Reimagining Local Communities Summer Design Sprint (virtual)

Covid forced innovators to come up with ways to re-imagine businesses, whether they be food, clothes, profit or nonprofit. Post vaccine, UGA students can contribute to bringing their own local communities and the Athens economy back to life.

The 2021 Summer Design Sprint will introduce to UGA students the tools needed to help Athens businesses flourish. Design thinking mitigates risk by developing concepts and hypotheses from a user centric ciew which will then be tested and validated through interactive prototyping. This program will be delivered by several Design Thinking faculty from across campus.

Who can participate?

Any student enrolled at UGA

How big are the teams?

We prefer teams of at least 2 or more

What’s my time commitment?

Each Monday we hold a 60-75 minute session starting at 5:15 pm with subject matter experts. There is a weekly deliverable due Fridays to keep your challenge on track.

Value to students:

  • Make a specific IMPACT in communities
  • Develop creative self-sufficiency
  • Learn Design Thinking tools for businesses
  • Practice teamwork skills
  • Build your resume

Which disciplines can participate?

We encourage students of all levels and disciplines to participate

Contact Don Chambers:

Program details by the week:

Session 1: — Intro to Design Thinking: Empathy

Learning objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of the Design Thinking process and how it can be applied in a variety of settings
  • Learn techniques to understand users’/clients’ motivations and gather deeper insights (asking “why?” to dig for meaning, seeking stories, exploring emotions)
  • Practice truly listening, assuming a beginner’s mindset, testing their assumptions, and moving beyond judgment

Session 2: — Human Center Designed Thinking

Learning objectives:

  • Understand how Design Thinking addresses human needs and builds from empathy
  • Learn three tools to assist in the identification of needs
    • Stakeholder Mapping
    • Context Mapping
    • Affinity Clustering
  • Apply these tools to their particular challenge
  • Define needs to be used in Problem Statement

Session 3: Problem Definition

Learning objectives:

  • Apply learnings/points of views developed through the Human Centered Design module to reframe the challenge
  • Identify problem definition methods in order to recognize patterns and triangulate insights
  • Draft an actionable and compelling problem statement for their particular challenge

Session 4: Ideation

Learning objectives

  • Increase knowledge and skills in the best practices for ideation
  • Master the interplay of divergent and convergent thinking in developing breakthrough ideas
  • Enhance ability to think laterally
  • Build capacity to translate diversity of talents and perspectives into ideas

Session 5: Prototype and Pitch

Learning objectives

  • Understand how Design Thinking leads to rapid prototyping of inexpensive solutions that can readily be tested
  • Learn three tools used for prototyping and pitching
    • Sketching
    • Business Model Canvas
    • Design Brief
  • Design a Pitch of their solution for business and investors

Winner Receives

  • $2,500 in cash prizes
  • Opportunities to continue product development in an entrepreneurship or accelerator program

2021 Winner

Sabrina Greco of Meld

Congratulations to Sabrina Greco for her idea Meld. Meld, an internship platform connecting college students with small businesses seeking workers, won the $2,500 top prize at the University of Georgia’s 2021 Community Design Sprint virtual pitch competition.

2020 Design Challenge Finalists – the challenges in 2020 were specific to Covid-19:

  • GiftAStay (2020 Winner and tested by the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau): How might we make hotel stays a gift giving experience?
  • Dine INFO (2020 Runner Up): How might we build awareness of restaurant differentiation?
  • Beyond: How might we revolutionize social media marketing for independent business owners?
  • SchoolPods.Com: How might we re-imagine K-5 schooling?
  • SirouSatins: How might we privatize the dining experience?

Are you interested?

Contact Don Chambers for more info

Donald headshot
  • Associate Director and Lecturer, Entrepreneurship