NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2014) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

All Posts Published at: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

I LOVE it and I HATE it > movie making


If only someone could film us … :D (during the process) I bet it will be a weird combination of an action movie and a comedy - crazy storyboarding, brainstorming, sudden insights, slidding chairs, lots of laugh, sometimes some food while the wifi is failing us, notes everywhere and, of course, we always get back to my “holy” notebook where everything is kept.
Movie making turned out to be frustrating and fun at the same time.
In the beginning of this week we were all pretty concerned that we had to catch up. We really got ourselves together and we have been sort of “living” in the university for the last two days … but it is worth it. Our task management and our speed got us almost to the final steps. :) 

We chose a very simple and clear option for our presentation/video - Prezi. It is not the best program, but in our case we had to go for a presentation because we can not put our local ideas in their real environment.. simply because we can not go to USA (except for Paul who already did :D).
We had a good preparation before the actual work on the Prezi. We all had developed a storyboard so we just chose the fullest one and added some little things from the rest. We were also keeping an eye on the grading form in order to know if we were going in the right direction. We put in it our group signiture - the Compass, and you can feel as well sometimes the archetype of the “Explorer” which we defined as PAGE’s way of working. 

We started to put all the content and it is just flowing. So far we got some positive feedback from our coach and from some fellow students. We also got some tips to conciderate. The presentation itself is almost done. Now we have to be very careful with making the voice over because it can be quite tricky sometimes. 

I’m glad that all of us have a clean style and there is no argument regarding that. A thing that I think we have to keep track on is the speed and rhythm in the presentation so that we don’t lose the attention of the audience. I got this advice from Marjanne Cuypers (our Personal Branding tutor) and it can be very useful, especially, since we are making a presentation as a base for the video.

From all of our adeas we focussed on 3 which are the most important for the current situation. We also want to show some possibilities for the future when PAGE is going to have a stable social presence. 
I trully believe that PAGE can make a change in this county if it has a bigger impact on the local level. The county is in a really bad situation for a long time already and all the people there need to be given the opportunity to see a brighter future or at least to help their children see it.


Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

I am a KID in online networks and in innovative design, but kids are those who learn faster!

To be completely honest, I did not expect that we will start our program with a course like this, but I really saw that it can be useful for a lot of our work in the future. It was also a challenging start that put us on our tiptoes because this was all very new to most of the students… and it still is to me.

Project communities made me explore another side of the Internet space and of using social media - the professional side. As future designers we will have to dig deeper in these online societies and find what will work well for our personal purposes. 

I discovered so many different platforms and websites that I have never heard of before. There were even things that I did not know that I can do online as, for example, making storyboards and portfolios. I had the chance to start a blog and to use Google Hangouts. Also something very useful was the website for sharing creativity and knowledge with the possibility of giving credits to the author and of respecting his/hers rights. > Creative commons … I have always wanted to give credit for the things I am using, but sometimes it can be quite hard, and this is a simple way to do it. :) I learned as well what is a Spidergram and *SURPRISE, SURPRISE* I found out that it is a graph in Microsoft Word, so if anyone needs to do a spidergram urgently - you can use that! ;) It is an amazingly interesting process to learn from each other. This was a part of our Me,We,Network class and it also contributed to the Group size discussions. I loved that my team partners are so different. I can literally learn so many things from them. And I think we are all appreciating the opportunity to work with real NGOs and with so many professionals. One of my important discoveries is how we can apply things that we learned in one class to another. As we saw, marketing is a very very broad field but while we were doing our research during class today, we found out that some of the strategies are similar to the ones in Personal Branding. This made the process a lot easier and faster. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding seemed like something very difficult to me. The more we research, the more possible they look to me, but still I don’t feel comfortable enough in using them. Thankfully, I will have enough time before I have to apply them for my personal needs. The first step should always be awareness and network presence. So I might as well start with that.

We decided on the same approach for our NGO. PAGE needs to create a wider range of online places where they can show their work and their beliefs in order to get to the stage of involving more people in the organization and of finding big and stable sponsors.

