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Curiouser & Curiouser: Insights from Our July 2019 Innovation Showcase

July 31st, 2019 by Caitlin Ong

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As we get into the height of the summer and the respective heatwaves, we’ve lost many things: our boots, our jackets, our layers. One thing that we haven’t lost, however, is our excitement for “Curiouser & Curiouser”. As we hosted our 11th innovation night, you could say that energy was as high as it was hot.

THE EVENT

We had people from all over Boston, Hult-goers, Tufts-goers, business and NGO leaders, scientists, and everyone in between, all congregating at our refine+focus headquarters to share a 3-minute idea. We witnessed a diverse range of interests but a common love for a good conversation, innovation and strategy. After listening to 17 ideas, our curiosity was more than just satisfied — we were captivated. 

WHAT DID WE TALK ABOUT?

Eduardo Pujol – Need a new show recommendation? Eduardo is a bread lover, not a history buff. Even so, he watched all 60 45-minute episodes of Bolivar, a Netflix documentary about the history of Venezuela’s independence, and recommended it to all of us. If that isn’t a solid recommendation, what is?

Nina Butler – We go through school learning the generic hard sciences in classrooms. There’s no denying it’s difficult to inspire a passion for classroom labs. Nina wants to flip it. She wants to bring students to the Geosciences, rather than the Geosciences to students. 

Alcides Colomine – At the mention of financial services, many turn off, brushing it off as boring. Alcides wants this to change. He’s a strong believer that finance can be fun, and wants to create the duolingo of finance. 

Manasvini Mehta – There is a difference between hunger and malnutrition. India is working on eradicating hunger, but Vini’s passion, her organization, The Breakfast Revolution, works on eradicating malnutrition, an issue at least, if not more important.

Ezra Englebardt – Ezra was bombarded by journalists wanting to publish the photos he posted of a truck on fire on Twitter. Recently Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, released an app that monetizes eyewitness experiences. What are the repercussions of monetizing personal experiences and content?

Marah Rosenberg – Funerals are as much a celebration of life as weddings are and Marah wants to be a wedding planner, but for death—they call it death planning. Their dream is to logistically prepare families and their houses for the departure of a loved one. 

Don Schechter – Don has unique thoughts on note-taking. He acknowledged that while in school, he went to bed with notes of his notes under his pillow to boost test performance. Now he proposes that big events ban laptops, and instead give out branded notebook as recent research suggests that handwritten notes increase the likelihood of recalling them. 

Nav Dutta – High school is daunting. Sometimes it can feel like the choices we make, whether classes, clubs or cliques, can affect the rest of our lives. It doesn’t. Nav believes that it’s “never too late to change your life” though it can help to explore early — which is aligned with Nav’s passion of helping others clarify and do what they love. 

Purnima Thakre – The 3-minute timer went BEEP BEEP BEEP even before Purnima finished sharing her idea. She ignored it anyway. She encouraged us to bring design thinking into our own lives—write 2 letters (personal and professional) to your future self and congratulate yourself on what you will achieve by December 2020.

Nupura Bhise – Our society is currently working on embracing diversity. However, we often forget that diversity goes deeper than skin colour or gender. The Collected Schizophrenias inspired Nupura to talk about cognitive diversity, an important and much-needed reminder. 

Sylvia Zepeda – It’s common to see long lines outside a public women’s restroom. People often brush it off as women needing more time but Sylvia brings up a valid point—women and men need different things and yet, the toilet layouts are almost exactly the same. Next time you design something, consider applying this. 

Lizaveta Radzevich – Language is an important aspect of any community. Yet, often it’s difficult to capture the true meaning of an idea in a translation. Belarussian Liz challenges us to find the words that represent our cultures, citing the Swedish “Lagom” while deftly avoiding her lack of a Russian example, which resulted in a great example for her point. 

Matthew Nash – Matt fell into design thinking by accident, and now he can’t get enough of it. He loves the idea of making lemons into lemonade and wants to organize an event to facilitate design thinking in teams to make lemonade for the world.

Zach Braiker – People often lament social media’s toxicity, but there is no denying it also holds the power to spread warmth and kindness. Zach introduced us to photorequestsfromsolitary.org, a website where those in solitary confinement can request photos and others—like you— can make it happen.

Ameenah Rashid – Ameenah claims her defining trait is her place of origin: Florida. Yet, her piece was titled “Just one more reason to love Canada.” With studies showing a relationship between art and health, Montreal doctors have been prescribing patients free trips to the Montreal MFA.

Caitlin Ong – Purnima said it was impossible to create an iMovie on an iPhone. Caitlin took up the challenge, weaving in the importance of gratefulness and warmth with her iPhone iMovie’s public premiere. 

Yvette Yuan – refine+focus’ AC was down last week and that gave Yvette some food for thought. Increased temperatures lead to happier people but it also leads to increased crime rates. What is the heat doing to us?

AN INVITATION

Did any inspiration strike? Do you have any curious ideas that you want to share? If you are interested in attending our future “Curiouser & Curiouser” events, check out our Curiouser page to stay in the loop or send send us a message at hello@refineandfocus.com

Share this with a curious person!

Cover photo by MI PHAM

 

 

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