The power of Recife, Manaus and São Paulo during the Design Sprints.

Chicas Poderosas put all their interest in Brazil, to include new female leaders in the communication ecosystem in the country, providing them with self-confidence, knowledge and connections.

During October and November, we began our Design Sprint sessions, a process led by Chicas Poderosas and coached by IDEO, to teach participants how to use human-centered design in their independent media projects. As part of the workshops, attendees were prepared to apply to the New Ventures Lab (NVL) – the new acceleration program that provides education, guidance and access to fund opportunities during 17 weeks.

Our mentor Mariana Ochs and participants of Design Sprint in Recife, Brazil.

As if it were a magic recipe, more than 100 participants worked for 2 days to transform ideas into projects that would stand on their own. They were more than 16 hours in each edition of the Design Sprint, for brainstorming, interviews, prototyping and project presentations.

The participants of the three cities learned from the Design Thinking methodology, where they practiced the stages of conception of a project: Discover, Design, Develop. The objective of the training was to offer a tool so that they could organize ideas, not only for their own independent media projects, but also in any other life project.

The profiles of the participants included journalists or communication students, institutional communication managers, academics, biologists, designers, founders of content startups and design and communication agencies. (Learn more about the profiles of the attendees here.)

The topic that dominated the discussions in Recife was “communication bubbles”, bearing in mind that they are one year away from elections. For this reason, several projects want to expand access to quality information and promote respectful and a healthy debate. Others want to encourage citizen or hyper-local journalism. The prototypes included platforms, applications, social networks and even awareness campaigns, full of innovative details such as geolocation and gamification, presented in creative “pitches”.

“It is so rewarding to perceive that we have transmit not only practical knowledge, but also the entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit that is in the DNA of the Chicas Poderosas, planting the seed so each one of the participants can contribute to the network”, commented Mariana Ochs, who is an ambassador for Chicas Poderosas Brasil, designer, educator and innovator of Google. She shares more of her experience as a mentor in the Design Sprint of Recife in this Medium post.

Among the ideas presented, an audio news application was included, curated with journalism sites; a search and recommendation platform for information communities on specific topics; a system that promotes the approach and dialogue between people with divergent points of view; a geographic guide of tourist and service information, fed by local residents and a campaign of awareness on the need for dialogue between opposing views.

See the photos of this adventure in Recife here.

A common challenge in Manaus: gender equality

We want to tell the stories of women in the forest, to demonstrate the feminism that already exists in the riverside communities and indigenous tribes, to map who the community leaders are, who are the women who integrate their families, who are the women who are already empowered, distant from the feminism that is approached in the academie. – Macarena Mairata

The team at Manaus Design Sprint.

The Manaus event gathered girls from riverside communities, some located 7 hours away by boat. “No matter the reality and the challenge inherent in each journey, in that room there were women loyal to their diverse statutes, women who were whole and in possession of their dreams, connected to themselves and to the place where they live. Maybe, that is the power of the jungle, living in connection, loving life, loving the other, loving the home, creating love, with everything that is inside. If someone learned deeply about female empowerment in that group, that was me.” wrote Gabriela Allegro, interactive narrative producer and participant of Design Sprint.

When asking participants about their dreams, the diversity of responses stood out. 15-year-old Gabriela Oliveira dreams of study Medicine and work for her community; Luana, 17, wants to be a lawyer to help others realize their dreams. Renata Ilha, biologist who works in the Amazon, wants women to empower themselves and talk about the richness and importance of the riverside and indigenous culture. Odenilze Ramos, 20, dreams of entering a Faculty of Journalism and working on issues of feminism with her community in Carao.

Regardless the differences, the participants managed to agree on a common challenge: achieving gender equality. During the two days of work the girls generated interviews that allowed them to share knowledge and experiences and advance in the prototyping of dozens of ideas. Gabriela Allegro shows us the evidence.

As a result of the process for identifying and presenting ideas, diferent projects emerged, such as a writing contest on feminism, where specialists will enrich debates and broaden reflection; a documentary about women in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest; a music festival to modify the lyrics of sexist songs, with conversations about compositions and its effects and, finally, publications with testimonies about what feminism is, to demystify the paradigm around the word.

Special thanks to  Fundação Amazônia Sustentável (FAS) and Impact Hub for the support.

Jackeline Silva from Saracá Community, located 7 hours from Manaus.

São Paulo – An intense holiday full of learning

Following the same dynamics of the previous events, the groups at SP Design Sprint worked in total immersion investigating, drawing and making prototypes until arriving at the final version of the projects, presented in the last day.

Although it was a holiday and the weather forecast was not very favorable, Design Sprint of São Paulo exceeded our expectations. Thanks to the team of mentors and ambassadors of Chicas Poderosas Brazil, it was a weekend with more than 40 assistants and lots of learning. Thanks, Sao Paulo!

The power of the ambassadors of Chicas Poderosas. @danielbacchieri e Luisa Brito getting some inights about the #designsprint #nvlchicas as

Una publicación compartida de Chicas Poderosas (@poderosaschicas) el

As a result, incredible ideas emerged for the web, applications and technology to manage information more effectively, whether by geolocation, social networks or artificial intelligence. They also worked on a project on how to access news that you do not read because they are out of your bubble, but that may interest you.

The ideas presented discuss also how to produce profitable and accessible content for all; the creation of an artificial intelligence bot that provides information; an application about astronomy and the universe and projects like that seeks to select ideal information depending on the user, in audio, video or text format.

“I spoke with some participants and I’m glad to know that it was a learning weekend for them. It’s what Chicas represents for me too: a constant learning. I participated in the first event two years ago, when I became an ambassador, and since then I became part of that community “, said Luisa Brito, ambassador of Chicas in Brazil, editor of text in TV Globo and who shared a post in Medium.

Thanks to everyone who made Design Sprint possible!

* This article was inspired by the contributions of Mariana Ochs, Gabriela Allegro e Luisa Brito.

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