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D ESIGN T HINKING, S USTAINABILITY AND S PANISH Maggie Broner, St. Olaf College Vanderbilt University, March 16 th 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "D ESIGN T HINKING, S USTAINABILITY AND S PANISH Maggie Broner, St. Olaf College Vanderbilt University, March 16 th 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 D ESIGN T HINKING, S USTAINABILITY AND S PANISH Maggie Broner, St. Olaf College Vanderbilt University, March 16 th 2015

2 T ODAY …. I will share the experience from an interim course at St. Olaf College were I used Design Thinking, while Exploring the topic of sustainability in Latin America Developing advanced oral communication skills in Spanish (GE ORC) Inspired by a Sabbatical year in Silicon Valley

3 T HE C OLLEGE OF S AINT O LAF Small selective liberal arts college (~ 3,000 students) Mission emphasizes a “Global perspective” 4-1-4 calendar Teaching focused institution 4 Semester Language Requirement

4 S PANISH AT S T. O LAF Integrates language and content From FL Requirement to Major level courses Through the analysis of authentic “texts” (multimodal) Development of Academic Language and Higher Order Thinking Skills 61 Spanish majors, 46 are “double majors”

5 W HY A COURSE ON S USTAINABILITY IN S PANISH ? Current and relevant topic Growing interest in sustainability across campus Bridge between existing curriculum and students’ interests Calls from our profession to transform FL programs FL can help “unpack” cultural narratives

6 S PANISH 274: C ONTEMPORARY I SSUES IN THE S PANISH S PEAKING W ORLD Topic: Sustainability in Latin America Elective for Spanish majors GE: ORC 4 hours of class each day (including lunch) Classroom as “Design Thinking” Lab

7 W HAT IS D ESIGN T HINKING ? An iterative, systematic and structured approach for tackling problems and produce innovative solutions. It is…. human-centered intentional collaborative optimistic experimental Evolved from design Expanded into other areas

8 D ESIGN T HINKING K EY F EATURES Engages interdisciplinary teams Draws inspiration from real people Promotes collaboration Encourages new ideas Promotes a culture of experimentation Encourages early failure as part of the process

9 D ESIGN T HINKING T HREE P HASES 3. Action: Experiment Build Learn Repeat 1. Inspiration (empathy): Uncover user needs 2. Ideation: Generate Ideas

10 T HE C HALLENGE How might we increase sustainable practices in Latin America ? Five interdisciplinary teams

11 1. T HE I NSPIRATION P HASE : D EVELOP E MPATHY FOR “ USERS ” Cultural ‘texts’ Readings on Sustainability Presentations 20 Interviews “Voices” from Latin America and the USA Field trips to Bon Appétit St. Olaf Campus Sustainability initiatives

12 T HE INTERVIEWS Why? To develop empathy for our participants/’users’ To search for inspiration with respect to initial challenge through their “voices” To discover “areas of opportunity” Who? 20 interviews 1.Vegetarian Student from Venezuelan 2.Director of “Sustainabilities” 3.Uruguayan Professor of Social Science and Agriculture 4.Director of movie “Bananaland” 5.Student from the Bahamas who studied in Costa Rica 6.Community Organizer from Colombia 7.Argentine activist who promotes sustainable practices in local communities How? Teams of two. One interviews, the other takes notes Open ended questions Look for “good quotes”

13 O NE I NTERVIEW Marcela, Professor of social science and agriculture, Universidad de la República del Uruguay. Developed a program for professionals and academics to investigate sustainable development that is socially just, and economically viable. “Traditional development increases production and profitability…the goal is sustainable rural development” “Optimize production, not maximize production” “No one eats organic meat here, it is exported”

14 S YNTHESIS 1. “Download” interviews into ‘post-it’ notes. 2. Analyze data 3. Discover patterns or “areas of opportunity” 4. Share your findings 5. Formulate brainstorming questions

15 S OME A REAS OF OPPORTUNITIES Balance health with sustainable practices in a limited diet “Quinua travels great distances, but I need the protein” Reduce the physical and mental distance between production and consumption “A person should have the determination to kill and prepare animals if they want to eat them” Offer local food at a reasonable price “When I am spending my own $ on food…cost is the most important factor”

16 B RAINSTORMING Q UESTIONS H OW MIGHT WE … educate communities on the difference between sustainable and healthy? make local food a viable option? increase awareness of origin and ‘real’ cost of food? increase access of healthy and sustainable food to more communities?

