot have constructive progress.

Students are entitled to expect that they will succeed in learning something of value when they are groomed by schools and colleges. If they don’t succeed, they are entitled to know immediately that they have not. And when they have not succeeded, they have the right to expect that they will be involved in learning that makes success more likely on their next try. Education, which cannot subscribe to these ideas—neither in their words nor in actions—are not likely to manage effectively.

Young Kids should be more engaged in open possibilities with unbridled curiosity, passion for problem solving, taking risks and strong ethics. Present education and society’s wrong expectations are shifting them from those great characters which are the need of the hour.

Unpredictably is the norm of the day. The magnitude of cultural, societal, industrial, technological, environmental and other unforeseen events is so complex that, in order to handle those complex challenges we need to prepare this young generation very differently.

Here are the transformation steps we need in academy.

  1. Fitness first and then everything else falls in place. Academy should make it mandatory in keeping everyone in the society hale and healthy by introducing yoga, meditation, sports and community service. Transform universities, colleges/school campuses to have the required infrastructure and grade students accordingly.
  2. Citizen resources: Redesign the whole university, college/school campuses for active participation of Citizens, Professionals, scientists, businessmen, industry,  students or anyone who wishes to learn, experiment, tinker and create products.
  3. Wellbeing Centres: Redesign classrooms into wellbeing centres where anyone can use the resources for increasing their physical, mental and psychological fitness.
  4. Business Academic centres: Remove the legal and all boundaries of identifying academy and business separately. Every business activity should have participation from fresh minded students, faculty along with the employees of the business.  Many a times, Business experts are trapped by their own knowledge and fresh graduates creates innumerable possibilities for some real challenges business faces.  This will be a win-win situation for both industry and academy in areas of working in real world challenges and gaining skills and talents in sustaining business with low costs, higher profitability and new innovations.
  5. Clusters of Expertise:  All universities, colleges and schools should be grouped as clusters of specific expertise and that should be based on the knowledge, skills, talents needed in industries, software technology parks, special economic zones and other industrial clusters in and around the academic institutes.

For example if there are many pharmaceutical companies and Petrochemical industries in an area then the academic curriculum of that area’s colleges, schools and universities should be on those specific domains and also on emerging trends such as Robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics ,drug discovery, Health innovations  etc. in the above sectors.  By clubbing universities, colleges and schools based on the specific domain expertise and emerging trends,  students, faculty will gain real time working experiences.

  1. Academic Project clusters: All government funded initiatives, projects , infrastructure developments and all kinds of commercial works of state and federal programs should be initiated in university clusters by making them as part of the stakeholders in that specific projects. This will erase the boundaries between Education and commerce. The initiatives will create employment for students who will be getting grading on their progress in real world work.
  2. Functional Degrees. Degrees should be awarded to students and remuneration and other rewards for faculty on the work accomplished in live projects. Those certificates should be based on the expertise gained in specific functional areas rather than general certificates such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering etc. These way each clusters of universities will be building on specific domain skills, talents which can be mapped to business requirements and other such needs.

The proposal is a major structural, legal and strategic change with immense benefits for the good of academy, business and Government.

Since a new business model requires disrupting the present, it’s important to be thoroughly conversant with prevailing model and how present system creates value.

There should not be any confusion about the new business model with changing the activities performed within the present framework. If it is done that way then its plain old business process reengineering. This inside-out view has the potential of labelling mere internal alterations as a new model. Don’t. Instead, academy, government and all stakeholders should take an outside-in view, focusing on outcomes, not activity, in addressing whether the business model is truly new. Internal activities will most likely morph as a result of addressing changes to strategic factors, but this is a second-order effect.

Comments, improvements, new ideas are always encouraged. Let’s make ourselves better with best practices.  Thank you for reading.

New Economic Model and the Role for Academy


The dynamic environment of economic activities that shape the nations growth and prosperity needs a new language and new practices to sustain long term.   There is no end game. It is infinite game of aligning the best interests of our societies to stay hale and healthy, coexisting harmoniously within the wonderful nature by preserving and aligning our economic, industrial, technology and any kind of  progress and wellbeing of all the  living species . This can be achieved by orienting all that progress towards new environmentally friendly products and services and solid growth.

In order to meet that target there is an urgent need to redefine the status quo in Academics and bring academics to the forefront of economic activity of the nation.

Merging Academy and Industry as one entity will lead to major job growth and Economic Resilience when IOT (internet of things), Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Machine learning like technological innovation take away human jobs. The question to ask is  “GROWTH CAN BE MANAGED AND GUIDED, BY WHOM, AND FOR WHAT NEEDS”?  Academy should become the wellbeing centre of excellence (as explained in my Earlier blog here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/stop-building-classroom-and-focus-on-wellbeing-buildings-and-more-laboratories/

) to sustain and nurture new opportunities in products and services that align us with environment.

Innovation typically precedes strategic decisions and by redefining academy as part of economic growth of any country we will be in a position to create new opportunities and new possibilities.

Here is the game plan for introducing a new paradigm that I call ‘Economic sustenance by redefining academics’.

  1. The boundaries, language and legal matters that identify universities , colleges , schools and all educational related institutes needs to be redefined with an eye on tapping the vast pools of raw talents of students(knowledge and skills gatherers) , Research scholars, professors by orienting their academic activities on creating new opportunities.
  2. There is a huge effort by government in attracting major industries to invest in their respective states. Some of those industries in areas such as Machine learning, Chip designing, Artificial intelligence, Gene mapping, anti-aging (example: Google Calico project collaborating with Drug maker Abvie https://www.calicolabs.com/ ) have to spend money in establishing research laboratories. Instead Universities and colleges should be tapped and allowed to participate in government’s activities in this kind of initiatives to map the academy’s internal resources, knowledge, skills and infrastructure required by industry and actively engaged. This allows Faculty, students to learn corporate best practices and become valuable contributors to the economic prosperity of the institutes and helps industry with lowering their costs of establishing new laboratories.
  3. State and Federal (central) governments spends a lot of money on infrastructure development projects such as building dams, roads, mining (example sand, minerals etc. ) , smart cities and many such activities by floating tenders and inviting private industry to take up the projects.  Most of the projects are not implemented as designed due to various reasons such as corruption, poor usage of manpower, materials and plethora of issues. Academy and students should be allowed to become part of the project’s stakeholders which helps students, faculty to learn vital project management and people’s skills and earn some money for the institutes. Some of the major project delays, poor quality, and corruption activities can be eliminated as students and academy’s interests will be more in implementing quality and good practices in the projects.
  4. The whole academic nomenclature, infrastructure needs to be redesigned to make them part of this new economic model by mapping the raw talents of the students , expertise of faculty and connecting them to industry needs.
  5. Government should act as facilitator by allowing academy/private participation in projects implemented at state and country wide.

