We all know that the most relevant, famous and impactful word for the past 15 months has been COVID.
Everything from how we go to the supermarket, how we travel, how we meet our friends, how we take classes and even how we spend, had been changed in a way that we couldn’t forecast two years ago.
To know what was going to happen, before Wuhan, ever got attention on worldwide news (AKA Twitter), seemed to be a steady long marathon that everybody was running at its own pace and with their specific goals.
But now, that willing to know what is going to happen next month, week, or even tomorrow, had led us into, not a word or a short name for a scientific concept, a feeling: Uncertainty
Certainly one of the most relevant areas of which anyone would like to have some information about the best possible future is economics.
“How might we help companies and organizations improve their strategies, products or services to reach economic recovery from the impact of COVID19”
This sounds like an urgent question to be answered, but ínstead of being the finishing goal, it will be the starting point
We are Anum, Alfredo, Jose and Vamsi. A team formed by four different cultures and perspectives.
End of day 1
So, how can we address the challenge?
First, we have to be aware that we are not supposed to solve the whole entire economic situation, instead we have to concentrate on a scale that could give us a more focused perspective.
Now, we converged.
We decided to focus on a specific sector which is the people that had recently graduated form university and are struggling to find their first job.
Meet Paul. He is 24, he graduated in 2021, and he is currently in the search for a job that matches all his goals and dreams. But he knows he is not the only one in the quest. He feels anxious about it, he feels that what he learned would not be enough, and even underrated.
Paul is our persona and we are empathizing with him.
Now, we converged. We rephrased the challenge:
How might we help companies and organizations (universities, government, etc.) contribute to boost the economy by applying resources to the newly graduated workforce after the Covid era.
End of day 2
Once that we had a clearer path on where to think about, we had to actually think. Think about ideas. Ideas that could lead us to help Paul to succeed.
Now we are diverging.
Doesn’t matter if we were thinking about a special government fund or forcing Jeff Bezzos charity. Any thought is helpful at this stage, because we are not meant (at least not by now) to go straight to the finish line, we are trying to look at the map so we can see the whole picture as wide as possible.
Saying that, we have to admit that it sounds easy, but we found out that having ideas is more difficult than it sounds.
Post it now are our best friends.
End of day 3
Seems like yesterday when we were thinking about the whole possibilities around the first statement on the challenge, but now we had to put our hands (and mind) on how to send our message to others. We had a lot of talking, ideating, debating, with ourselves, but that will lead us nowhere other than the white walls where we “post” our ideas.
It’s time now to create a narrative that could be shared and understood by people out of our design thinking team. That narrative should have the story about Paul and his struggles, so the other could also empathize with him, and maybe feel the connection.
Wasn’t that easy.
We found out that even ourselves didn’t have a clear idea on what we were talking about, the path that we should take, and even we were a little bit confused on how could be be able to solve this problem, or at least bring a simple improvement on the way all the Pauls in the world are fighting.
We were super diverging, but we had to force ourselves to converge again.
End of day 4
Presentation is today and we are delayed. As we weren’t able to conceal a clear message to share, we had to rethink what we had assumed. In the going back and front in that whirlwind of ideas, we finally connected all the dots. Seemed like an “eureka” moment, but being honest, is just the fact that we only had to converge, diverge, converge, diverge, converge, diverge, con…
Now that we had framed our idea, it was time to put it in a way that can be explained to others.
A sharing knowledge platform, funded by the government, where companies and newly graduates can connect to share not just “job offers”, but real knowledge about what they are expecting, ther goals, hacks, tips, and create a community around their first dream job.
We showed our idea.
Jury was not amazed. They asked us why in the heck the CEO of a major company would give some tips without a value in return. Also what was the difference about workit and all the other platforms out there trying to solve the gap between companies and workers; obviously the main reference was LinkedIn. And if we were trying to create a more agile interaction, why were we relying on the government which many times has proved that it is ineffectively slow.
Did we fail?
Well, the objective of this intensive week was obviously not to save the world from its own doom. It was to have a glance about the design thinking process. We tried and we failed. But failure is natural, and as soon as we fail, as soon we will know how not to do it wrong again.
End of day 5.