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Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving

How can Design Thinking help to identify challenges and support innovation in SMEs and NGOs?

#CommunityBuilding #designthinking #Hackathon #Innovation #technology

Country:

Germany

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Barriers – what prevents women and girls from participating in tech, as users, content creators, employees, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders?

Potentials – What are the potentials of digital technologies for women and girls in our country?

 

Uniting forces to show

To foster local innovation and to support initiatives that empower women and girls in tech, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Google and Impact Hub Berlin organised a hackathon to develop solutions that address the gender digital divide. The challenge started with local exploration workshops that took place on 4 different continents in 4 different cities (Accra, Manila, Odessa and Sao Paulo) in March 2017. Around 50 young female leaders  were gathered to discuss how women and girls can be actively supported to overcome the barriers in the digital world. After a local pitch event the most promising ventures were selected by a local jury. Four finalists were invited to Berlin where they took part in a hackathon. The winning teams presented on stage at the G20 Germany Summit 2017 and managed to score a selfie with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Every team received 6 months of mentoring to further improve their business and skills. They all became role models of women who empower women and girls in tech.

 

Local solutions are already making a global impact

Eight powerful initiatives from four continents rocked our world big time! While everyone is still in the process of realizing the devastating gender gap in tech, these young female leaders are already making a difference. With their work they fight for inclusion, confidence and becoming role models to inspire other women and girls to follow. Check out what they’re doing:

 

Empower Marta, Sao Paulo – Empowerment of older women in tech in order to socially include them
InfoPretaSao Paulo – A project founded by transgenders to empower black women in computer skills and tech
Chasopys Share4Scale, Odessa – Coworking space, and community to raise awareness, break stereotypes between women and men in their job opportunities. Through education and mentorship, women get empowered to dare to lean in and become role models for other women.
It2School,  Odessa – Tech education for girls to empower them to feel confident in a digital society
Jeepneed Tiny Labs, Manila – Encourage curiosity. Providing schools with hands-on science activity labs in order to get kids off the screens, encourage creativity and new innovative ideas which change the world
Aurelia & Amelia, Manila – An accessory-retailer that offers multi-style and multi-purpose fashion accessories using an online platform through which they seek improving market positions and incomes of female entrepreneurs
<Developers in Vogue/>, Accra – Building a community of highly skilled female developers who are passionate about using technology to revolutionize Africa and beyond. Training and mentorship in software development, data science and real time projects
DiFEP, Accra – Empowerment of women to get access to tech careers. Hands on training and assistance in getting certifications and internships in digital marketing
>> Want to know more or host your own program with us?  Get in touch!

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Inequality Challenge

How might we integrate and upscale innovative approaches for the reduction of inequality and the LNOB principle of the 2030 Agenda – while at the same time strengthening the mainstreaming of these subjects in German development cooperation?

#Coaching #designthinking #Peer2Peer #PitchTraining #SDG10 #Workshop Partners

Countries:
Bangladesh, Nigeria, Brazil, Serbia, India, Cambia, Jordan, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mexico

 

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Africa FinTech Challenge

How might we support local entrepreneurs in Africa to ensure economic growth and financial security?

#DesignSprint #designthinking #DigitalPrototype #Hackathon #SDG1 #SDG10 #SDG8 #SDG9 Partners

Countries:
Ghana, Kamerun, Germany

Project

 

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ImpACT – Building Synergies between German and Afghan Start-ups

How can we strengthen German–Afghan start-up ecosystems with one another?

#designthinking #ecosystem #empowerment #Networking #SDG10 #SDG11 Germany Partners

Countries
Afghanistan, Germany

Project

Project website>> Want to know more or host your own program with us?  Get in touch!

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EU’s FABMove – connect social innovation hubs across the world

How can we strengthen relationships and exchange between hubs all focussing on social innovation?

#current #designthinking #ecosystem #empowerment #Networking #OnlineCommunity #SDG11 Partners

Countries
France, Israel, Argentina, Costa Rica, Indonesia

 

Project

Project website

>> Want to know more or host your own program with us? Contact Anna Lässer!

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GIZ Lab of Tomorrow – Human-centered research to access emerging markets

How can you create new business ventures in emerging markets and establish strong local partnerships?

#designthinking #Digitalization #Ideation #LabOfTomorrow #Piloting #Prototyping #Research #SDG1 #SDG10 #SDG11 #SDG12 #SDG13 #SDG14 #SDG15 #SDG16 #SDG17 #SDG2 #SDG3 #SDG4 #SDG5 #SDG6 #SDG7 #SDG8 #SDG9 Partners

Countries
Zambia, Kenya, Uganda

 

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Accelerate MENA

How can we empower and connect the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tunis and Amman and help them create new solution to improve sustainable production & consumption as well as create a better future for renewable energy?

#Accelerator #bootcamp #designthinking #ecosystem #empowerment #Ideation #Innovation #MENA #SDG12 #SDG7 #women Jordan Tunisia Partners

Countries: Jordan, Tunisia, Germany

Project

Project:

Accelerate MENA was a bilingual program (English – French) developed to inspire, build and connect social innovation ecosystems in the MENA region. Kicking off the program in Jordan and Tunisia, the project consisted of:


Impact:

We believe that the best approach to address today’s challenges is to build and support local and global ecosystems of motivated people who want drive change. Innovation is not always Silicon Valley – Anyone can come up with new ideas that solve problems we face. Topped with inspiration, guidance, the right tools and skill set, these ideas can quickly turn into real projects with real impact.

Accelerate MENA equipped our participants with the tools to develop responsible and inclusive business models around challenges that matter – be it Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG 12) in Jordan or Renewable Energy (SDG 7) in Tunisia – and connected them to the right stakeholders. By running two-day Design Thinking innovation bootcamps in Amman and Tunis as well as an acceleration training in Berlin, Accelerate MENA aimed to strengthen the MENA social entrepreneurship scene through three core elements:

The participants developed several ideas ranging from using biomass to empower small towns in Tunisia by producing and selling their own energy, to building a co-creation space for artists upcycling plastic, or designing energy-efficient housing in the dead sea regions.


Insights:

>> Jordan


Design Thinking can unleash creativity in Jordan

There are a lot of highly motivated people in Jordan, especially young students, who are eager and motivated to get involved in starting an impact project. However, there are not enough creative offers that encourage ideation yet, and Design Thinking is still a new concept. Closely connected to that, Design Thinking experts and trainers are quite rare. During the workshop we were amazed to see how open the bootcamp participants were to the process and how much energy they put into the team and project work. The final pitches at the end of the workshop in front of a jury pushed the participants to develop their idea further – they were on fire!


Creative Workshops are nice; but follow-ups make the difference

Apart from the high energy of the participants, we were overwhelmed to see that many existing projects had an implicit impact focus already, especially in Amman and the surrounding areas. While there are existing support opportunities for young entrepreneurs in Amman, such as the Zain campus where our bootcamp took place, enpact or Oasis 500, follow-up support opportunities for early stage ideas are still rare. Although the level of motivation was high, participants who came to our bootcamp with an idea often struggled to create a business model making their project or startup financially sustainable. There is a big demand for developing a skill set to push ideas further.


Need for more business modelling to make ideas come alive

Concluding, especially in the early project stages ranging from ideation to follow-up support for projects that have not turned into a business yet, support and funding is lacking. We had the feeling that many good ideas were not followed up upon, as incubation or mentoring opportunities to work on the business side were missing. Design Thinking and co-working are slowly arriving in Jordan, but were not common buzzwords yet.


>> Tunisia


Female power!

Similar to Jordan, we loved how many female participants came to our workshop. The teams were very gender-inclusive and collaboration was highly encouraged. Although gender inclusivity and rights is of course still a big topic in the region, within the small context of our workshop and probably also within the younger age group it felt very natural to have diverse teams.


Strengthening Tunisia’s early-stage entrepreneurship ecosystem

Feedback we received from several ends indicated that the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Tunisia is still very early-stage with few players, support institutions and co-working spaces in the field. Especially amongst the older generation, becoming a founder is not yet as accepted as working for bigger corporates. Consequently, funding and investment is still a big topic and so is bureaucracy.

 

>> Want to know more or host your own program with us?  Get in touch!