Universities, colleges and Education isn’t here to make us feel comfortable.  The intention, practices and the language is to make students feel excited and raring to go and find the truth and enlightenment. Academic institute in their pure form should be bringing energy, efficiency, bliss and completeness and fulfilment while actively engaging the raw talents of the students.

Want to add your thoughts and feedback. Please do so by commenting.

Associating Belief systems and cultural practices to Academics


From childhood some common rituals, practices, beliefs are hard wired into our brains. Some of these practices are beyond the proof of science. Even those with extra ordinary capabilities in science and technology follow certain ceremonies that are still beyond the reach of human cognition. One such phenomenon is seeking blessings from God before a launch of satellite or starting a major and complex projects spanning across the globe.

When we are suffering we look for solace in practices that cannot be proven by science and we take great pains to seek the blessings or visit far off crowded religious places to just get the blessings we need. Come Rain or Shine we are so determined to follow the rituals.

When we look this from a scientific angle we see the best human characters such as determination, focus, will to overcome obstacles, patience and all those best practices that can make anyone highly successful if same are followed in academics or career.

A major effort is going on in reforming education system across the globe. To name a few prominent personalities in educational reform are Bill gates  https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2010/04/12-Foundations-Commit-to-Education-Innovation-with-US-Department-of-Education

, Khan academy https://www.khanacademy.org/  , Facebook Zuckerberg https://chanzuckerberg.com/ ,  Indian Government sponsored national skills development programs  http://nsfindia.org/,  Massive Online Open courseware (MOOC) programs  and the list goes on.  If we search online we can find organizations, corporate houses, foundations all working to reform education system.

I felt everyone is missing the last mile effort in their Noble intentions of reaching out to every kid on the planet. That is creating curiosity, love, blind faith, solace and all those characteristics that I described above which we follow without questioning when it comes to religion, culture, heritage and whatnot other than scientifically proven methods.

What I wish to bring to attention to all those great pioneers of educational reforms is to align their process, practices and subject matter to bring the same extra ordinary characteristics we show when it comes to all the practices I mentioned above into academics and corporate best practices.

A great research is needed on deeper understanding of how even a very common person exhibits extra ordinary human characters when it comes to religious practices, cultural and belief systems. That insights should then be ingrained in to our educational practices.

Also I think by aligning our education system, syllabus, skill enhancement programs to spirituality and to harmonious living with nature, will bring extra ordinary success not just in making our children the best but also saving our planet from disintegration because of our behaviour and practices till date that will lead us just to destruction.

It is time that we align our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education more in tune to Nature’s way of handling the Planet’s resources. Our living standards should not be measured by materialistic gadgets we have but how well we are integrated with the nature around us and how well our gadgets are aligned to nature.

What do you think?  Complement and enrich this thought process with your comments and suggestions please.

The Impact of Automation on present Employees and young graduates


The anxiety of job loss is palpable for several employees from across the industries. Robots, Deep learning, Artificial intelligence has rapidly matured in taking care of most of the work performed by millions of Software engineers or white/blue collar workers.  Automotive and auto parts, electrical and electronic parts, business process outsourcing, textile, clothing and footwear  and retail are some of the industries that already are seeing loss of millions of jobs.

Most of the Banks, financial institutes, brokerage firms  will face closure due to rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin which will affect millions of graduates/MBA’s  wanting to work in financial sector.

There are driver less cars, deep machine learning techniques which can accurately predict diseases (Doctors are you reading this?) and provide medical advices are some examples of how deep the impact will be.

Modern machines, Robots, sensors, Software can now not only do manual routine tasks but also do work that requires cognitive intelligence.

As a result a highly trained radiologist or a specialized software engineer in a company is in danger of being replaced by a Computer software or a Robot that have the cognitive capabilities and can work consistently.

According to a World economic forum report “current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labour market changes over the period 2015–2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in the Office and Administrative job family” Source:  http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf

Due to rapid and wide spread automation, AI, Deep learning and Robots replacing humans,  there will be no requirement of software engineers who are just specialists in any core technologies such as JAVA, Web or RDBMS. Rapid maturity of the above mentioned technologies will have the following impact on employment, present jobs and future jobs.

  1. Around 56% of jobs in industries such as Logistics, Healthcare, banking, transportation etc. in areas HR, Services, deliveries, finance, IT,  middle management jobs (supervisors, managers, Software engineers, clerks, tax experts, bank clerks etc. ) are automated and employment in this areas will be dwindling rapidly.
  2. Other areas of job loss will be are hotels and restaurants (80.7 per cent), wholesale and retail trade (77.5 per cent), construction (70.8 per cent) and manufacturing (61.6 per cent). Source : http://www.ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm
  1. By year 2020 employees will be working with Robots and other intelligent machines as colleagues and they have to take orders from machines to fulfill the remaining work that is not already replaced by the machines.
  2. There will be a situation in many companies, where humans will not be able to get jobs and only robots handle entire company operations. One such live example is Dyson’s automated Singapore plant where 55 robots do all the work that is done by 100’s of engineers. https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671939/dysons-80-million-new-factory-dedicated-to-its-most-unsung-invention
  3. Infosys an Indian IT giant plans to embrace automation and artificial intelligence, besides other newer technologies. Post-automation of certain operations, Wipro is already in the process re skilling 4500 employees for new technologies.
  4. Few and few companies will visit Universities and colleges for recruiting students (NO MORE CAMPUS Recruitment)  and there is no choice for universities and colleges but to rapidly adopt to changing business needs and adopt to new skills and teach students the same. Otherwise they will be producing huge numbers of Un employed youth that will have a cascading effect on industry and the country’s growth prospects.

