/ Csi Labs

Creative Skills for Innovation

At the #gdgsummit, I was privileged to have attended this session and I was totally amazed by how much it taught me. But beyond knowledge, we were able to think up solutions to a problem we decided upon using intriguing tools. I was so amazed by it that I feel that these creative skills are a key ingredient towards the rise of Africa. I cannot remember the history of CSI but I remember the lessons I learnt through the activities and I’ll be applying them to ideas i’ll have in the future._
PS - I cannot remember so much so I’ll to write from what I have learned._

LESSON 1: Courage to dance Shoki

In our lives, we are constantly surrounded by leaders who decide to act on what they believe in. From mothers who ensure they have bright young children to the boy in the park who starts doing a weird dance with enthusiasm. While everyone could relate to mothers, I want us to take a look at this young boy.
I was walking in the park when I saw a young boy doing this weird dance. He puts his left hand forward, then sways from side to side. Next he was doing light jumping movements with swag. I thought the dance was stupid but he was really enjoying himself and having fun. Before I knew it, a Young boy slightly older than he was stepped forward to join Jake in this dance. They were both so happy. It was no longer one but two people. Blaine signalled his two friends and then they jumped in. From one, it had become two and from two, four weird dancers. I felt the rush and I joined in, not just me, but three other people joined in with me. The numbers moved from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 15 till almost everyone was dancing that wierd dance (wierd dance = 'shoki').
The lesson learnt here is that we should have the courage to stand for what we believe in, and also the courage to join another person who is doing what we believe in.

LESSON 2: The crowd of Rock Paper Scissors

This story was at the #gdgsummit. Over 600 gdg leaders from different countries gathered in a room. A game was declared. Pick a partner and play rock paper scissors with one another. If you lose, you cheer the winner and get your champion to compete with another champion. You keep cheering till you are cheering for the ultimate champion.
You can try this at your next GDG event in a CSI Lab - I would :)

CSI Labs

Objective: To find out what how we as gdg leads can make our members have an engaging experience at our events.
Time Allowed: 2hrs
Team Formation: 8 gdg leads from different countries selected using a mystic algorithm.

TASK 1: Identifying users

This task involves reflecting on our previous activities and identifying users that come to our gdg meetups and in my team, we found a couple

  • The Student
  • The Employed person

TASK 1.1: Interviewing

I can’t believe I missed this - You need to interview users to find out their needs

TASK 2: Identifying needs

We wanted to know what our attendees want that bring them to our meetups and in my amazing team, we found a couple too

  • To learn about new technology
  • To network with people
  • To Find Jobs or Employ people
  • To share knowledge
  • To get fame and notoriety for community participation

TASK 3: Creative Solution

Here, we made use of post-its. We were to come up with a solution to the needs we listed here. This required some coordination to encourage collaboration. To help with that, every one says his idea aloud before sticking it on the board, anyone can add to the idea but no one is allowed to criticize it. That way, there was a rich collection of ideas. Here are some from my wonderful wonderful team :)

  • Apply gamification to attendance
  • Organize coding dojos
  • Reward mentoring
  • Invite GDG speakers from other countries to speak
  • Organize product driven hackathons

TASK 4: Rapid prototyping

It is rapid - You’ve got 15mins to prototype your app and get it ready to be tested by actual users. You’ve got many weapons

  • Paper prototypes
  • Mockup tools
  • Cardboard prototype
  • Something called Pretotypes
  • Click through prototypes

We chose paper prototyping to represent our solution and guess what we prototyped - A gamified attendance monitor for GDG members, isn’t that amazing?

I really hope you learnt quite a bit from this writing and I do hope you try this session in your GDG