Redesigning Research – Masterclass Workshop

On the 22nd of May at the D&AD Festival, I attended a Masterclass Workshop facilitated by Purva Sawant, Design Strategist at Unicef. Redesigning Research: from 200 pages to 1 had the objective of promoting collaborative work in order to drive creative solutions on a real-world social issue.

The workshop started with a brief introduction of Marble. A collective that aims to take action on complex problems affecting children around the world. They have an interdisciplinary approach to leverage corporate data, scientific breakthroughs, and visual arts to drive innovative solutions.

This was followed by the presentation of the practical problem we were meant to consider during the workshop. Their approach to solving these complex problems consists of developing collaborative partnerships to implement simple finding that will create a powerful positive impact on the public.

The focus subject was Epidemics, more specifically Ebola. We were given a proposal synopsis that underlined the problem background, approach, Challenge, Goal and Target Audience.

Divided into 4 teams, we were asked to come up with creative solutions to present one of Marble’s projects in order to attract funding. They want to act in the prevention of epidemic diseases by instaling an existing technology combining Digital Participatory Surveillance and Mathematical Modeling Framework. In other words, the objective is to get people in the most affected countries “to sign up to a report via SMS on symptoms they experience or witness in animals around them”.

So, using already existing technology they will be able to identify the disease outbreaks and prevent it to spread. The challenge is to get funding to implement this solution in 21 African countries in the next 3 years. The brief also underlined the need to create a sense of urgency and visibility of the proposal.

We had around 50 minutes to come up with a rough creative concept. In my team, we started looking at what the proposal entailed and there was a clear need to focus on underlining specific trigger ideas that would be communicated with our idea. We identified the Urgency, the Simple implementation of already existent technology and Empathy, connecting with the idea that borders don’t stop Ebola.

After some group brainstorming on how to communicate the problem, we decided that creating a video campaign would be a valuable solution. Engaging with the media and the general public to create awareness and attention to the critical problem and the respective solution.

The phone is a key element in the whole concept, so the video concept would make a comparison between what we use these devices for nowadays and the possibility that, with the same object, there is also the possibility to stop the spreading of something that is harming human beings.

We would highlight the fast spread of social media images like the famous Egg presenting it in numbers and visually explaining how this same idea can be used for good.

This would be a first moment in the storyboard presented in a world map. Then, we would present two phones, one with the social media platforms used for entertainment and others for good. Using powerful copywriting we would engage the audience to understand that the solution is at sight and action needs to be taken.

In the end, we were asked to present each team outcome. Overall there was a shared tactic of inviting the general public to drive attention to the problem and then, consequently contact the donors afterwards.

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