Suggestions for Universities, educational institutes, Schools and other skills imparting institutes.

  1. Employees, Students should have the mindset for New skills adaptation and they should always be willing to be learning constantly based on the business needs.
  2. Change the ratio of teaching staff to include Industry experts in the proportion of 60% academic and 40% Industry experts in universities, colleges and schools and make faculty accountable of what skills they impart to students and reward only those who make students acceptable by industry.
  3. Avoid recognizing Marks as the parameter of students success in academics and recognize and reward special skills , creativity shown by students. Allow industry experts to teach students ‘Creativity , innovation and change” and make it mandatory for students to prove they are learning this vital skills.
  4. Eliminate class rooms and replace with Practical labs. Embrace online MOOC classes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course  and make students to pass the courses designed by industry and academic experts.
  5. Ask students to solve society’s or industry’s problems as part of school, college project submissions. Indian Government as part of engaging citizens has shared some challenges with rewards. Check details here https://www.mygov.in/  BTW i participate in some of the challenges.
  6. Change syllabus to include what industry will be needing in coming years. Be Proactive in knowing the skills needed in next 5 to 10 years rather than reactive in teaching present skills needed.  There is a huge requirement for software and hardware security experts by 2020. A report from Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 found that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. But the security industry is a fast-growing market.  More details on this report is here. http://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/2015/04/isc-study-workforce-shortfall-due-to-hiring-difficulties-despite-rising-salaries-increased-budgets-a.html
  7. For those who are working in Software industry or any other sector here is my advice.  Visualize yourselves working with robots, machines only and into next 10 years of your career and work backwards to check what skills will be in demand after 10 years and start learning them right now. If you just know one skills you will be in danger of losing your job pretty soon. Having a diversified skills set is a reward in present job market.
  8. Jobs in areas such as Artificial intelligence, robotics,cyber-security,  building intelligent machines will be on raise and also many traditional jobs that need deep cognitive skills won’t be replaced rapidly and there is scope for job stability.
  9. Because of huge pressure, stress, anxiety in work areas,  individual’s health will suffer which will force for more visits to hospitals. Yoga and meditation will gain tremendous influence in helping those who embrace Yoga and Meditation. I advice young students to start seriously practicing YOGA and Meditation. You can make a career in this two healthy areas.

Finally those who are lifelong learners and who can rapidly adopt to changing job specifications, skills will stay relevant and those who resist change will be side-lined.

Any comments, additions to this article are welcome to do so. Thanks

Where there is a WHY there is a WAY


“The ‘why’ of what we do is much more motivating than the ‘what,’ we do.

When we are young we don’t really care to chart a course of action of what we really want in our life or where we really want to go. We just know that we need to go to school or college, make friends, study or have fun and pass out. If we are Lucky enough we get into job via Campus recruitment or thru some competitive exams whether we like it or not. All of these are familiar to most of the students.    Those are the golden days where we enjoy watching movies with friends, post photos on Facebook, study together or do something that we know really well. We never question “why” we do what we are doing daily.    We are in a comfort zone and we don’t care much to plan or plot a particular journey or reach a particular goal that is unknown to us.  We won’t know the meaning of “Vision” or what “Disruption” to our daily routine means.  Very few students move out of comfort zone, from daily habits, from the known life and experiment with things, think differently, work hard to reach great goals,  do something different than their friends or classmates do. They are charting an unknown path and at every step of learning they stop, re-evaluate and recalibrate their course of action and finally they will find a WAY for leading a life not just living another day that is just like yesterday for many others.

“Vision” implies you have a view of exactly where you want to go and you chart a course of action plan accordingly, like plotting a journey on a map, a straightforward road with no distractions, roadblocks or alternate routes.

Others just move forward and they don’t form any idea how to lead a life until a problem makes them to think. That is the time self is constructed and that is the time most of them take a course of action and follow.  That is the time WHY leads to find a “WAY” out of the situation. For some of those who don’t ask themselves “WHY” early on they may end up with doing something they don’t really want to do whether it is their subjects or life  or career.

So my friend every day you should question your routine with a WHY and you will realize that you need a WAY to better your life. Better life with best practices is what my vision is for skillsnest.

Creativity , Innovation Life Rings


While doing the MOOC course on Creativity , Innovation and change we are asked to prioritize the 5 most important life activities to cover all our responsibilities. The course expects us to be creative while presenting our solutions Here i created life rings and a Poem to describe what matters most to me. Let me know your thoughts.

life-rings

A poem on my Life Rings.

The new career choice in imparting knowledge and skills

The Life ring of new career switch is a thrill.

 

The ERP software gave me a wonderful career tapestry.

This life ring fulfilled my life’s dreams and fantasy

 

To work in the community service is a challenging affair

This life Ring reminds me to have a dedication to fulfill kids who aspire.

 

The Entrepreneurship is a reflection of my business needs.

The Life ring will stands as the memory of fulfilling the same with concrete action deeds.

 

The family is dear to me and all my efforts finally merge to   keep them hale and healthy.

This Life ring is a conclusion of my life’s meaning which is always remains as plenty.

 

Chance favors the connected mind


In the fast moving digitally connected  and complex world-  our beliefs ,skills,  assumptions , our knowledge is constantly  challenged.  Willing to accept that we need to refresh our knowledge, skills and other matters makes us better positioned to take on any kind of new challenges that come across.

