Day 6 & 7
The 24-hour Design Challenge has begun! Fellows showed up early for first come first pick on break out session rooms. The challenge now is to time-crunch all the knowledge gained this week, and apply the tools to design a solution to an issue... with the twist of presenting it from the future!
The teams were asked to apply a positive future framing speculative design to their solution. This framework pushed everyone beyond their traditional thought process on delivering a presentation and coming up with an idea. Using the Disruptive Design Method (DDM), the fellows went through an entire journey using systems mapping to find what issues they were collaboratively passionate about and points of intervention.
As the breakout session walls transformed into systems mapping art – teams started to find the problem arenas. One team decided to tackle the fast fashion issue, another team was inspired to look at what makes thriving cities. Two teams, inspired by Sihle (one of our mentors) and his work with Quirky 30, researched on how to flip-the-script on the negative bias usually applied to gangs and prison.
Being at the CBD (central business district) made it easy for the teams to go on field trips being immersed in observational research to check and validate their ideas with the public and also talk with local team members about topics emerging from the rich content in the city. In between snacks were plentiful – we even had pancakes sent from the barakat tradition during Ramadan month! Teams then used the iterative process of DDM to come back with new information and perspectives to apply more systems mapping, landscaping, synthesizing and prototyping to build different solutions for their new insights. They worked late into the night, fueled by a surprise popcorn and ice-cream sundae bar the UnSchool team set up.
Early next morning after some very much needed brain breakfast food (coconut chia banana cinnamon pudding for everyone!), the teams wrapped up the final details for their solutions in preparation for practice pitches with the UnSchool team and Leyla via the internet! During the one-and-one team presentations, Leyla shared her tips and tricks on how to engage and create evocative and thoughtful presentations. With some twists and positive constructive feedback, the teams had time to make some quick changes while working against the clock before their final presentations.
At the final Design Challenge hour, the fellows participated in a community review process. Everyone rotated to review the presentations based on Viability, Change Potential, and Community to represent a different lens to each idea.
The intense seventh day week ended with popping champagne bottles, sparkling water and flowers for our fellows who were fasting. Each team did an incredible job and were very creative in presentations format. The scores were so close, but rounding to the tenth left one final winner! The creative and engaging presentations involving hug exchanges, transporting fellows to New York, and achieved the purpose of creative positive future framing.
After feasting on beautiful and colorful lunch and singing happy birthday to Andy, one of our local team members, we transitioned into a final memory-recalling and reflective session on our insights, wishes and tools to take away. The entire group then ended with a final reflection circle to share final thoughts on the week. The circle wrapped up with one of the fellows leading a call and response Kausar chant of ‘amandla’ (power) and the group responding ‘awethu’ (within) - a reminder that the power is within us. With filled hearts and brains, we said our temporary good-byes... the fellows were already planning an after party to celebrate that we are all now part of the the UnSchool Alumni family!
See you at the next UnSchool Change Makers Fellowship!