From my whole experience I would remember for sure some of the basic steps and principles while operating online or offline with other people: 

> research, research, research … and share! ideas and knowledge

> define your goal and your view of success

> judge and doubt the platforms before using them

> plan your steps and your strategy

> be opened to critics and to others’ ideas

> work in small groups and devide tasks

> know your audience and your market

> know what makes you stand out

> brand all your work and your approach

As I mentioned before, I still have a lot to work on regarding my social media presence. I will have to consider using some more professional platforms like LinkedIn. I would also have to learn how to create my onlilne portfolio, because it is better if I start gathering my experience in one place from the start of my study. I have already seen some possibilities so I will have to explore them and see what suits me best. Any new suggestions are welcomed as well! :) Another thing I plan to do, is to get in an online communities that can tutor me and help me start using programs for videos and design. This will be very useful for my future courses. Regarding marketing and crowdsourcing, I will have to take my time for now. First of all, I have to decide on my brand and on my designer future before I try to apply any of these techniques. It is still good to know what is out there… I just know that it will rapidly change, as everything around us these days, before I get to use them.. 

And the most important principle> STAY CURIOUS!

^ further than your nose if possible :P

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are DESERTS. First cook your main dish – your design personality and your brand.


Crowdsourcing -  our way of dipping our fingers into cake mixtures of all over the world, choosing the one that suits us and then personalizng it. There is nothing as delicious as a self-made cake recipe (=idea)! ;)
Crowdfunding is the same, but more focussed on getting what we need in order to make the “cake”.

These two can be very very useful, but we should know where to draw a line. There are some pretty interesting articles related to crowdsourcing here. Feel free to check them out! ;) 

On one hand, as designers, crowdsourcing works for us as feedback, as a sharing and evolving opportunity, as a way to make our work come to life.  Yes, it is not easy to put your ideas out there and not always everything will be positive. But this is how we learn and how we see in what we should put our effort in the future. I, personally, see sometimes a little threat in putting all your work in the open space. In this way it can be stolen or it can provoke an idea in someone else who can overshadow you in the future. That’s why I think that there should be a right moment for reaching out for feedback or maybe even it can be in a social network in which you trust the other people or at least know some of them. The other thing is that many people go to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding without realising their own intentions and their true goal. They just do it because they think they should, or in some cases, because they have even got addicted to it with time. The truth is you can get a lot of answers on your own. There is no need to put everything that comes to mind on the Internet. Put whatever you have already worked on and thought about. Only in that way you can get real help and you can fully understand it.

Regarding crowdfunding, the design idea has to be presented in an interesting way that makes people want it. There are millions of ideas on the web. The designer has to find out what is the thing that stands out for his idea and to build his strategy around it. Another important aspect is - where exactly do you put your ideas? I accidently ended up at this website - Betabrand. It gives you the opportunity to present your idea. to make a prototype and even to make it a product that can be bought from the website, if there is enought interest. :) 

On the other hand, crowsourcing and crowdfunding are also very important for organizations. The platforms give them the chance to find more people interested in their work and also people who believe that this is important to the world. That is what drives the funding for most of the non-profit organizations. In our team work we pointed out a couple of general “must-s” such as: keep the community updated on your progress and on the money flow directions, always thank your donors, and brand your fundraising strategy. The last one was a great discovery for our team, because now we can apply our new skills from the class of Personal Branding in our work for our NGO. This will make our message and our vision a united whole.
We found out that we can suggest to Elizabeth the platform Catapult. It is closely related to PAGE's idea of trusting the power of educating girls which will eventually come back to its rootes and create new opportunities. 

The Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education (PAGE) is not yet ready for a big step into crowdfunding. Although the organization is working well and is growing slowly, it has to work on their publicity first. The main reason why our team chose to work on the challenge for raising awareness is because you can’t start a funding campaign without a solid social media presence.

At this stage on our way to becoming innovative designers I think that we should put our effort primarily into understanding who we trully are and what do we want to do. The knowledge of the platforms can be useful to us in the future when we will know what we can offer to the world and how exactly to do it. For now, as starting design chefs,it will be better if our experiment recipes are kept to ourselves… and to our teachers. 
Go try something new! You’d never know when something will become a masterpiece … just like this cake:



Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

WHAT DO YOU HOLD ON TO? I choose to hold on to my group’s goal – together for the better.

