Sustainability and Spanish CILA 2014

Report
“In many American children’s stories
(and other stories too), the
characters live “happily ever after”.
“Sustainability is the art of the ‘ever
after,’ the art of assuring that people
in the future will have what they
need to lead fulfilling lives.” (Jim
Farrell)
DESIGN THINKING,
SUSTAINABILITY AND SPANISH:
Applying Design Thinking in an Interim Course
TODAY….

I will share the experience from an interim
course were I used Design Thinking to get
students into a different learning mode by:
Inviting them to work collaboratively
 Encourage them to unleash their creativity
 Promoting a culture of experimentation

While exploring the topic of sustainability in
Latin America
 And develop advanced oral communication skills
in Spanish (ORC)

A LITTLE EXERCISE TO START
Redesign the work bag/backpack
for St. Olaf faculty and / staff

Interview one member of your group about what
he/she needs to bring to work (5-7 minutes)
TIPS:
Ask open ended questions
 Dig! Try to get to the bottom of your ‘user’s’ issues
 Do not try to offer solutions
 Listen

BUILD A PROTOTYPE (10 MINUTES)

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Use the materials inside the paper bag to build a
prototype
Use the information you gathered from the
interview as INSPIRATION
Use the rules of brainstorm as you build your
model
RULES FOR BRAINSTORMING
Defer Judgment (“yes, and….”)
Build on the Ideas of Others
Encourage Wild Ideas
Be Generous with Your Ideas
Stay Focused on the Topic
One Conversation at a Time
Be Visual
Go for Quantity
WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING?


An iterative, systematic and structured approach for
tackling problems and produce innovative solutions.
It is….
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human-centered
intentional
collaborative
optimistic
experimental

Evolved from design

Expanded into other areas
THREE PHASES
Ideation:
Generate Ideas
Inspiration
(empathy):
Uncover user needs
Action:
Experiment
Build
Learn
DESIGN THINKING AT ST. OLAF
Number of initiatives and groups who have been
experimenting with the idea of how we could use
methodologies such as DT in the liberal arts context:

Activities related to the 2012 Theme "Innovation in
the Liberal Arts”

"bloom”



Creative Learning Community
http://pages.stolaf.edu/creativelearningcommunities/
Faculty initiatives in their own classes supported by
the Provost’s innovation fund
WHAT MOTIVATED ME TO TRY DESIGN
THINKING IN A SPANISH CLASS?






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Why we do what we do, in community, in this
physical space? (as opposed to on-line courses)
Culture that promotes “crossing” academic
boundaries (Conversation programs, EIN, learning
communities, IGS)
Existing models that promote experimentation with
pedagogies and content (interim, summer, CILA)
Spanish majors increasingly coming from the social
sciences and sciences
Companies that talk about hiring “T-shape”
individuals
Sustainability as an important, timely, and
‘accessible’ topic
Introduce students (seniors) to Design Thinking
MY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Sustainability
Member of Environmental Conversations Group 2012-13
 Readings suggested by Jim Farrell
 “Sustainability Across the Curriculum” Workshop 2013
 Faculty mentors and cheerleaders (Paul Jackson)

Design Thinking
 Sabbatical year (2011-2012)

“Discovered Design Thinking”


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Read “Change by Design”
Visited Stanford d.school
Visited IDEO
Took 3-day Design Thinking workshop with stoke.d
The Gymnasium
2012 “Innovation in the liberal arts”


Took part in activities
Invited to become part of the lead group
SPANISH 274: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN THE
SPANISH SPEAKING WORLD
Topic: Sustainability in Latin America
 Elective for Spanish majors
 GE: ORC
 4 hours of class each day (including lunch)
 Classroom as “Design Thinking” Lab

