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The Vision Challenge

6 July 2015
26 July 2015
Oxford University
By the DO School GmbH
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The Challenge

Many people in India – especially in rural or lower-income areas – do not have access to adequate eye care, hindering their participation in both education and employment.

Self-adjustable eyewear is an effective solution. But how to bring it to the communities who need it the most?

Joining forces with the DO School and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University, Adlens challenged the participants of our Leading for Impact program (all of them Oxford University students) to prototype business models to make self-adjustable eyewear available in India.

The Challenger

Adlens, as a company with a social soul, has turned its adjustable focus technology into products that promise to deliver an eyewear revolution to emerging markets. In combination with innovative smartphone app solutions, it makes it possible to train non-optometrists to diagnose the most common eye problems and create a living for themselves.

Being able to interact with different high caliber groups, you are able to then tap into a lot of different ideas.
James Chen, Adlens Co-Founder and Owner

The result

Following the intensive three-week summer session, our participants presented two different routes to Adlens executives – both of which had been prototyped AND tested in India!

The Cinema Pilot

With movie screenings being such a focal point of cultural and social life in rural India, they seemed to be a perfect opportunity to raise awareness about eyecare – and, of course, of the availability of the affordable and adjustable solutions provided by Adlens.

Teaming up with local partners, the Leading for Impact team designed a model to spread their message through free screenings in mobile cinemas.

The School Pilot

School children in particular suffer from the scarcity of good eyewear in rural India. At the same time, adjustable glasses provide an inspiring and engaging teaching tool to communicate the importance of vision correction.

With that hypothesis in mind, Leading for Impact participants designed a prototype teaching kit incorporating self-adjusting Adlens glasses to teach the basic physics and biology for students of eight grade and above. Apart from being exposed to practical learning tools, the students could also be screened for vision correction. 

I've got to see how theories are being rolled out into real life activities
Chung Yen Looi, Oxford DPhil Student

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