Onward and Upward our Alumni go!
See what's up after the DSIL Course.
Our DSIL Course alumni inspire the DSIL team and others around them every day! To date we have more than 100 alumni working across 45 countries. As they continue their task of taking everything they have learned during the course journey forward through intentional choices and new approaches to doing things- the result is a global network of cross sector pioneers experimenting and evolving with how that sector or team may be able to generate actions that amplify social impact. As they lean into what 'innovation' means and where it may matter, they are discovering a lot. We will let them speak for themselves, in their own words below!
After the course I moved back in Brazil, managing different projects in my home country and beyond, and that has led me to applying design thinking in my daily work. I am developing a community project in the Amazon forest, designing expeditions to connect micro-entrepreneurs who are excited to build their skills along with volunteers who can help to transfer knowledge too. I am also managing a social business course along the Trans-Siberian Railway. One more thing; I am have started educational and agricultural initiatives with companies and community members in my hometown.
More than learning theories and concepts, the DSIL Course to intuitively apply design thinking and facilitation tools to each step of the way; both within my many teams and even with friends and family! Bonus: I can count on so many bright and inspiring people from all over the world that I met at the course!
My company SEED SPOT supports early stage social entrepreneurs launch ventures that improve the world. With a focus on diversity and inclusion, SEED SPOT has become globally ranked as a top 20 Accelerator in the World and won an Emmy in 2016 for their partnership with Univision supporting Latino entrepreneurs. SEED SPOT just opened a second location in Washington, D.C. and is scaling their high school program nationally to serve young social entrepreneurs. DSIL provided me with connections to a global network and an enhanced skill set around design thinking and program innovation that is manifesting in my team at SEED SPOT's expansion efforts.
After receiving an award as New Australian of the Year in early 2017, I am now developing new learning programs that aim to address the systemic reasons for the cultural isolation of international in Australian high schools and universities. How often do we see people and institutions around us ignore the root cause of a problem, and instead, spend non-negligible resources on treating the symptoms - just because they seem to lack the courage and ingenuity to tackle an issue head-front. Too many teachers, principals, and administrators, after noticing that internationals stay together, simply throw more language classes at them; after which they feel entitled to complain if behaviors don’t change.
This is NOT what I am doing with my work. If the problem is emotional and social discomfort, grammar is unlikely to be the solution. Instead, I am interested in using the careful design approach learnt with DSIL to better understand the actual situation of the people I seeks to help, and a mindful approach that aims both to equip learners with the right emotional and cognitive tools to better deal with their situation, and through careful reframing, to operate a gentle mindset shift.
Read more about Julien’s work on his website, julienleyre.me!
I have been able to apply so much of my learning from DSIL to both volunteer work on homelessness in Marin County and with the SF +Acumen chapter, as well as preparing for interviews and writing cover letters for my new and exciting decision to change careers. I am talking with Marin County staff and San Rafael city government about how to engage with local citizens around homelessness to increase empathy and awareness for viable solutions. In the coming months, I have also am honored to have been asked to lead and internal SF +Acumen team building exercise using Liberating Structures I started to learn at the Course! She has planned a string of 4 or 5 Liberating activities to help the group solidify.
As a job seeker the DSIL course experience has been an invaluable help. After all of the course learnings, I can seek positions that have job descriptions involving topics I could not have pursued prior to the course- such as creating small forums for impact investing.
On February 23rd, Transparency International and the World Wide Web Foundation have jointly launched a study on how well is corruption being tackled in G20 countries by using open data (and innovation brought by such and by its societal use). There was a sample of 5 G20 countries which were analyzed and I did the analysis for Brazil! It is a thorough one and has reverberated quite well over here. I'm presenting this work in late June in Berlin, during a Network Summit proposed by the Hertie Foundation, the institution that maintains Hertie School of Governance - where I took my master studies.
More info here: New research on open data and anti-corruption released
After the DSIL Course, I completed my MBA from Berkeley's Haas School of Business. I scored a great job and currently works as a Strategy Designer at Business Models Inc., the producers of the Business Model Generation book. I am using design thinking and innovation tools to help businesses design strategies and business models for the future. I have taken my learnings from DSIL forward, specifically around business models for social impact. With this new role I introduce large enterprises to the innovative approaches I saw on the ground as inspiration for their future strategies that bring people into the design!