SPAN 274: CURRICULUM
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Readings about culture and civilization of Latin America
Readings about Sustainability
Presentations about Sustainability (Paul Jackson, Dave Van
Wylen, Kelly Meza Prado, Matthew Rohn)
Movie “Even the Rain”
Novel “La loca de Gandoca” by A. Rosi
Design Thinking Workshop
Assessment:
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Sed de saber (TED-style talk)
Presentations and round tables on Culture and Civilization of Latin
America
Oral and written assignments on readings
Cuando me topo con la sostenibilidad (photograhic project)
Mural on “La loca de Gandoca”
Sustainability Summit
Design Thinking Challenge (oral and written activities)
Project Pitch (Poster and presentations)
THE CHALLENGE
How might we promote sustainable practices
in the food and livestock industry in Latin
America?
Five interdisciplinary teams
Selection based on: year, major(s),
concentration(s)
extracurricular activities
INSPIRATION: DEVELOP EMPATHY FOR
“USERS”
Cultural ‘texts’
Readings on
Sustainability
Presentations
20 Interviews
“Voices” from Latin
America and
the USA
Visits to Bon Appétit
(Randy Clay)
St. Olaf Campus
(Pete Sanberg)
THE INTERVIEWS
Why?
To develop empathy
for our participants/’users’
To search for inspiration
with respect to initial
challenge through their
“voices”
To discover “areas of
opportunity”
How?
Teams of two. One
interviews, the other
takes notes
Open ended questions
Look for “good quotes”
Who?
20 interviews
1. Vegetarian Student from
Venezuelan
2. Director of “Sustainabilities”
3. Uruguayan Professor of
Social Science and
Agriculture
4. Director of movie
“Bananaland”
5. Student from the Bahamas
who studied in Costa Rica
6. Community Organizer from
Colombia
7. Argentine activist who
promotes sustainable
practices in local
communities
MARCELA
PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND AGRICULTURE
UNIVERSIDAD DE LA REPÚBLICA DEL URUGUAY.
Developed a program for professionals and
academics to investigate sustainable development
that is socially just, and economically viable.
“Traditional development increases production and
profitability…the goal is sustainable rural development”
“Optimize production, not maximize production”
“No one eats organic meat here, it is exported”
SYNTHESIS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
“Download” interviews into ‘post-it’ notes.
Analyze data
Discover patterns or “areas of opportunity”
Share your findings
Formulate brainstorming questions
(SOME) AREAS OF OPPORTUNITIES

Balance health with sustainable practices in a
limited diet
“Quinua travels great distances, but I need the protein”

Reduce the physical and mental distance between
production and consumption
“A person should have the determination to kill and prepare
animals if they want to eat them”

Offer local food at a reasonable price
“When I am spending my own $ on food…cost is the most
important factor”
BRAINSTORMING QUESTIONS
HOW MIGHT WE…?
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Improve access to sustainable food?
Promote sustainable individual eating habits?
Educate communities on the difference between
sustainable and healthy?
Make local food a viable option?
Influence large corporations so that they become more
sustainable?
Promote conscious consumption in our own
community?
Increase awareness of origin and ‘real’ cost of food?
Increase access of healthy and sustainable food to
more communities?
Decrease waste in our own community?
THE IDEATION PHASE: GENERATE FRESH IDEAS
Selection of best
Brainstorming
Hundreds of new ideas
•3 sessions in 2 days
•Mixed groups
•One moderator per group
•Rules for Brainstorming
•15 minutes per question
•Voting at end of each session
SOME IDEAS THAT EMERGED…
“The more you know”…TV
Public announcement ads
Reality show where
Byoncé
Becomes an organic
farmer
“Hire a farmer”
Vertical gardens
on
Buildings’ walls
Food labels with “real cost”
Of food
THE ACTION PHASE: “BUILD TO THINK,
AND BUILD TO LEARN”
Working on prototype
“Stav Stickers”
Getting feedback
“Oles a la granja”
FROM IDEAS TO ACTION: ONE EXAMPLE
How might we incorporate local food so that it
is a viable option?
“Make bigger gardens at St. Olaf”
“Gardens on the rooftop of every building”
“Greenhouses that grow tropical food to make
it local”
Prototype
“The aromatic roof—an herb garden on the
Roof of Regents”
THE “PITCH”: MAKING THE CASE
A FINAL THOUGHT FROM A SENIOR…
“A lot of classes now are kind of depressing…the
more I learn things, the more disenchanted I
become with so many parts of the world, just
because I realize how much more complicated
things are…I now feel that all of these things are
so much bigger than any of us or what we can
possibly do, but then I feel like, wow, we are just
a bunch of twenty-year-olds [and] have this
capacity to do this in another language over a
month and even generate these really cool ideas
that could potentially be implemented here”
ADDITIONAL STUDENTS’ REACTIONS
On creativity:
“I feel it has been so much time since we were
forced to be creative”
On group work:
“I feel that when you hear the word ‘group
projects’ you immediately are like…[made weird
face]…but Design Thinking was so effective that
everyone was involved, we got everybody’s ideas,
and we worked collaboratively in a way that was
actually productive and meaningful”
ON STUDYING SUSTAINABILITY IN LATIN
AMERICA

