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DATE: 24th October 2018

CULTURE MAPPING: The Power of the Articulate Symbol

Using Geert Hofstede's Onion Model we will attempt to map certain key dimensions of cultural change in India by observing, decoding and synthesising signs that lie scattered all around us. The attempt of the exercise will be to pick the more articulate amongst the signs and to read them, individually and collectively to build a composite picture of the cultural impulses that drive change. The day begins with a short orientation about the framework and some guidelines on the prices itself.

We will set on a culture walk across the streets of Lower Parel. Dominated by textile mills until the 1980s, Lower Parel has now morphed into a posh locality as part of the redevelopment of Mumbai mills. While one part of the area does still embrace industrial estates, housing its original resident mill-workers & their eco-system, another part is adorned with newly arrived luxury skyscraper apartments, upscale restaurants and pubs, premium office space, luxury hotels, and boutiques. Lower Parel is a microcosm of change, and the ideal spot for delving into the narrative of culture; how it was, is, and will be.

Participants will be segregated in groups, of which each will observe and explore a different section of the area. The primary task is to set on foot, take in Mumbai, and capture and assimilate indicators of change; artefacts, street signs, advertising, photographs and journal entries that indicate the coming together of the old and the new. Right from a quirky window curtain to a modernised women’s salon, we can see the narrative of change within shops, houses, signages and objects. Anything that inspires you, pop culture references that stay with you, or the language that affect you while on the walk; capture it.

Our walk will end at the workshop venue where we will unearth larger trends that signal towards an evolving society. Participants will work in groups, laying down observations, decoding the material, and creating meaning out of it all using the Hofstede Model.

With uniquely Indian contexts to many of evidences collected, the walk and subsequently the workshop will be an ideal and quick entry into the Indian ecosystem and the change therein, for both local as well as international audiences.


Rise Mumbai
#1902, 19th floor - Tower B, Peninsula Business Park,
Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai.

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Santosh Desai is a columnist, media critic and the author of ‘Mother Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India’. In his professional life, Santosh is the MD & CEO of Futurebrands, a brand and consumer consultancy company and has previously headed an advertising agency. Santosh’s principal area of interest lies in examining the evolving nature of consumer culture in India. Along with being a thought leader in understanding the relationship between culture and brands and the consumer as a product of his or her cultural context, he also authors ‘City City Bang Bang’, a weekly column in The Times of India. He is the promoter of DY Works and is widely respected in the country.

DATE: 25th October 2018

While we organise the schedule, please browse through our speaker line up and the topics here.

DATE: 26th October 2018

While we organise the schedule, please browse through our speaker line up and the topics here.