By Joseph Babana
2013 FDN Scholarship Recipient
I was recently offered the opportunity to attend the International Design Thinking Week (IDTW) in Berlin, Germany, through the support of the Future Direction Network. Travelling to the IDTW involved attending workshops throughout the week based around finding the answer on ‘how to facilitate organic growth in a start-up’. The workshops were aimed at focussing on a user based approach towards innovation and problem solving, allowing for tailored solutions to be found for challenging and dynamic problems.
We were put into teams to work on the problem. My team was made up of three IT students at the Hasso-Platter Institut in Berlin. They were Sven, Anna & Tobius. Another team member who was taking part in the IDTW was Yael who was from Israel. Through this experience I have made life-long friends that I regularly keep in touch with.
During the week, we attended lectures from many important guest speakers. None more so, than head of the D-school (design) at Stanford University, George Kembel, who’s insights were extremely valuable.
The dschool experience that I was fortunate to be a part of in Berlin has enhanced my way of thinking, dschool made clear to me the need to focus on user needs for whatever product, business or initiative you plan on implementing. In a career sense, as a future civil engineer I see significant value in what I have learnt, working on civil projects require consideration of who will be using it.
This opportunity has also ‘broadened my horizons’ so to speak. Having never stepped foot outside of Australia to travelling half way around the world to Germany and a brief stay in France – I now see a whole new ‘world’ of opportunity.
I would like to thank FDN for sending me on such a fantastic journey,