Designing Projects, Brainstorming Fundraising Ideas and An Exercise in Prototyping

Our summer school program at Karamat College continues with another great day of teaching and an exciting first session with the team at Sanatkada!

Georgiana’s second session focused on strategy and project design. The class began by building on yesterday’s session, in which students had to identify social issues in their communities and produce a visual representation of the root causes of those issues, some potential solutions and the barriers to solving them.

To get the students going, Georgiana organised them in groups and gave them a few resources (various pieces of papers, a marker, and a tape roll) with the objective of building the highest standing tower in less than 30 minutes. There was a catch, however, as two students were handed coloured pieces of papers that only they could touch. By doing that, Georgiana made sure that the students who were generally more reserved and quiet got involved in the activity.

The excitement the students demonstrated from the exercise paved the way to a very interesting conversation about strategy and project implementation. They talked about the importance of making the most of the limited resources that their team had, being creative (some students cut the papers into thinner pieces, while some used the tape to stick the fragile foundation to the floor, and others even took out the ink tube from the market to make the marker longer and then put it on top of their tower!), making use of members’ special knowledge/skills and cooperating (as only some members were allowed to touch some of the papers/resources), continuously evaluating the methods/strategy used to achieve the goal (as many had to rethink their tower design when they realised the base wasn’t strong enough), and delivering results by respecting deadlines (the 30mins timeframe).

Inadvertently (by not taking into account the fans in the room where they were building their papers towers!) Georgiana also gave students a great metaphor for how important it is to analyse the environment in which the project is implemented.

The activity prompted a conversation about project and strategy design, beginning with definitely clear goals and objectives. Georgiana used PROWIBO’s handbooks for a few exercises and some readings regarding the difference between the two. Following that, she introduced students to techniques on how to create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound). Tomorrow they’ll have to frame the goal and objectives of their own advocacy projects for the social issues they’ve been working on!

Kasia and Georgiana met up with the team at Sanatkada last week to learn more about their work and to decide on the themes of their three upcoming sessions together! They also talked about fundraising for Sanatkada’s annual cultural festival, budgeting, and promoting their business. Today was their first session, where they discussed ideas on how to strike a balance between their revenues and expenses for organising the festival. That gave way to a very interesting and informal discussion.

According to Georgiana, the great thing about their work at Karamat is that her sessions often build on Kasia’s and vice versa (whose course is very much focused on Design Thinking). In that way, the activity Georgiana gave students today linked nicely with the part of Kasia’s course which talks about prototyping.

Kasia agreed that the session structures work really well together! Yesterday she spoke to the students about different ways of communicating, and how certain words may have a negative effect and stop the creative flow, while others can encourage people to innovate. She also did a small lecture on master suppression techniques and how women can respond and support themselves during meetings and presentations when the techniques are used against them by men. Students spent the rest of the class prototyping the solutions they ideate.

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