A series of highlights from Emerge 2015 by student bloggers around the UK.

by Classics Undergraduate at University of Oxford, Sanesh Mistry

What – schools and communities across the world are filled with creative minds and innovative ideas, but often they fail to meet the real needs of a community. During this workshop, experts from global design and strategy firm frog taught us how to deliver the most positive impact by putting the end user first.

Why – if there’s one thing a social entrepreneur can learn from 20th century architecture, it’s that “form follows function.” In order to develop new answers to difficult problems, we need to start with a deep understanding of the context we are designing for, and more often than not this entails observing people and understanding how they behave.
How – what better way to put this into practice than to design a solution to improve Emerge for next year? First off, we built empathy with a certain profile – Karim, a recent graduate, NGO worker and Emerge first-timer, who wants to pursue a career in social enterprise. Then we covered his journey from beginning to end. Reams of post it notes later, we realised that above all, Karim needed to find the delegates and speakers who shared his interests and could help him on his journey, both during and after the conference, so in the end our solution was an app. Simple, but (hopefully) effective.