I have a little exposure to Design Thinking – Molly Adair did a weekly workshop over the course of last spring for AidData where I am a senior research assistant. We didn’t dive too deeply into the process, so the Design Thinking bootcamp we participated in last class was a much more comprehensive experience. I was really enjoying the time I spent working with Lynn, and I’ve been reflecting on the exercise since. We made significant progress, and I am really excited to come back to class and finish the great work that we started. As we were picking up momentum, the number of nods and smiles and yes’s increased, I lost track of how much time was left in class, and I thought: “I haven’t been this engaged in what I’m learning in a long time.”
My favorite things are to learn about people, connect to people, and to help people. The Design Thinking process let me do all of these things. I really like the empathy part, digging into the deeper problems – its almost like an anthropological study. The collaboration effort – pitching ideas, getting feedback, revising, repeat – was so engaging and dynamic. We had a great flow of conversation and ideas – I really liked being able to collaborate and connect in order to reach a creative and meaningful solution to a real problem. I felt like I was meeting a need of another person while also fulfilling my own creative desires – it was such a great balance, and I cannot wait to jump back into the process.
I am struck by how engaged I was in this activity. The Design Thinking process combines many of my values and strengths – and I really enjoyed it. Lately I’ve been really struggling with the future, because I’ve realized how much I’m bored by or just generally dislike the work I do or the subjects I’m studying. I’ve not been excited to look for grad schools and jobs because I felt tied to my current involvements – which I’m just not that pleased with. But this class (in the 6 times we’ve met) might be the link for a future I could be excited about.