I just watched the video that Nancy posted in the Open Innovator group: 

Trust Is Worth The Risk. Don’t Take It From Us, Take It From These Acrobats. (In collaboration with Cirque du Soleil)

… Who do you trust? How do you see trust? Fork? Reaching hands?…

I call it LUCK!

We were put together in this group for Project communities by the teachers. We didn’t choose our partners. We barely knew anyone back then and still barely know most of the people in the course. This was all just fixed for us without our say in it. But it worked. It works so far. Or maybe we were just lucky… We trust each other. I don’t know how or why, we simply do. I think we won’t be able to work otherwise. Trust is something very fragile, but for now we have been only making it more stable.

And it is so strange how our little group with missing members turned out to be our advantage. Somehow we ended up all the right people together. We have one that is good with contacts, we have our tech steward, we have our researcher.. and they have me - to help them put it all together. Each one of us contributes in a different but also in a very important way. When you have a small group, you have to make it very efficient in order to get all the work done in time.

Insights on group sizes:

During our discussion on the week theme of group sizes we found out how we can channel our advantages. The small groups are operated easily and also we had a very productive brainstorming. Our internationality and  our previous experiences also contributed a lot. We come from really different environments and we have worked on projects that have nothing to do with each other. This bring us great diversity and a broader reach to people and information outside the group. 

We tried as well working and discussing in pairs and individually we do the research because in that way we achieve more creativity. I believe we add the so called “edges” from the video: Chris Corrigan on Group size in Innovation and Opened design

There always has to be something that makes it difficult. Otherwise we won’t improve.

Some of our challenges were to narrow down the ideas, to see what can we really put forward at this moment and from our position. We have to be very careful with choosing the right approach regarding to what audience we want to attract. We are still deciding on some platforms and looking at possibilities. The biggest challende is to find something that will suit the case of the NGO. I think today actually we made a big step ahead. We finally got to have our second Google Hangout with Elizabeth McIntosh. We were focussed on our chosen ideas but we wanted her to say which ways are more convenient. We wish that our ideas are going to be brought to life and are really going to make a difference for PAGE. That is why it is so important to us that she will be able to operate these networks and that she feels comfortable doing so. We also shared our insights from the extra reading material on group sizes. And we got to know more about the organization itself. We really hope she will find something useful to apply in her circles.

A HAND reaching ro HELP:

The task that she gave us to think about is what can we suggest to her team for the times when they have to work separetely, at a bigger distance…?? Yeah, the first thing that pops to mind is the “magical” Internet, but what is the best way? Especially, when the coverage in the county is not so good. We will have to see if we can give her a shoulder on this one. :) 

So far, so far… and how further can we go?

 Our group has been going very well, but there is always better. We would have to think about the video. We try to think in advance of future obstacles. In the up-coming weeks we have to start testing out some of our ideas. Also, we are going to help Liz with some marketing for her current events.

We believe that it is not only about social media help. This is how we decided to put our main work more on the local area. But we won’t forget to tap into the world’s online ocean of hands offering trier trustworthiness.

Thank you, co-workers! ;)

I don’t feel like there is so much to change in our group work at the moment. I’m not afraid to reach out my hand for help anytime, nor am I hasitating on offering one for the rest of the members. Today I was sitting there… looking at Sai and Paul talking and enjoying the work. I was just contemplating for a moment. I was thinking about how we go to lunch all together and how we have fun after the “real deal”of the meetings. I think this is what makes the pole of trust stronger. I honestly believe that we are becoming friends… it takes time, but hell ! it feels good :) 
I will be looking forward to seeing their point of view. And maybe their suggestions about the group work. Who knows? Maybe it can be even better? 

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

I think YOU can contribute to my online spaces ;) … Or maybe I can contribute to yours?

It is really interesting how my entire act of moving to the Netherlands influenced my usage of online spaces and now I am pretty sure I will experience an even bigger and faster change during the study program. 

This is the current situation on me using online spaces. [ ^chart ]               I constantly need information for my activities and I often make researches which is why my personal usage is so high. And this now is increasing even more with our homework tasks. The Internet is an endless source of information. In order for it to be efficent and accurate, we have to choose our online places carefully.

