Data awareness and AI for social good in practice


10th Jul 2019 at Facebook

The context

TTC Labs is organising Design Jams in India focussed on coming up with solutions to bring transparency and control across digital experiences for the next billion, first time internet users under its “Design for Bharat” series.

The series brings together startups, designers and policymakers to understand the challenges faced by startups in this space and co-create solutions potential solutions with them.

Our first Jam in this series was with Facebook’s India Innovation Hub Accelerator, bringing together a cohort of startups under the theme of AI for Social Good. The aim of this programme is to support startups focused on building products and services, which are solving complex social problems, using AI aross the Sustainable Development Goals such as Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Opportunity, Innovation Infrastructure, Climate Change, and Peace and Justice.

AI systems collect a lot of data in order to improve their services and provide more value to users. The objective of this Design Jam was to educate the startups on strategies and best practises on bringing transparency in their products about data collection and usage to build trust with their users. TTC Labs partner Parallel, a product design and innovation studio, worked closely with startups to understand their opportunities and challenges, facilitating this Design Jam.


The challenge

Design user interfaces that notify users around data collection transparently while providing them with a great user experience.

Who participated

Startups part of the 'AI for Social Good' cohort, Policy experts from Data Security Council of India (DSCI), students from Nalsar Law University, Research Fellows from the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), experts from the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), product managers from Facebook, design researchers from Dalberg India and product designers from Parallel.

What did they say
"Participating in the data awareness jam was a unique experience. Interacting with a diverse set of people from different backgrounds and learning from their varied approaches towards building trust and transparency in the data ecosystem was enriching."

Anand Krishnan, Policy Manager, Data Security Council of India

What happened?

Below is an outline of the stages and exercises that took place at this Design Jam. For everything that you need to facilitate your own workshop, please follow the links to the relevant part of our toolkit.


On the morning of the Jam, Charu Chadha (Policy Programs Manager for Facebook India) welcomed the participants and introduced Design Jamming.

The participants then took part in discovery exercises around stations: Analyze data transparency in context, AI explainability spectrum and Design with words.


Subject matter experts gave presentations to the group, including Smriti Parsheera from NIPFP, who spoke about the upcoming regulations related to data privacy and protection, Shagufta Gupta from Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) spoke about the research insights on data awareness among Indian consumers, and Prerak Mehta from Dalberg Design, presented observations of a study on how ordinary citizens in India think and act on their privacy and data protection.

All participants worked to Identify opportunities by writing How Might We's on Post-Its during these presentations, and these notes were collected by the facilitation team who placed them on the Wall of the day, grouping them into key thematic areas.

Some of the unique groupings of questions that emerged from this Design Jam included ideas on how might we:

  • Incentivise businesses to build trust and transparency before requesting data
  • Adopt better data security measures
  • Communicate data collection transparently using simple language
  • Create laws and regulations for responsible data collection by businesses

After the expert panel session, the participants Split into teams with 2-3 members from the chosen startup, along with experts from different domains like policy, legal, design or business, to infuse creative thinking and varied solutions to the problems faced by startups.

We had a total of 6 teams each focussing on the businesses and mobile apps of the following startups from “AI for Good” cohort of the Facebook India Innovation Accelerator. The teams were:

  • ftCash - Integrated digital payments and lending solution for micro-merchants
  • InnerHour - Psychological health platform for happier and healthier life
  • Smriti - Platform for collaborative drafting, reviewing and managing contracts
  • Shortlist - Hiring Solution for fast growing companies enabling skill based hiring
  • Signzy - Digital on-boarding and contract management solution for financial institutions
  • Sensegrass - Smart farming solution for fertilizers & crop management

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Ideate & Prototype

Startup participants briefed their teams about Business and product through the lens of privacy and data, Understanding people through personas and Data usage in products.

Teams completed Challenge statements to define and refine their focus on a specific part of the challenge for each fictional app.

The facilitators Set brainstorming rules and introduced the teams to Sketching ideas. Teams moved from sketching ideas and receiving Feedback from other teams to Building digital prototypes of a single idea.

Each team worked on a presentation to Create a pitch, telling the story of their design patterns back to the whole group and receiving Feedback from experts at the end of the day.