RICHARD GREFÉ  :   “You know, a few years ago, whoever had the knowledge had the power. But today, the power resides in those who have a sense of the way that knowledge flows. And that becomes critical because knowledge is growing at an exponential rate. So what does that mean? That means that for any individual to succeed, has got to go beyond just knowing things. They have to be curious, they have to be thoughtful. And that doesn’t come from social media and that doesn’t come form deep-diving in data. That comes from thoughtful conversations.”

We are in a  era and times that requires us to think differently. 19th and 20th century education has built invisible walls around everything. We are trained to see things, learn , watch and use things individually.  Students are trained to learn subjects individually.    Civil engineers focus more on their subject and less on other engineering branch knowledge and similar is the story with all other branches. Computers science students focus more on software and less on industry’s domain knowledge  which is more vital in today’s market place. There is no one course that combines all these knowledge from different fields and provide us the insights of how interconnected everything is and how to acquire the right knowledge to face today’s smart planet’s requirements to stay successful with the right skills for the rapidly evolving nature of corporate work and society’s cultural shifts.  I always used to stress this point to graduate, post graduate and PhD Students of engineering and MBA to come out of their  specific subject knowledge and look afresh by learning how all the subjects knowledge works together to create solutions and products we use everyday. (Think Apple I Phone’s focus on Design more technology less) . Today Technology has erased the boundaries of  all branches of sciences, agriculture, medical and even changed our daily life habits. Why then are we not understanding that we have to have a open mind and inclination to learn something unrelated to our subject matter?

I get inspired when i look at some smart companies combining cross platform knowledge from different industries and come with a radical design and products. One such company is Dyson. James Dyson is famous for inventing something new that we never think possible.  They don’t hesitate to take inspiration and knowledge from different sources to come up with  new product. Here is a Blades less fan they invented using principles or aerospace fans. Click here to know more http://www.dyson.com/Fans/FansAndHeaters/Fans.aspx

For those who have guts to think differently and achieve something Dyson innovation awards is the platform to take on the challenges. Here is the link

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/Prize.aspx

Similarly Companies such as Toyota come with some amazing ways of improving quality in their products , minimizing waste in production process and reduce the cost of making high quality products for less.  We already learnt their best practices such as Lean manufacturing, Kan-ban, Kaizan widely implemented in different industries.  They now use a new method called Andon Cord.

” The andon cord is literally a cord that workers can pull – a cord they should pull – any time something in the manufacturing process goes wrong that would compromise the quality of the product or safety of the people. The line stops immediately. Everyone’s attention is turned to the problem. Everyone helps to solve the problem. And the line doesn’t restart until the problem’s been fixed, thus ensuring that zero scrap or defects are allowed to perpetuate.”

http://www.toyotageorgetown.com/qualdex.asp

So innovation don’t need to be complex. we just need to think different.

World’s knowledge levels today (mostly Industry) are so mature that we don’t need PhD’s anymore because industry’s maturity levels are so high that until we think differently and look beyond  PhD’s  knowledge;  sustainable solutions are not possible for the complex problems we face today. Medical field is one such area where sufficient knowledge is not there to solve diseases such as Diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer or parkinson’s etc in spite of having top notch scientists with multiple PhD’s.   The only way to go is look into a different field , combine your subject knowledge with it to create a new idea or a cool product or a new medicine for a deadly disease.

We have different lifestyles than our parents. Youth today are in a constant flux of adopting to new lifestyles with high connectivity to the entire world. Mobile connectivity, social media interactions, crowd sourcing for solving complex problems of the planet,  Internet of things, body connected intelligent sensors, health tracking devices like Nike shoes and many more new technology gadgets allow us to look different , work differently than our predecessors and acquire knowledge differently than what is taught in our colleges today (the good old style).

The reach of internet to every nook and corner of the world allows us to know any kind of information , acquire knowledge and skills needed. Technology as i said above , erased the boundaries of everything and i want you to remove the mental blocks (the artificial silos in your mind)   and train  your mind to look at things differently with a open mind. Today we are connected so closely via social media, tech gadgets that we can collaborate with the world’s  best  on a massive scale that is not possible in a physical form. One of the courses  I’m doing on Coursera ( https://www.coursera.org/course/strategy101)  has 90, 000 students from across the globe. We are learning by doing  , something new but connected to a single platform on coursera No class rooms to go,  only online practicals using technology and internet connection. Cool way of learning something new,  Right?   Colleges and Universities should focus on building Labs to help today’s students to experiment, tinker with tools and gadgets. Otherwise we only produce paper engineers ,  MBA graduates who are just fit to do a service job  , does not provide any competitive advantage to students nor to the country as a whole. Today we should worry that we bring out very insignificant percentage of  cutting edge products to market  in spite of one billion population and large number of PhD’s and Master students.

Do you want to be a listless person or want to impact the world with your knowledge.  Remember the title of this blog  “Chance favors the connected Mind”  That power of Connectivity should become your major weapon to acquire skills needed for 22nd century companies. Many of the problems industry faces will be solved by individuals  from across the planet. This is the future of work. People won’t be working for a single company. There will be problems that need to solved and if you solve it you get paid. That is what will happen in Job markets going forward.

So why waiting. Go get connected with the world’s knowledge. My Previous blogs have several world class resource links to start with . so check them..

As part of this Blog here are some useful links for you to get on the fast track of 22nd century learning… Enjoy and good luck to you..

Learn something new here https://www.coursera.org/  or here https://www.udacity.com/  or here https://www.edx.org/ or from the whole internet which is at your finger tips.

Good luck to you and do not hesitate to reach out to me through your comments in this blog…

Indian University rankings


The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The methodology draws from the overall recommendations broad understanding arrived at by a Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions. The parameters broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”.

India Rankings – 2016 based on this framework were released on 4th April 2016.

Know more here.

https://www.nirfindia.org/univ

Universities that did not register can do it now by clicking the below link

http://nirfweb.cloudapp.net/Registrationnew.aspx

To know more about my professional work   click here http://skillsnest.com/

Time to standardize product structures


The Boston consulting group predicts that 10% to 30% of the goods that America now imports from China will be made at home by the year 2020, resulting in proceeds of up to $55 Billion a year.

