Human Centred Design Challenge
How might we enable more young people to become social entrepreneurs
Brian Andrews & Niall Murray
In the course of our research eighteen individuals within the community were
interviewed at various stages within the Human Centred Design, HCD process.
This sample contained a mix of students, parents, educators, community
organisations, healthcare providers and sports bodies. The insights gained
assisted our approach in refining our offering in providing an access route for
potential young social entrepreneurs. This enriching experience having the
potential in determining their career choice or an involvement with an
existing Non Government Organisation, NGO. The level of positive
engagement experienced indicates there is scope in developing a pilot
scheme through which other educational institutions may follow. The basis of
which we outline within our summary findings and observations as contained
within this presentation. We also acknowledge our shortcomings within this
scheme as presented. However the recurring theme in educating young
people of their social responsibilities through the medium of learning through
play is highly differentiated. To the extent with limited support young social
entrepreneurs could establish RealPlay initiatives within their existing
learning environment. Thus impacting positively to mutual benefit of all
Conventions & Context
• Our team name “Nua”, is an Irish word meaning “New”
• Transition Year (TY), is an optional learning opportunity for 16-17 year old
Irish students through which they gain real world experience
• Three dimensional learning is expressed as 3D with our prototype
• (TY) creates space within the education system allowing students to reflect
and consider their options prior to completing the academic curriculum.
• The (TY) experience assists students in making study and career decisions
based on their natural abilities in areas they may not have previously
• On completion of (TY) a student has two further years of formal academic
study, prior to entering university or work.
• HCD research indicates there is an opportunity through (TY) to identify,
deploy and incubate youth guided social entrepreneur projects which may
influence student involvement in the sector
Themes & Preliminary Outcomes
In scoping our brief we identified three key themes. Based on establishing a
local community pilot through which future schemes may be modelled.
A pivotal outcome was identified through the concept of learning through
Play. Thus in understanding the concept of learning through another (Play).
We identified a strong learning metaphor through which youth engage their
curiosity. Thus the premise RealPlay for the real world emerged.
1. Transition – Student opportunity should be aligned to a team based local
community initiative. As opposed to multiple/individual and stand alone
2. Mentoring – An identified panel integrates with transition year program.
The panel consists of a broad skill bank through which students access
3. Community – Schools reside within local community and are based
placed working with other stakeholders in identifying social capital
Further dialogue identified a three dimensional
(3D) transition year RealPlay experience.
Structured through three guiding principles below.
1. Guiding – School, community and panel
2. Experiencing – Student learns by doing
3. Reflecting – Student assimilates experience
Summary Sample Insights
The current TY program offers little opportunity in developing community initiatives.
Students feel detached from the process and outcome. Some students may achieve
more from the experience based on their family background and network.
Parents have a positive view of the potential TY impact on their children’s future
career choice. Structured mentoring is rare as students seek multiple experiences
without guidance or in-house expertise. Students have little involvement in what they
Schools require parental and community involvement in structuring meaningful local
social entrepreneur projects. Through which students gain greater awareness and
understanding of community issues. Sport plays an important role in developing a
social conscience. Communicating with students through a popular communications
platform is an essential component within a scheme
Discussion & Revision
In refining our early research and preliminary
findings. We identified one How Might We, HMW
which encapsulated the theme and our later
insights. This point also focused our thinking toward
a realistic deliverable within the premise. It also
framed our understanding of the associated
complexity in ramping up the scheme.
The other HMW questions proved too vague and
overly complex to execute. However it was an
interesting exploration process which reinforced
our decision to develop HMW 4.
Reduction of HMW to One
Red = No / Green- Yes
1. HMW, engage youth empowered and designed social projects
within their local community through this platform?
2. HMW, Empower students to communicate and develop physical
community dialogues and issues around local community
problems which challenge, engage and educate?
3. HMW, Engage and deploy support in recognizing student driven TY
initiatives through a merit system toward ongoing education and
4. HMW, engage and encourage TY students in preparing for the
real world of work and potential commitment to the social
As we are a team of two our low fidelity story boarding and
prototyping further refined our RealPlay offering.
Stakeholders agree to identify the social
entrepreneur program through this brand.
There is agreement the logo encapsulates
peoples ideas based on learning in groups in
real world social enterprises.
The panel of mentors will guide and monitor
The students will engage in a mutually agreed
local social entrepreneur project and are
responsible for the completion of the task.
Learning by doing!
Program Job Opportunities
The mentoring team includes a TY
supervisor, local community and
business representatives. Modifying
existing TY curriculum guidelines
integrating with community & business
support. TY students apply for a place
on a three week community project.
Students apply for a position which they
maybe thinking of pursuing in life. Job
specifications are aligned to responsibilities,
and skill requirements. Project outcomes are
identified in highlighting the skills and
knowledge TY students will gain from their
Communication Job Offers
The school website is enable to
communicate with the selected TY
student project. Students, school staff
and mentors can access and monitor
progress. A dedicated Facebook page is
enabled to assist student access to
updates, instructions and other bulletins.
A pilot group of twelve students with
different talents is assembled. Skills are
matched to specific roles and an
organisational framework is developed.
Tasks and responsibilities are identified,
deliverable's are scheduled. The project
Activity DesignElder Care Project
An elder care centre partners the student
pilot group in developing a student
volunteer scheme through which
students assist long stay residents.
Students develop an activity program
engaging residents in non-traditional
interests. Here are some examples of
their activity offerings Computer s,
Digital Art, Model Building, Kitchen
Learning Outcomes Reward
Within this real world context TY students
develop an understanding of community
and social responsibility. They develop a
deeper understanding of their innate
talents and interpersonal skills. Which may
determine their future role within the
Students receive their Real Play young
social entrepreneurs achievers award which
they include within their CV. This also may
be used as supporting evidence in accessing
further educational opportunity within
other social economy initiatives.
Personal Growth New Horizons
Through this social facilitation exercise all
stakeholders grow from the experience. To
the extent people are outside their comfort
zone in designing and implementing
services. This is where growth occurs and
can be a transformative influence in
Students gain a broader understanding of
local community needs and the
shortcomings in society. To the extent the
may get involved in other social initiatives
or alternately may be encouraged to start
the own social entrepreneur program.
Work In Progress
• Slide 15 - Conclusions
• Slide 16 - Follow up
• Slide 17 - About the authors
• Other: Image and graphic inserts embedded
• Draft issues 29-30/03/15
• NGO – Non Government OrganisationA non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is
organized on a local, national or international level. www.ngo.org/ngoinfo/define.html
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