HLC's Principles on Public Problem Solving

In 2015, we began asking ourselves why there are so many social problems around us and how come there is no teaching of public-problem-solving skills at the school level. School children are expected to graduate with honors in intellectual capacity, but are not required to develop any social skills at all. This is perhaps why the number of challenges have increased. We believe that we can bring about social change, and our theory of change is to have children become skilled public problem solvers lead the way.

We developed a ‘Global Citizens Diploma’ program called ‘Karthavyam’ in 2016 and upon seeing how society was infact ready and willing to problem solve alongside the children, we have gone ahead and introduced the diploma in many schools across Tamilnadu. Through the diploma, we facilitate a connect with nature and environment around every child’s locality, and provide them the tools and skills we believe to be essential for all public problem solvers. We do this through a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on learning. It has four levels. They are, become an observer, become an explorer, become a storyteller, and become a problem solver’.

How will change happen

  • By getting every child to tell stories about causes around their community
  • By designing a curriculum that will enable development of high impact documents by children.
  • By getting wide publicity on social networks such as Karthavyam’s website, Facebook and others for all the stories.
  • By encouraging children – and facilitating Changemaking -, we hope to inspire them and showcase their stories and narratives similarly.
  • By enabling a young generation of Changemakers to facilitate complex problem solving through photostories.

Why will change happen

  • When children propose the change, it will be more persuasive.
  • When the photo stories made are compelling and evocative.
  • When students understand how they must approach problem solving of social issues.
  • When the visual medium highlights problems and the proposed solutions in a more effective and engaging manner.

The Missing Link

  • We need a repository of problem solving ideas in various domains.
  • We need more awareness of problem solving techniques and approaches.
  • We need to tie children and societies’ needs with things children and societies must do.

Project Introduction

Millions of people resort to actions that give instant gratiNication and/or immediate response, but these are without thought or plan. These have led to an irreversible dent within us and in the world we live in. ReNlecting on our approach becomes impossible if we are forced to produce materials and churn them out quickly. This is true in our academic settings as well as our work places. While there are signiNicant efforts being taken to ensure children develop intellectually, there aren’t equally big initiatives that develop the character of the child – like our 7i (Integrity, Intuition, Interaction, Initiative, Inquiry, Imagination, and Identity) Initiative. Facilitating their development in adults becomes near impossible, however, if they are cultivated in young children, society stands to beneNit from their abilities continuously.

We believe that this younger generation can be nurtured in our initiative ‘Karthavyam’.

Karthavyam aims to design and develop a 5-month diploma program in collaboration with K. Ramnath Chandrasekhar, an award-winning nature photographer and conservation educator from Chennai. This program will facilitate complex problem solving by enabling young changemakers through storytelling and photography.

Reach and Expected Outcome

  • A first-of-its-kind educational module will be developed using design thinking to understand complex social issues and enable change using the power of storytelling and photography.
  • The story books that will be produced by students will inspire thousands of other children to take initiative to understand social issues and explore the intrinsic art of storytelling.
  • The exhibition will be a hub for participating students to present their work to the larger world.
  • The documentation of the program will inspire thousands of students, teachers and parents to imbibe the 7is (Integrity, intuition, interaction, imagination, initiative, inquiry, identity) through storytelling and photography.

Long Term

Using the instructional manual and accompanying tutorials, we will try to scale this initiative to as many schools as possible (To private as well as Government run schools) The outcomes will also equip and guide an army of teachers in teaching the 7iS through storytelling and photography.


Ramnath Chandrasekhar

EMAIL: [email protected]

PHONE: 98400 63381