The maker’s movement is gaining strength with rapid advancements in some technologies such as 3D printing and the new concept of distributed manufacturing becoming real.

Earlier prototyping of products have to be done either in China or elsewhere with tens of thousands of Dollars in costs but now a lot of prototyping of products are happening locally and resulting in low cost and the turnover is very rapid.

The above are some of the trends in product manufacturing which needs certain standardization in order to streamline the creativity, resources, money and new inventions in proper direction to solve the planets ever changing requirements.

Here is what I propose.

  • It all starts with Inventory part nomenclature standardization. I wrote a blog on this topic here. time-standardize-inventory-parts-data
  • An international team of manufacturing experts should be nominated for framing the standardization process for inventory nomenclature and product family/grouping and product structure nomenclature.
  • The team will be formulated by international trade organization (WTO) and will be initially funded by them until the whole process is completed and becomes self-sustainable.
  • Long term Sustainability should be mandated to make this effort profitable by WTO. Some of the ideas for this are given below.
  • The product structures should then be categorized on the same lines like Botanical nomenclature.
  • Next we need to create a cloud platform where all product structures are made available for everyone to access, excluding some sensitive (Defence) and copy protected ones.
  • Then we need to create Application programming interfaces (API) and other apps for accessing the Product structures by interested parties.
  • The API ‘s and other apps should be flexible enough to allow users to create new structures from the existing ones and also where able to connect to their own databases to transfer the structures as needed.
  • All the services should be charged for sustaining the standardization efforts.
  • Guidelines should be mandated for product structure usage and migration to user’s internal usage.
  • Guidelines also needed to monitor the new product inventions, accessibility of the new inventions and standardization of the same.
  • All global language translations for the product structures should be undertaken by crowdsourcing the same.
  • Every nation should have a team of experts to advice the core team on the standardization efforts and this team will be compensated from the WTO funds.

Benefits

  1. Redundancy of Product structures will be eliminated and standardization will increase operational efficiency and reduce cost of procurement, administrative and other costs for users.
  2. Same quality products will now be available for global citizens on equal terms with only pricing variations.
  3. Makes it easy to source semi-finished products or materials at the fraction of a cost due to visibility of the same from across the planet. Helps in supply chain logistics efficiencies and also reduce costs of transportation. This in turn reduces global warming due to less use of Oil.
  4. The huge network of users will now be able to talk to each other and can create new business opportunities for themselves and indirectly to nations by creating new employment opportunities and new start-up companies.
  5. The flexibility to mix and match products on the fly becomes easy for new inventions and trigger new creative ideas and new products.
  6. Rapid prototyping of new product inventions becomes easy from the existing ones.
  7. New business ideas and new start-ups ideas are possible due to democratization of inventory nomenclature and Product structure nomenclature.
  8. Many of the benefits that I mentioned in the inventory standardization will also apply here.

 

Please let me know what you think

The art of leading life.


“Time, not money, is the most valuable commodity of all”

We have proven track record of achieving extraordinary success in things, projects or big goals that we never imagine we can do it. Belief in attempting things that are beyond our imagination and achieving them enriches our lives with fulfilment and many times makes us famous and rich. “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible”.--Albert Einstein Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

We are living in a very competitive era and we all have onus of making some impact with our way of living life on ourselves and the community around us. We should develop the habit of liking to be challenged, stay self-motivated in spite of negative pressures on us; take big challenges and try our best to accomplish them and people will start noticing you. There is a need for every one of us to make a difference in whatever we attempt to do.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self”. —Aldous Huxley Novelist

We are known from what we achieve.  But our achievements have a shelf life. That means we cannot just stop improving ourselves and impacting others as role models.  World moves dynamically and age, values, knowledge, experiences are constantly progressing and where we stand is what matters. Taking risks and learning from setbacks and moving forward are the only way to stay relevant in this world. There are problems small to complex that needs to be solved and we have the capability of solving many of them.

Some examples are “Genetic sequencing of human genes that help in target medication for individuals instead of generalized prescriptions”.  Similarly we have global warming challenges to solve. We have challenges to reach Mars, Venus and colonize Moon. Our imagination is what matters the most.

There are people who are able to achieve some extraordinary feats such as  mimic human behaviors, experiences and creativity by using some complex machine learning techniques, Mathematical algorithms such as K-nearest neighbor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-nearest_neighbors_algorithm ) to analyze music , predict Hollywood movies whether they will be hits or flops even before starting on the projects ( http://www.epagogix.com/ ) and finally computers creating music (we don’t need music directors anymore)  http://geb.uma.es/melomics/melomics.html

But for a beginner in life like young students there is ample opportunity for you to start building your life and leading on the edge of achieving some extra ordinary things. Here are some basic principles of achieving some extra ordinary things.

  1. Ignore the Noise. Once you firm up your mind and motivate yourselves to start working for great achievements you will find naysayers around you all the time. They will try to pull you down. Just ignore them and slowly and steadily start building knowledge and experiences in what you really want to achieve that is beyond your imagination.

Do remember “It is not who is Right but what is Right” matters.

  1. Have clear objective. Start reading/learning diversified information. Today world needs people who are deep in one knowledge area but also very good in every subject matter that is not related to their fields. I wrote a blog on this https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

3. Stay focused: As you continue your journey of achieving great goals you may be distracted         by many events, circumstances, constraints, family pressures and many unknown   factors.            Coming back on track is very important. Doing regular Yoga and Meditation will help you to             regain focus.

                          “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.”

  1. Develop patience. Today digitally connected and instant gratification world is making young students to be restless and expecting instant results. But in order to achieve great things you have to be patient enough and continue your journey until you reach your goals.

                “There is no limitations except those we create for ourselves” ―Lolly Daskal, Thoughts Spoken From The Heart

  1. Watch your progress: we all make judgmental mistakes and sometimes it may be that we may choose a wrong direction. So occasionally checking where we stand in our achievements should be monitored and measured. Otherwise all our efforts may be ultimately futile .