“I think something that was really cool about having
the focus on Latin America in this class was that I
don’t think about sustainability outside of my own
environment very often, and so thinking of like how
they do it in Hispanic countries in Latin America it is
something I wouldn’t have thought about it, if we
didn’t’ touch that at all and than I think it really
influence [me] in terms of getting the things back to
this place, because you could have a class based on
just sustainability in the United States and St. Olaf,
but you know, I don’t think we would had known
what sustainability meant in other places that I think
it helped influence our thoughts here”
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
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http://www.openideo.com/challenge
https://dschool.stanford.edu/groups/k12/wiki/613e
8/Creating_Design_Challenges.html
http://www.cooperhewitt.org/conversations/2011/
09/09/ready-set-design
http://dschool.stanford.edu/
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/how-to-designbreakthrough-inventions-50138327/
BIBLIOGRAPHY USED IN THE COURSE
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Barruti, S. (2013). Mal Comidos: Cómo la industria alimentaria Argentina nos está matando. Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Espejo de la Argentina Planeta.
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Brown, T. & Katz, B. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation.
New York, NY: Harper Collins.
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Fletcher, K. & Grose, L. (2012). Gestionar la sostenibilidad en la moda: Diseñar para cambiar. China: Blume.
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Fox, A.A. (2011). Latinoamérica: Presente y pasado. Binkowski, D. (Ed. 4). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
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Galeano, E. (1994). Úselo y tírelo: El mundo visto desde una ecología latinoamericana. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Grupo
Editorial Planeta.
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Kelley, D. & Kelley, T. (2013). Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. New York, NY:
Crown Business.
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Marcote, P.V. & Mira, R.G. (2009). Sostenibilidad, valores y cultura ambiental. Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Pirámide.

Mendivil, E.O. (2013). Educación ambiental para la sostenibilidad: El medio ambiente y su relación con la ecobionomia
y la sostenibilidad. Lexington, KY: Instituto Mediterráneo Publicaciones.

Robèrt, K.H., Broman, G., Waldron, D., Ny, H., Byggeth, S., Cook, D.,… Missimer, M. (2012). Manual de sostenibilidad:
Planeando estratégicamente para la sostenibilidad. Suecia: El Instituto de Tecnología de Blekinge.

Rossi, A. (2009). La loca de Gandoca. San José, Costa Rica: Legado.

Svampa, M. (2013, Marzo-Abril). Consenso de los commodities y lenguajes de valoración en América Latina. Nueva
Sociedad, 244, 30-46.
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United Nations. (2004). La sostenibilidad ambiental del desarrollo en Argentina: tres futuros. Santiago, Chile: Gallopín.
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In addition to:
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“Even the Rain” directed by Icíar Bollaín
Readings from Latin American Press, “Geomundo” (Spanish version of National Geographic), and other materials from
web searches

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