This week's meeting was led by Alan Harlam, the director of social Innovation at Brown University. Mr. Harlam was very engaging as he spoke about the potential impact that social ventures can have in society. What made the discussion even more interesting was how Mr. Harlam related his ideas of social entrepreneurship to real life examples of operating organizations.
An important lesson from the discussion was the idea that successful social ventures require a degree of experienced/lived empathy. It is the idea that you first you have to live in a person's broken house to truly know what needs to be fixed and how.
After the discussion one of the dojees, Spencer Greene gave a presentation on a ‘start-up of the week.’ His topic was on a recent trip to visit Israeli-backed startups in Massachusetts which provided numerous interesting insights like the marketing challenges facing startups.
To conclude all of the interesting talks and discussions the dojees assembled to participate in a unique experiment of product iteration.
The task was simple: build a paper airplane in 3 minutes that will be tested for how far it can travel.
After a few minutes the students came back with some interesting designs, however not all were successful. After their first attempts, dojees got to iterate their designs for different but still specified objectives. The purpose of this exercise was to touch on one off Alan Harlam’s themes of design thinking.