Yesterday, the second Design Thinking Studio in Social Innovation cohort met for the last time. We discussed marketing this experience professionally, offered feedback and suggestions for future cohorts, and exchanged goodbyes for the summer. The night before, we had our final Design Thinking showcase where we presented the work we did over the course of the semester. Faculty, staff, students, and even community members not affiliated with the university stopped by to learn about our work.
I watched Katherine and Leah explain our SCRUM boards to President Book and other guests. They moved sticky notes around and discussed the significance of each idea on the board. It was interesting to see something we utilized so frequently and casually being displayed like a piece in a museum; what once was a board and duct tape was now a pivotal artifact to share. I saw Laurel and Sabrina sit by the computers, showing off our resource page and B Hive website after working so hard at creating and renovating these sites. I am so used to seeing paper prototypes of the sites, that watching them displayed with such professionalism and confidence was striking and exciting. I saw Elena explain her empathy site, something she was very passionate about learning over the course of the semester. As her empathy levels grew, so did the site, which now serves as both a keepsake of her academic and personal growth, and a valuable piece of her portfolio. I watched as Charlie and Claire showed off their videos to the studio guests––reliving the past few months and demonstrating the integration of design thinking into our lives. I stood by our Uncovering Alamance projects, some of our first assignments of the semester. Despite not knowing at the time what our final projects would entail, I was able to explain their significance and connections to the work we did this semester and for the community.
I am so grateful to have shared this experience with such a hard working, dedicated, and empathetic team. I know that we are all better, more caring, and more capable of making a difference in the world because of all we were able to learn and achieve over the past few months. Thank you to everyone who had a part in making my experience so worthwhile and influential. I may not be a part of the Design Thinking Studio anymore, but I know that I will carry the lessons I learned with me through the rest of my life.
Written by: Mikey Gibeley