Change in Action

Between the first and second terms (right after term 1 finals) we plunged into a week called “Change in Action.”  You may remember that I mentioned a one-week learn-fest where I pretended to be a designer and a basketball player.  Change in Action (CiA) is the follow-up to that week.  During CiA, we focused on a social enterprise in Guatemala called Quetsol.  Quetsol is a “solar energy company that brings electricity to poor communities off the grid for a cheaper price than candles.”  Do me a favor and watch this video!

Unreasonable Climax 2012: Juan Fermín Rodríguez – QUETSOL from Unreasonable Media on Vimeo.

Powerful, right?

We gathered insights from the founder of Quetsol, studied a case about Quetsol and learned Design Thinking techniques to solve a challenge featured in the case with the goal of giving us a hands-on socially-responsible entrepreneurial project.   I have never been a part of social enterprise because I have always worked in a corporate setting, but it was a nice challenge to see how we could help this social entrepreneur bring light to more families in Guatemala.  We learned all about the organizational and cost structures, cultural dynamics, the technology itself and how it functions, and more.

For the Design Thinking piece, we worked with several experts in the field.  Since there weren’t enough people in my group, I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with this guy, Richard Banfield, from fresh tilled soil.  My objective was to get to know him and his needs so well that I could design a wallet for him.  I’ll spare you the photo of the wallet, but I was successful with my prototype in the end.

After we learned about design thinking and about Quetsol, I joined the same group that I had before and we went to the Madrid College of Architecture for a “Design Thinking in Practice” session.  As you can see, the view of the building and from the building is amazing.

Here are some photos that I took while we were having a break.  🙂 

View from the top floor.

View from the top floor.

Not bad!

Not bad!

Taking a break from thinking so hard.

Taking a break from thinking so hard.

Our solution!

Our solution!

On the Thursday of that week, all of the teams presented their insights and solutions to one of IE’s Entrepreneurship professors.  The top teams would go on to present their solution to the CEO of Quetsol on Friday.  There were 4 or 5 groups in our room, and although we got an outstanding grade, the professor thought another group had a slightly more feasible idea than ours.  But what an experience!

Our presentation!

Our presentation!

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