Learning about Human-Centred Design in the USA

Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA: June/July/August

Belisa Rodrigues, Belle and Co. Director, was awarded one of the 1000 coveted fellowship positions to be part of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) or Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) class of 2016.

Each year fellows are divided into groups of 25 cohort and attached to a USA University. In this case, Miss Rodrigues was seconded to Dartmouth College along with 25 other fellows representing 17 African countries.

Core part of the educational experience was learning about Design Thinking with Prof. Robbie in the Thayer Engineering Department; as well as Design-Driven Entrepreneurship with Prof. Norwady; and Leadership Development at the Rockerfeller Leadership Centre.

The human-centred design process was mostly experiential, whereby teams were formed, business ideas developed and delivery of real-time pitches to investors who awarded grants of $25 000 to the best business idea/pitch.

Tools and methods used included: Empathy Maps, Stakeholder Maps, Poster Concepts, Pitch Decks, Personas, Field Research, prototyping etc