 

  1. Not able to accept failure: We should never become possessive of our tasks, work or people we work with. Sometimes if things won’t work out we should be able to ignore our failures and continue on a new path. Possessiveness makes us Sad and creates mental distress and other health problems. I wrote a blog on this subject here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/failure-is-not-final/

            “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”                   .– Ralph Waldo Emerson Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

7. Question your acts: You should constantly ask why you are doing something in a                        particular fashion. By questioning your way of doing you will get a chance to do it much                better.  I wrote a blog on this

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-a-why-there-is-a-way/

                  “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,                                 something to love, and something to hope for”.–Joseph Addison English                               Essayist, Poet, Playwright And Politician.

Good luck to you.

“Change yourselves and the world is a better place with You” –RK  This is my quote for you.

Agile professionalism


Wrote a blog for employees on how to stay successful  in their career in my linkedin profile. Click on this link for the post

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140924055329-6970802-agile-professionalism

Students this is for you


India is still considered as developing country and I feel extremely upset with this thought. We produce so many well learned people and this country ranks high in the number of PhD’s and master students who come out of universities. But still not a single university ranks high in the top 100 lists of the world.

Every part of the government machinery is still limping with inefficiencies, bureaucracy and off course corruption. It is a nightmare to get work done with government still. How long we take to become transparent, modern and nimble?

But what puzzles me is why our education system is suffering from status Quo with antique teaching methods and subjects that do not align with our modern industry?  These same students someday become government employees and they continue the same old tradition. Why are they not questioning this and why are they not attempting to change except handful of very dedicated officers and employees?

I know many will disagree with some statements above but the point I want to drive is things that needed to be done at the college levels. Present state of affairs is basically the result of our education system that needs drastic disruptive changes.

I request “Universities and colleges : Please wake up and fix your systems”.

Majority of young student’s lifestyle follows a predictive path once they steps into the college. They read the same stuff their friends read, they go to the same movies their friends go, they play the same games their friends play and everyone studies for just marks/grades and finally waiting to get into job thru campus recruitment or some other methods. Then they enter workforce and live life depending on their lifestyles.

This result in massive waste of brain power, youth’s energies, strengths, will power, time and many qualities that otherwise wisely tapped, would have developed the nation to highest degree of living standards. In a Billion population there are handful who are contributing to the  growth of the nation’s living standards but why are we collectively not thinking of following those brilliant people who strive for the nation.

This is because we never question anything and just follow the protocol. We never develop skills such as creativity, innovation, the quest to live a better life, the craving for quality and the interest to dive deeper into our subject matters. Many students won’t learn subject for knowledge but just for getting grades. Universities take long time to adjust syllabus that follow industry best practices. Even if they introduce the syllabus the faculty is not trained to the latest and greatest trends in business so they cannot teach the same to the students.

Read what The CEO of one of the largest software company has to say about teachers here http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/20-of-teachers-in-the-country-not-sincere-azim-premji-says/articleshow/43212004.cms

Inspiration to do things differently is low in teaching community and there are several reasons for that but that will be for a different blog.

But I blame partially students and parents for not willing to question the status quo. Here are some steps required by students to initiate a change for a better life and a better country . This same can be used by any other developing and under developing nation’s  students.

  1. Change in lifestyle. I absolutely agree that students should have good memories of college life with loads of fun but I totally disagree that they should feel that this is the top priority. They should first take a snap shot of daily life and confine fun to couple of hours a day. This should be done collectively by all students because if one follows the rule the other will break it and the overall change is not possible.
  2. Learn from Internet. I do not know why universities take so long to keep syllabus fluid and aligned to ever changing business needs, but that should not stop young students to spend time to learn the best practices of the industry online. So instead of spending time on Social networks spare time to learn what’s going on in your area of subject matter. There are several exciting stories in business circle that will inspire you and energizes you with knowledge and opportunities you may not get if you just study for marks.
  3. Engage fellow students: Form a team from different educational backgrounds and take up a local problem and try to solve. For example during winter most of the babies and children become sick from viral fevers and hospitals are packed with patients. It is painful to sit for long hours to get treated and you know it is much more painful if that hospital happens to be government hospital. So as a team you should collaborate with fellow medical students and come up with preventive steps from diseases and conduct community classes to educate parents and others from having good health for themselves and their children. This helps you to learn communication skills, project execution skills and time management skills. These soft skills are very vital skills needed for business.
  4. Engage with professionals that visit campus or on social networks. Students should join professional networks such as LinkedIn and start participating in group discussions and identify opportunities from the challenges industry is facing and brainstorm of ideas to solve the problems. That way you become expert in that subject matter and you will do much better when you join the business.
  5. Yoga and Meditation: Modern life style is full of pressures and pulls from every direction. Maintaining top health is very difficult if you are not disciplined. So from very young age it is best to practice Yoga and Meditation to maintain top health.
  6. Sports : It is mandatory that students come out of Facebook and internet games to play real games to develop good and healthy body/mind, otherwise we end up with sick nation with no hope for becoming most developed. Remember Swamy Vivekananda’s call for youth.
  7. Reading and listening skills: Spend time reading books online and newspapers every day. Search for business videos, ted talks that inspire you and teach you some very important life lessons and listen to them. Bookmark some best sites that help you to get the best and the latest in your area of interest. This helps you to improve your vocabulary and also general knowledge which are useful during interviews.
  8. Try teaching: Start teaching your juniors whatever you learnt on a daily basis. Adopt a school and go and teach them what you learnt. This will help you to memorize the subject matter and also keeps you on your toes to learn something new to teach some other day.
  9. Form teams and go to a nearby village and check what problems exist there. Then come back and see if you can use your learning to solve their problems. In the process you may even start your own company and give jobs to fellow students.
  10. Finally remember every student attends the same schools, read the same books, go to the same movies, play the same video games, and watch the same TV shows so how can you expect to have a  life experience, ideas of  your own or world views? If you do not follow a better living standards?

