Nida Aslam from Pakistan collaborates with xPlot in opening up the new Creative Business Network in Pakistan. Read her exciting story.

I have always believed that good design and creativity can help solve the most complex problems in the world. Ever since my college, I used to observe the chaos and disorder around me- that is standard in any developing country- and I wondered why aren’t these problems addressed and why can’t we solve them in a way that is not so hard to follow for people of all ages.

This ‘why’ continuously kept on bothering me and somewhere inside me it kept on piling up.

I graduated back in 2005 with majors in Computer Sciences and pretty soon I realized it’s boring and I switched to “Design” and got an internship as a designer. With no background in arts/design, I learnt everything during my internship and mastered every skill that was needed to excel in that field. I’ve worked in the design industry for 14 years and in these last two years that ‘why’ eventually surfaced up and it became intolerable. That question somehow became my urge to do something.

And that’s what led me to create my own design studio. That ‘why’ became my story and the ultimate goal of DOTS (my design studio). I started this venture with a mission – a mission to bring a positive impact in the society through design. I believe ‘design’ is that powerful language which is easily understood by all and through design we can create impactful and innovative solutions to existing social problems.

With very little investment, I rented a small desk in the co-working space here in Islamabad. This co-working space happens to be on the second floor of a building with no access for persons with disabilities. From day one, I have wondered why the designers and architects of the space did not consider accessibility? Can a timely intervention of creativity and design really make a big difference in our society?

That inspired me to learn about social innovation. Together innovation and creativity can solve some of the most pressing social problems and needs of our society. As I started to travel for my work, I observed how some of the best airports in the world, e.g.; the Singapore Changi airport and the Dubai International Airport are leveraging good design to enhance customer experience and improve accessibility. This inspired me to explore the power of creativity, innovation and design for broader social good.

My journey took me to looking at how the world is transforming to a gig economy – empowering more individuals to be entrepreneurial and to be more in control of their own dreams and aspirations. This has created an opportunity to tap the amazing diversity and creativity individuals can bring together to create wonderful solutions to age old social challenges. While technology is a great enabler and common denominator these days for everything, the true way forward in helping humanity is through inclusive creativity and design.

This is my mission and goal. And I feel so excited to be a part of CBN which has provided me a platform through which I can set amazing examples with the help of local creative community.

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