“First fall in love with the problem, then marry the solution”

Design thinking workshop for residents of the refugee camp at Samos

September 8 2022
Community

With the start of a new academic year, we finally close the summer vacations. Nyenrode Business University looks back on great initiatives including the collaboration with Movement on the Ground and Young & Bold Foundation. Together with Andreea Bulisache, alumna and chair of the Young & Bold foundation, and Virág Varga, intern at Young & Bold foundation, Désirée van Gorp, Professor at Nyenrode Business University left for the island of Samos to deliver a design thinking workshop to the residents of the refugee camp last summer.

“In four days, we worked on the challenge of lack of social cohesion and unity in the camp. A challenge that was identified by the refugees themselves. Five teams worked on different solutions for this challenge”, said van Gorp.

Design thinking workshop

The program consisted of four course days where five teams learned to “first fall in love with the problem, then marry the solution” (as student Ibrahim creatively coined). Van Gorp: “We are aiming at training participants in design thinking and awarding them with an acknowledgement to provide them with a kickstart on the labor market. Additionally, participants will work on solutions for the challenge of the disconnect of social cohesion and unity in the camp.”

The program involved further diverging on the challenge and leaping to insights about topics related to hygiene and sanitation, cultural and language barriers, and peace and conflict resolution in the camp. The five teams conducted interviews with other residents of the refugee camp to get more input on the challenges.

Nyenrode certificate

After four inspiring days, with a boost of confidence, the five teams delivered their final presentations followed by discussions with their peers and representatives from Young & Bold, Nyenrode Business Universiteit and Movement on the Ground. In the next few weeks, the participants are supported to take their projects to the next level by looking for ways to implement their solutions.

The outcome of this pilot will be used to build a model for other training courses for the ‘camp to campus concept’ that is the mission of Charlie MacGregor, one of the founders of Movement on the Ground and sponsor of the initiative. Also monitoring progress of the revolving training model including remote coaching of the inhabitants of the camp will be part of this project. The idea is that the design thinking trained inhabitants of the camp will become innovators and a source of inspiration and a role model in their communities.

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Movement on the ground was founded in 2015 by five people touched by the European refugee crisis. This foundation aims to change public perception of what it means to be a 'refugee', pave the way for people on the move to integrate into their future society.

Young & Bold Foundation was founded by Prof. Dr. Désirée van Gorp. Their ultimate goal is to create a digital ecosystem where professionals, students, academia, entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders can work together through different social silos towards solving social impact issues that they care about.

Nyenrode Business Universiteit works on a sustainable future by stimulating our students and participants to grow into responsible leaders. Nyenrode’s educational purpose reaches beyond the transfer and creation of knowledge, by also emphasizing the need to build ones character and focus on attitude and personal skills. Therefore, we offer our students and participants a combination of academic theory, practical relevance, and personal development. 

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