Above suggestions will elevate your career and help nation to become better. Please take time to rethink your priorities and strategies and try your best to live quality life with best practices. Comments are appreciated.

Tips for great presentations


Most of us are not new to the most boring to the most entertaining , educational and motivational presentations we attend.  What we need to learn is not just what is told in the presentation but we should also watch how presenter /speaker is performing his act. That includes Body language of the presenter , the way the topic is covered, what tools and software is used, how they modulate their voices/moods and gestures  and how much they are interacting with the audience.  There are many online resources to tell us how a great presentation should be. Here are some sample of what is good practices of presentations. Search for some outstanding live presentations after you read this blog

1. Your Face.

While presenting you should attempt to connect to the audience in the room by briefly having a eye contact with each of them.  Audience should feel that you are presenting to them. You should also have smile on your face while presenting. Your facial expression are very important. If you look at the roof, or away from audience , that shows your lack of interest or purpose of your presentation and they will loose interest in what you are saying  and they stop listening to you.

2. Your body

Standing like a statue and reciting your presentation will not entice the audience towards your speech. Having appropriate body gestures adds some excitement to your presentation and keeps audience engaged. Moving around the space you have on the podium should be considered along with your body gestures in order to show your enthusiasm for the subject you are speaking.

3.Your Voice

Your voice is most important part of presentation.How you say what you say is most important for any good presentation. Adjust your volume and tone according the size of the room and the number of audience you have. Silence and space between words allows for emphasis and lets your audience catch up with your ideas. Variation in the volume, tone along with body gestures can bring life to your presentations. Avoid words like “Nothing but””, Like ,  ümmm”, Ähhhaa” Érrrr” etc.

4.Your presentation.

Your presentation should be a mixture of your talk, slides, audio and video and what and how you present on the stage. Engaging Audience for long time needs an outstanding mixture of all the above.  Audience will not have eternal focus on what you are saying until unless what you say matters so much for them. You are presenting for the audience’s benefit not to fulfill your desire to be in the limelight.

5.Practice a lot.

Practice helps you to avoid mistakes and  fine tune your language and other skills of presentations. Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers says that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Practice is the mantra for an outstanding presentations.

6.Develop great opening.

The first 15 seconds are enough for audience to make a impression on you. You should use your opening statements wisely to catch the attention of the audience and  to listen to rest of the presentation. Start your speech by talking about something interesting: Give a staggering statistic, ask a question, make a declaration, or use a quote to draw people in.

7.Organize your presentation.

Your presentation should be a smooth flow of speech  as if you are saying a great story to your audience. Your presentation should have an obvious opening, a body, and a conclusion. Your presentation should also have a mixture of pictures, video and limited text. It is you, who is presenting not the power point. Power point slides allow you to stick to a certain flow and end your presentation on time.

8.Connect with your audience

You need to establish a connection with audience. Use a personal story that reveals something about you or your experience to create a connection. If you are a professional then  highlight your background and expertise to make audience feel comfortable that you are going to add value to their time by listening to you.

9.Check the facility.

Make sure before hand that all the hardware, software, mike setting, Lighting and good ventilation is there in the hall. You should avoid adjusting all the above when audience have already arrived. It is better you check the facility and practice on stage to get rid of stage fear before the audience take their seat.

10.Ask for honest feedback.

No one can claim to be the best presenter and there is always plenty of room to improve your skills. So make sure to ask for honest feedback from your trusted friends in the audience and work in fixing the issues.

11. Change the content for next presentation : If you have to present again the same subject matter make sure it is still relevant otherwise update your presentation topics to match what is latest and the greatest .

Hope you will follow the above guidelines and next time if  i happen to hear you present , i expect you remember the above and show that.  Good luck with your presentation skills. As always I’m there to help you to improve.

Facebook timeline as video. Facebook app for finding jobs


This blog will have some interesting things you can do. Come back regularly to check for new cool tools, toys,games and other links  to some useful apps for daily use.

Let me start with your Facebook profile as video..Read further…

Want to have your 2012 facebook timeline as a video. Then go to this website for doing that. http://animoto.com/apps/best-of-2012

Facebook announced a new job app. Use it to find jobs that suit you. https://www.facebook.com/socialjobs/app_417814418282098

Your resume me end up with these websites which are used be employers to find the right candidate. http://www.talentbin.com/ and https://www.path.to/

Social websites such as Facebook, twitter and others are collecting lot’s of your personal information that will be in turn sold to business to market to us back based on our likes and dislikes. The privacy of our life  is lost completely.  To know how companies track us check this website http://www.onomap.org/ and this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/gallery/2012/oct/23/twitter-ehtnicity-london-map?CMP=twt_gu#/?picture=398172423&index=1

Want know how much you are influencing on Facebook and Twitter. check this using the Klout score here.  http://klout.com/home

Want to search apps in ready to use mode on your mobile phones  then use this cool tool http://corp.everything.me/

Google won’t give you good results when you search for mobile apps. Here are some good websites to look for apps https://www.quixey.com/

http://xyo.net/   http://www.appolicious.com/    http://appsfire.com/   http://kinetik.com/ https://api.crosswa.lk/home

By the way there is a APP that will keep you motivated to achieve your goals. Check this here http://lift.do/ and details about this app here  http://allthingsd.com/20120829/lift-launches-incredibly-simple-personal-motivation-app/

How to fix the world? check here for info http://howtofixtheworld.org/

Pure water from salt water the cheaper way. Refrigerated by sunlight


Here is a a sustainable and useful idea for those living near the sea to use ocean water to get pure water. A clever design by Gabriel Diamanti gives 5 liters of fresh water from salt water. The method is very simple. He built a clay pot, a solar plate to heat and vaporize the salt water for desalination (vaporizing  salt water) , a metal base and collecting vessel.  Sun heats the salt water and condensation takes place. The water vapor is then collected at the bottom where it is cooler than on the top. This water is pure water and drinkable. Salt and other waste is cleaned out from the top for reuse of the same for more water.  Five Liters of  water can be collected on a good sunlight day. This idea should be made popular in our country since it is very cheap and effective way of collecting pure water in small scale by villagers. The following links gives you the pictures and the idea of how to build one for yourselves.

http://www.gabrielediamanti.com/projects/eliodomestico

http://www.core77designawards.com/2012/recipients/eliodomestico/

For more water related resources check the below websites.

