Last wednesday, the 12th of March, was our last session for the NMTS study project. It has been a long study project, spanning the autumn and spring semesters. It was also full of ups and downs, with the political situation in Lebanon affecting the way the study project shaped up. The initial excitement related to the planned Beirut trip was soon shattered by our dean’s decision not to give us the permission to go. We of course understand and respect her decision, but it nonetheless made it hard to keep our spirits up. Thanks to Nina and Anna’s effort, we managed to invite 2 of our Lebanese partners, Doreen and David, for an intensive workshop with students. The results of this workshop were the following:
– Team Alt City (Akshay, Katharina, David) proposed a series of ainter-related activities, organised by Alt City, to encourage university students to come up with novel business and start up ideas. A concrete outcome was the Product Validation and Propotyping handbook, which would be given to participants of the first series of activities – the Ideas Workshop. Alt City is going to implement these ideas and use this workshop as soon as possible.
– Team MENA Design Research Centre (Andreas, Pirkka, Pouyan, Doreen) came up with a 2.0 version for the original MENA strategy. This time, instead of focusing only on designers, MENA would approach and work with a series of other stakeholers, such as NGOs, identified gatekeepers, and students in general.
Additionally, Vesa, whose project partner Lamba Labs could not make it to the Helsinki workshop, decided to compile a guide for Lamba Lab entitled “Activating the Lamba Labs Community by Communications and Social Media.”
The students are still polishing these reports in collaboration with their Lebanese partners. We will put them online here as soon as the final versions are ready.
Laura and Merja took another path with the study project and will write an essay related to one of the themes covered in Spring and their own experiences.
Finally, even though the work is done with this NMTS study project, Nina and Anna continue actively with creating connections between Aalto University and Beirut. They will organise a Lebanon-Finland Roundtable at the Aalto University later this Spring!