Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Random Walk: Design-Thinking Workshop

Design-Thinking Workshop
Photograph by Douglas Fraser.

For six weeks in June and July, Dartmouth hosted 25 young African fellows as part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Washington Fellowship program.

The group of rising stars came to Dartmouth for advanced training in business, entrepreneurship, civic leadership, public management, and a two-week design-thinking worskshop at Thayer with Professor Peter Robbie ’69. YALI participant Chedi Festo Ngulu, who is from Tanzania and founded MegaMark Communications, said, “What really made me apply for YALI is the speech that President Obama did in Johannesburg. It was such a powerful, moving, and on-point speech. What stood out was the faith that Africa, if empowered, if given a chance, has the opportunity to build itself. I was like, this is not something that I’m going to miss.” The design-thinking segment stood out for Ngulu. “This design thinking was a reflection of the entire process. It goes back to thinking about: What is a problem? How do you approach it? How do you think non-linearly instead of the linear process that we are so intuitively used to. It showed me the gaps that we miss, and how I can go back and do things better than the way we used to do,” he said. “I’ll tell you what Africa needs now. It’s not that we don’t have educated people. We need the out-of-the-box thinking to look at our problems and say, ‘Why do we keep doing the same approaches and failing?’ It’s about approaching things differently so we can have different outcomes.”

For more photos, visit our Young African Leadership Initiative album on Flickr.

Categories: Random Walk

Tags: design, faculty, international, public policy

comments powered by Disqus