This week’s session started off with the 18 motivated “dojees” sitting around the John Street Studio table ready for a presentation on social innovation by Lizzie Pollock, Assistant Director of Social Innovation at the Swearer Center. She spoke to the entrepreneurial nature of Brown students and referenced examples of student founded social entrepreneurships.
Pushing the students to think about global issues, each student wrote about an issue of their choice and soon had to spit ball potential solutions. While hard (or impossible!) to do in a 20-minute workshop, this action proved the need for iteration, ideation and pivoting while creating solutions. Additionally, it showed that empathy is the basis of innovation.
Furthering the need for ideation and questioning goals in preparing a viable solution, this week’s workshop had the dojees making paper airplanes. In competition form, each student had 5-minute blocks to plan and create an airplane. In the first round we gave them no instruction, second round we asked them to think of a specific goal for their airplane and third round we asked them to perfect their design based on the goal. Students threw their paper airplane and we then gave a quick analysis of their process of ideation. Many students thought outside the box as paper airplanes did aerial twirls, looked like rocks, or had creative drawings on the outside. Many laughs were shared as paper took flight and an understanding of the need for ideation and iteration emerged.
Following the running and throwing involved in the paper airplane workshop, we sat down in groups of 4 and discussed potential entrepreneurial projects for the Dojo semester and the root causes of these projects. Ideas criticizing peer review journals, economy platforms including AirBnB, school curriculums, and the transparency of non-profits. Dojees linked up and began to form groups for their semester long projects. Many ever began to apply concepts of social work and ideation presented during the session.