My “We” usage is low because I try to keep my group communication in real life. I think that in this way it is easier to avoid misunderstandings and it is also easier to interact. But, of course, the online communication is perfect for arranging those meetings or for connecting to groups which are apart from me at the moment. I am a member of the formal groups for the university courses but I also have my personal ones which enable me to share my ideas or my reflections on something with people who are part of my work, school or hobby societies. And last but not least, I have my close friends  and family groups. Now that I am away, it is great that I can still communicate with them through social media and by different tools. This  is the true wonder of Internet! It literally boomed our ways of communication. And like everything in this world, it has a lot of pros and cons.

I tapped reacently into more “Network” places. I found that it can make my life a lot easier. I follow pages and news that interest me, I joined groups in which I can ask for almost everything and I will get an answer in a couple of minutes or where I can help others or share my ideas and my experiences. The people there don’t really know each other but they respect one another and show kindness and sympathy. The mutual interest or the common situation in which we end up makes us feel closer in a certain way. These are facebook groups about design and architecture, about living in The Hague or in The Netherlands in general, about cooking and dancing, drawing, sewing, DYI…

In my personal opinion all of the three ways to communicate have their value. They are simply used for very different things and occasions. I am personally not such a big fan of deep research but I can’t live without it. I am too curious and I have these constant questions or needs to plan activities and to see and learn new things. That is why I think I start to like a lot the Network spaces. They make my researches shorter and they give me the opportunity to get information and experience from a broader reach of people. 

Talking in aspect of my comfort zone, I strongly prefer the personal work but it is not a problem to participate in a Network as well. Only my We participation depends a lot on motivation, topic, time and even mood sometimes.

I would be really happy if anyone can help me find or suggest some groups or networks related to new materials and to architecture and interior design, shoe design, and some online places and ways to learn how to use programs for making videos. These are my current struggles and I want to prepare myself for the upcoming tasks or simply to add some skills and competences to my design basket.
Thank you in advance!

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

If you are a spider and you make your web not in the right place, you wont get what you want…

We had to be spiders for one class ( not an easy task for me especially since Im terribly afraid of spiders :X).
The web on PAGE at the moment is too small. It funvtions but it can be bigger and better. This is where our team comes in. We analised their situation and we find their cause  simple and basic but yet extremely important.
We focussed on their most weak points like social networks, partners and marketing. We are ready to face the challenge of raising awareness and we hope that we can really contribute to their work.
Some of our ideas are even supposed to enrich more than one spot on their web. We were looking for tools that are affordable but mainly those who apply best to PAGE’s needs.

In order to raise awareness  for now we chose Thunderclap. It is litterally a bomb into social media (Video) and it can catch the attention of people all over the world. We are trying to make PAGE’s reach wider and to give voice to their cause.
We have also ideas on a regional level. They will share parts not only with the work of the volunteers and the staff but also with the work of the girls. In that way they can also contribute to the program that they love.
W want to suggest events, commercial strategies and even a permanent impact on the whole coommunity with our Open Library (inspired by Little Free Library *credit to Paul Nylund).
Also, we realise the need of donations and extra funding. But our goal is to reach the little donators, the people who know Elizabeth and what she does and who want to help even with the little that they have.
Our team has worked as well on social network advises and suggestions for the website in order to make it easier to the people to find all sorts of information about the organization and its acomplishments.
And last but not least, we wish to give a broader reach to the girls in the programs. We are thinking about a blog where they can express themselves and where they can show to the world what are they capable of. 

I personally enjoy being involved with this case, because I understand the great gift that these people are trying to give to all of the girls in such a remote area - the gift of education and of being heard. PAGE provides them the needed safe and creative athmosphere and gives them the wings so that they can be free. When someone is free, he/ she can be brave enough make a difference. … Just like all of us (wannabe open innovators) :)

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

We are a group, right? ;)

I cannot say Im such a strong person, but I want to be one, I am trying to be one! 

"What if everyone else in your group has different preferences? How would you proceed as you steward the technology?"

