Tomorrow, the 36 or so MBAs taking my Design Leadership elective will be joined by 12 designers and three representatives from Soul of Africa, for a one-day workshop. The aim of the event is to bring together the ways of problem framing and solving typically used by MBAs with designers from different disciplines, to help Soul of Africa engage with some of the challenges it is faced with. From Soul of Africa, we will be joined by co-founder Lance Clark, Galahad Clark of Terraplana, Franziska Amaral, and Martin Foley. Soul of Africa was originally started with £30,000 and has raised over $2m which has been invested into South African communities affected by AIDS. Women handstitch shoes which are then shipped to the UK and US, and sold in major retail outlets such as Clarks and Next.
The designers - selected from an open call to participate to which over 75 people responded - are from backgrounds in textiles and fashion, graphics, industrial design, design management, interaction design. They are: Titi Abiola, Stephanie Chen, Jason Coop, Rachel Manning, Dejan Mitrovic, Kathryn Moores, Olive Ntkula, Lars Rosengren, Pammi Sinha, Tom Tobia and Rachel Turner.
To help facilitate the day, my colleagues and others helping are: Marc Ventresca, university lecturer in innovation at the school; Sarabajaya Kumar, Skoll Centre for Social Entpreneurship; Trudi Lang, DPhil candidate, InSIS; Meng Zhao, DPhil candidate; Caroline Norman, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, course leader MA Design Management; and Hermeet Gill, MBA alumnus who did my elective last year. We'll also be joined for some of the day by Pamela Hartigan, director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entpreneurship. I'm grateful for their support and for our internal admin team for making this happen.
In a week or two I'll be posting a short film showing some of the day's activities and some the approaches we are using. Right now, however, I need to go and make some props.