d.school Alum Signo Uddenberg is using what he learned in Design for Extreme Affordability to tackle a new project in Tanzania this summer. An engineering master’s student studying sustainable design and construction, he’s the co-founder of a start-up incubator for innovative farming projects developed locally in Tanzania.
The 2Seeds network, which started in 2009, launched a summer program with seven recent grads headed into the field in Tanzania this summer. Signo drew on what he’d learned in d.school classes in order to create a design thinking bootcamp of his own for his summer team, tailored to the 2Seeds project. Like a lot of folks, Signo had doubts about whether he was qualified to step into a leading/teaching role. Here, he talks a bit about how his experiences in Extreme Affordability, and Prof. Jim Patell, nudged him into “bias toward action” mindset.
The 2Seeds co-founders are a great example of a radically diverse team: Stanford MBA James Meeks developed the idea with Edward Komba, the Canon for the Anglican Diocese of Tanga. Sam Bonsey, who’s majoring in African history at Harvard joined a bit later, about the same time Signo brought his engineering and construction background to the project.
Their goal is to reverse the rural brain drain in Africa: bright, ambitious young people head to the cities to seek opportunities, while farming practices remain stagnant. 2Seeds currently supports three projects that seek to amplify small, successful experiments initially developed by local farmers in Tanzania. You can read more about them here.
As always, we love to hear what our d.alums are doing in the world, so drop us a line and let us know how you’re using design thinking.