17 2. T HE I DEATION P HASE : G ENERATE FRESH IDEAS 3 sessions in 2 days Mixed groups One moderator per group Rules for Brainstorming 15 minutes per question Voting at end of each session BrainstormingHundreds of new ideas Selection of ideas

18 S OME IDEAS THAT EMERGED … “The more you know”…TV public announcement ads Reality show where Byoncé becomes an organic farmer “Hire a farmer” Food labels with “real cost” of food Vertical gardens on buildings’ walls Vertical gardens on buildings’ walls

19 3. T HE A CTION P HASE : “B UILD TO THINK, AND BUILD TO LEARN ” Working on prototype “ Stav Stickers ” Getting feedback “ Oles a la granja ”

20 F ROM IDEAS TO ACTION : O NE EXAMPLE How might we incorporate local food so that it is a viable option? “Make bigger gardens at St. Olaf” “Gardens on the rooftop of every building” “Greenhouses that grow tropical food to make it local” Prototype “The aromatic roof—an herb garden on the Roof of Regents”


22 S TUDENT REACTIONS “I feel it has been so much time since we were forced to be creative…” “I feel that when you hear the word ‘group projects’ you immediately are like…[made weird face]…but Design Thinking was so effective that everyone was involved, we got everybody’s ideas, and we worked collaboratively in a way that was actually productive and meaningful” “Wow, we are just a bunch of twenty-year-olds [and] have this capacity to do this in another language over a month and even generate these really cool ideas that could potentially be implemented here” “It really affected me… we’ll apply these concepts in other areas of our lives” “Something that was really cool about having the focus on Latin America in this class was that it really influence me in terms of getting things back to this place”

23 W HY DT IN THE FL CLASSROOM ? R EFLECTIONS Benefits: Structured approach to existing good practices in FL classes Natural context for Advanced Level Language and discursive functions Encourage Collaboration across disciplines Career ready skills grounded in DT Challenges: How to transfer principles to other course formats Requires some training Embrace a culture of experimentation for students and faculty alike


25 DT W HERE TO START R ESOURCES eating_Design_Challenges.html /ready-set-design breakthrough-inventions-50138327/

26 B IBLIOGRAPHY USED IN THE COURSE Barruti, S. (2013). Mal Comidos: Cómo la industria alimentaria Argentina nos está matando. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Espejo de la Argentina Planeta. Brown, T. & Katz, B. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York, NY: Harper Collins. Fletcher, K. & Grose, L. (2012). Gestionar la sostenibilidad en la moda: Diseñar para cambiar. China: Blume. Fox, A.A. (2011). Latinoamérica: Presente y pasado. Binkowski, D. (Ed. 4). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Galeano, E. (1994). Úselo y tírelo: El mundo visto desde una ecología latinoamericana. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Grupo Editorial Planeta. Kelley, D. & Kelley, T. (2013). Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. New York, NY: Crown Business. Marcote, P.V. & Mira, R.G. (2009). Sostenibilidad, valores y cultura ambiental. Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Pirámide. Mendivil, E.O. (2013). Educación ambiental para la sostenibilidad: El medio ambiente y su relación con la ecobionomia y la sostenibilidad. Lexington, KY: Instituto Mediterráneo Publicaciones. Robèrt, K.H., Broman, G., Waldron, D., Ny, H., Byggeth, S., Cook, D.,… Missimer, M. (2012). Manual de sostenibilidad: Planeando estratégicamente para la sostenibilidad. Suecia: El Instituto de Tecnología de Blekinge. Rossi, A. (2009). La loca de Gandoca. San José, Costa Rica: Legado. Svampa, M. (2013, Marzo-Abril). Consenso de los commodities y lenguajes de valoración en América Latina. Nueva Sociedad, 244, 30-46. United Nations. (2004). La sostenibilidad ambiental del desarrollo en Argentina: tres futuros. Santiago, Chile: Gallopín. In addition to: “Even the Rain” directed by Icíar Bollaín Readings from Latin American Press, “Geomundo” (Spanish version of National Geographic ), and other materials from web searches

27 B IBLIOGRAPHY Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within us all. Tom Kelley and David Kelley. 2013. How schools kill creativity. Sir Ken Robinson. TED Talk. 2006. Four Lessons in Creativity. Julie Burstein. TED Talk 2012. IBM 2010 Global CEO Study: Creativity Selected as Most Crucial Factor for Future Success. http://www- Study Reveals Global Creativity Gap: For immediate release Universal Concern that Creativity is Suffering at Work and School. Adobe Systems. html html Why St. Olaf? E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture. Robert D. Putnam. Institutional-Type/2012-13 Sustainability Nesting Image By KTucker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons Owens, David A. Creative People Must be Stopped: 6 Ways We Kill Innovation (without Even Trying). John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Melin, Charlotte. "Program Sustainability Through Interdisciplinary Networking: On Connecting Foreign Language Programs with Sustainability Studies and Other Fields." Transforming Postsecondary Foreign Language Teaching in the United States. Springer Netherlands, 2014. 103-122

28 R ULES FOR B RAINSTORMING Defer Judgment (“yes, and….”) Build on the Ideas of Others Encourage Wild Ideas Be Generous with Your Ideas Stay Focused on the Topic One Conversation at a Time Be Visual Go for Quantity


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