For week three’s Soft skills session, the participants of the Upshift program had a discussion about design thinking as a human-centred design approach that is used to give solutions to problems identified.
Mr Francis Eshun, a social innovator, entrepreneur and CEO of Sayyest Company, had a session with the participants today. The session started with the facilitator sharing his personal experience and journey in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Mr Eshun took the students through the design thinking process which were Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. Empathize as a design thinking process implies gathering information through interviews, Define is used to narrow the problem and describes specific problems, Ideate is the part where the problem solver keeps brainstorming on solutions for the problem, Prototype is using the materials available to start solving the problem and Testing is the stage where the products are taken to end-users.
The students watched a video about a prototype he had created as a solution to one of their problems. He added that for the prototype stage an individual should consider his or her budget, quality of the product, the availability of funds for the product and whether climate change will affect the product. He taught them how to write problem statements. He also talked about some of the things an innovator should know before venturing into a particular field or market; knowing your business model, knowing your competitors and selecting a proper team.
At the end of the session, Mr Francis went around to check their progress on their projects and gave them some tips on how to make their solutions better.