I’ll tell you what … I WON’T proceed on my own. We are a group so that we can share all our opinions and expertises. 
I personally know that I can’t be the technology steward (at this moment) and when I see that  there is someone better than me at something, the only thing I can do is back up, give him/her the role and be as helpful as I can during the work process. This is his/hers moment to show what is he/she capable of ..and I love to motivate people and push them beyond their limits so that they can get the confidence to take the responsability and also so that they can feel that the group is behind them. 
Of course, there are situations when we will find each other with different points of view. Then everyone should be able to present his/hers idea or way of doing something. Only after that we can discuss and decide which one will suit best our situation and our client. This is the how I believe we can be successful as a group in Project Communities.

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

Hey, people! Have you met already any “unmet” needs? :P

This week is about sharing skills and experience. I am really impressed by how fast is everything going so far  :D. We are in the classrooms working and thinking all the time ( often after the end of the class as well) and the lack of fresh air makes it even harder. I do not know if everyone is realising what is happening. For just one week we learned so much. Yes, it is not yet learning how to operate with the tools themselves but it is something more important - questioning the tools and their functionality. We have to find the ones that are applicable to our NGO and that will provide the best result. And I can tell you .. it is not easy at all!
We had soooo many ideas, but the trick is to choose these which will work more efficiently and after that to enrich them. For this we will need tools .. lots of them I suppose.
Everytime I meet the people from my group I learn something new about them. In most of the cases it is something that can be useful to me as well. Im really glad we created a good working athmosphere and that we are opened to help each other. We are still in the beginning of this course so we haven’t reached a dead end regarding a certain tool or a network. We have our experts and we count on them. If something doesn’t work out after all, we can dig into the others knowledge. ( as they can do with us). The thing is that it is really hard to know to whom you can turn to for a specific problem simply because we don’t know each other so well yet. Im sure this will change with time. And even if the purpose of this task is exactly to make everyone show their skills, I believe we will find new things about everyone during the entire program. It is still some sort of starting point. Thank you, coaches!

Sad, but true - I had to admit that I cannot be much of a help in this field for now. From what I see our group is dealing well with the tasks at the moment (or so we hope ^-^). But I will make sure I catch up so that I can contribute more to the team work.  My job, regarding organization, is still going ok only with my fast writting and my research skills. We had very productive meetings and we are looking forward to our talk with Nancy. During the last class we found out that we are a bit ahead with the tasks. This was our advantage. Still, we want to get an expert’s opinion and some advises about our spidergrams, because that is what we will build on the up-coming days. In my opinion the spidergram exercise helped us a lot to measure the importancy of our ideas and, also, it showed us on what more we can focuss. We had our first “spidergram” from the day before class so at least we were not starting from a scratch. :)

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

Personal choice – We fight for it but we struggle making one

I didn’t grow up with a computer, nor a smartphone in hand. I’m really grateful for that!

I do realise the great advantage of social media and of online tools, but something inside me has always made me limit thier usage. My preferences about networks are very strong usually ( in the cases when I am familiar with my options). 

I am a middle child. I grew up watching my big brother playing and getting obsessed with the computer and then I got to see my little sister do the same but in her own special multisocial network way. I explain my refusal for getting ivolved with these tools by the way that I saw them back then: time consuming, not clear, safety and personal data threatening… 
I hope that once we get to know how to use them in the program, they will contribute to our work and life only in a good way. 

We cannot outrun the online wave of changes in our world so we might as well learn how to catch it… and enjoy the surfing :)

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

Online tools

Day by day we find more and more ways to use online networks and how they can contribute to our work and to ourselves. Teach, Learn, Share … this is all up to us and our motivation. 

I would very much like to offer some help or advice, but, unfortunatelly, I think I’ll have to be the one reaching for a hand in this situation ; / 
I use only the most common social medias (facebook, dropbox, youtube… and now tumblr hahah). But I want to learn more .. even today I appreciated the little demonstration for a google hangout in our group meeting **Thanks Paul!

Yeah, in this field I can’t be the teacher but I can be a hell of a motivated student ;)  

I would really love to learn how to make videos on any program, or how i can improve my tumblr design, how I can work with sounds and voices, how I can create images and posters, how I can connect my networks better, ..even things like: why is it good to use twitter? :D Im pretty sure more questions will come up every day.
Life is a never ending learning process and it’s driven by our curiousity. Be curious!

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM