Day 1 of the Impact Week at UTADEO started already at 7:30, when most of our team moved to the university to prepare the track rooms as well as the kickoff of the 4-days-challenge with around 75 Colombian students, of which the first ones arrived at 8.30 a.m. to pick up their badges and shirts.
After an introduction and welcome speech by the university followed by Alex's introduction on Design Thinking and the first phase "Understand", students and coaches went to their track rooms on 6th floor to start working. Already now we were facing the first barrier – the language! Many of the students don't do so well in speaking English, as well as many of the coaches don't do well at all in speaking Spanish. But based on our mantra "Embrace change" we tried to manage this barrier as good as we could by using some of the participants, who performed best in both languages, to function as a translator in both directions. Of course, this fact slowed down a bit our working results of understanding the challenges of our five tracks: Tourism, Fair Trade, Public Policy, Regional Development and Education.
Before moving on to second Phase "Observation" in the afternoon, we were lucky to get very interesting political background information about the challenges on the post-conflict of Colombia. External guest speakers are planned for the next days as well, to give each track team additional background information on their topics.
During the observation phase the students then had to go out on the streets and interview people, to gain as much insights on the assigned challenge as possible. For this step it was very important for the students to learn, how to ask the right questions in order to make the people tell them their stories which might unveil their individual experiences and needs in regards of a certain problem.
After being back at the university, the whole team had the unique chance to take part in a sketching workshop – thanks to our three senior coaches! Now we are all ready to draw lots of beautiful post-its in the next days.