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/

http://water.org/news/resources/

For those students who want to do live projects the below resources gives you more ideas. Check them

http://www.gabrielediamanti.com/

http://jap.hu/electronic/

http://www.ifixit.com/

http://www.semiconductor-today.com/news_items/2012/SEP/NTNU_170912.html

http://www.ideo.com/work/#work_categories

http://www.new-startups.com/electronics/

http://iprojectideas.blogspot.in/2009/09/civil-engineering-project-ideas.html

http://www.diynetwork.com/

http://www.codeforge.com/s/0/software-mini-projects

http://www.lce.com/Mechanical_Engineering_Project_Examples_327.html

Refrigeration by sunlight

Science  daily carries a article on how sun’s rays are used for cooling food that is kept in a fridge. The process involves heating water to 200 degrees F and then uses the heat to drive a compressor that lowers the temperature of a refrigerant in the fridge. With very hot climate in India I think this is a good solution of keeping farmers vegetable and fruit crops fresh until they are sold in the market. This method is environment friendly, reduces the usage of electricity to minimum.

I’m hoping that somebody takes this idea to implementation stage. The details about this process can be read at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503111531.htm

The MEDISCO project (Mediterranean food and agriculture industry applications of solar cooling technologies) has built several of these solar refrigeration plants in Mediterranean countries where sunshine is plenty.  Engineers are using concentrating collectors to direct the sunlight onto an absorber that heats water. check more details at http://www.medisco.org/about/

Free Online courses from MIT, Harvard and others


Education is evolving rapidly and traditional methods of attending classes are replaced by online courses. There is a need for students to take advantage of attending these courses offered by some of the world’s top universities from across the world.

According to a New York Times article Harvard and MIT are joining hands to offer free massively open online courses, or MOOCs, as they are known, called edX.  edX will offer 5 courses for free to students . Courses will be in engineering and humanities.  Those who complete the course will get a Certificate of Mastery and Grade.  More details can be obtained here http://www.edxonline.org/

Meanwhile at another company called Udacity   http://www.udacity.com/ 20,000 students are taking online course on six subjects.

Not only Harvard and MIT are in the race to offer free online classes but universities such as Stanford, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan announced their partnership with a new commercial company,  Coursera  to offer online courses to students. https://www.coursera.org/

Coursera also offers free humanities courses . https://www.coursera.org/courses

Online education can affect local universities badly if they don’t reform their primitive way of imparting education to students. Technology is rapidly influencing everything and traditional Indian Universities are still lagging way behind in restructuring their courses, modernizing their labs, teaching methodologies to a generation of digital students who will soon abandon going to traditional colleges and adopt online courses which are mostly offered for free.

“Projects like this can impact lives around the world, for the next billion students from China and India,” said George Siemens, a MOOC pioneer who teaches at Athabasca University, a publicly supported online Canadian university.

“Online education is here to stay, and it’s only going to get better,” said Lawrence S. Bacow, a past president of Tufts who is a member of the Harvard Corporation.

Above are mentioned in New York times article.

More about online courses please click the links below

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/free-education-from-mit-princeton-or-stanford/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/grass-root-student-to-global-standards/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/education-at-your-door-step/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/stanford-university-offering-free-online-courses-anybody-can-enroll/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/learn-anything-free/

https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/internet-resources-and-opportunities/

http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/barriers-adoption-online-learning-systems-us-higher-education

Planning your activities


We all live in hope. But Hope is not a strategy to succeed in Life. You need to work towards your goals in a more proper and practical way. You have to work towards a plan to support your development and the plan should be specific, realistic, with clear time frames and small manageable goals. For example Good communication skills are mandatory to enable a prospective employer to know about you clearly so that they can judge your capability much better and give you a job. But acquiring soft skills such as proper usage of English language or how to communicate what you think  requires you to spend time on trainings on soft skills. Companies want to hire students who are complimenting their academic education with employability skills (soft skills).   When writing an action plan to achieve a particular goal or outcome, you can get much help from the following steps.

• Clarify your goal. Can you get a clear picture of what your goal is? Can you measure your goals (you cannot have a goal like becoming rich overnight)? What problems do you have to reach your goal, like the limits on time, money, or no proper trainers?

• Write a list of things you need to do. Write down all actions you may need to take to achieve your goal. Write all possible ways of reaching your goals. Write down all the problems you have in achieving your goals and write down all the ideas to overcome that problems.

• Analyze, prioritize. Look and think of what you have written. What are the absolutely necessary and effective steps to achieve your goal? Give priority to all the action items that helps you to achieve your goals and get rid of things that are not important for you to succeed.

Example:  A student wants to write GATE and also wants to attend campus interviews. Both need trainings. For interview he needs soft skills (some example of soft skills are  Communication Skills ,Presentation & Work Communication Skills ,Interpersonal & Team Skills ,,Personal Effectiveness Skills ,Cross-Cultural Skills ,English Language Skills, Problem solving skills)

Between these two options he has to prioritize his time and trainings while he is attending regular college.

• Organize your list into a plan. Decide on the order of the plan. What is important in life for you? Write down in a sequence what is most important for your success. Things such as academic education, soft skills training should be given high priority and time than having fun and partying with friends.

• Monitor the execution of your plan and review the plan regularly. How much have you progressed towards your goal by now? What new information you have got? Use this information to further adjust and optimize your plan.

So tell me how you are planning and if you need trainings on soft skills , I want you to consider skillsnest as partner in helping and shaping your life . We are here to help students to excel from “Grassroot thinking to Global employability”