The Second Edition of Mozaiko – Recife

The second edition of Mozaiko moved to Recife in the very north of Brazil. Mozaiko was asked to put on a one day workshop at which is an event being held in a shopping mall in the middle of Recife’s cultural hub. The event was focused on technology, culture and sustainability and featured a showcase of future products and technologies (such as robots designed to encourage children to build their own robots from materials like paper).

The location was interesting because it was central, which was good for the workshops because people could go out and explore and ask the public questions. It was also the location for ‘Mangue Bit’, a big cultural movement in the 1990s. For me personally it was a really interesting location as the area had a lot of Dutch heritage and some of the people living there had distinctly Dutch features – I was on a Dutch hunt, and I did find what I was looking for – No he was a really good friend of Marcos from Voel! Look we are nearly the same colour!

The main reason why Mozaiko was invited to Expoidea was because the event organisers knew that in the cultural hub of Recife there are a lot of start up businesses who have an ambition to create the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Brazil, and Expoidea felt these businesses would benefit from an introduction to design thinking. We had 200 people apply for the workshop (which only had 20 places!) so there was definitely a big interest in our subject.

The central theme of Mozaiko (which is to produce social, cultural and sustainable responses to the question: ‘How can we help people in our local communities in Brazil to solve the problems that really matter to them?) has a lot in common with the agenda of the Expoidea.

We followed a similar to the first edition of Mozaiko, however this was a day-long workshop so the process was made more efficient and developed to fit the time available. We still followed the three step process of: Explore, Ideate and Prototype.

The workshop attendees were asked to go out into the ‘blue yonder’ of Recife to capture a day in the life of the local people in Recife, considering where social issues could occur and having those in the back of their minds.

The key topics that came out of the workshop, and the problems that really mattered to the group, were:

  • Family: Time together and relationship
  • Access to education
  • Traffic system
  • Flanelinha
  • Communities

Under these categories we generated lots of ‘what if’s that created a wall of possibilities. This led on to four ideas being selected to prototype. One idea combined two themes – providing access to education on local transport. The next idea was about a service to help mothers spend more time with their children, in order to be more connected to them. Another idea was a cultural event for families that was outside the centre of Recife, to reach into the local communities. The last idea was about relieving traffic problems by holding local events that would provide people with an opportunity to connect with their communities while finding people to car share with – one of the insights we found through this idea was that people in the area felt isolated and a system is needed to address this, but technology is not necessarily the answer and a more social event format would be better for them.

Everyone who participated enjoyed the process, and the feedback we got from Expoidea was really good. I’m learning so much here in Brazil, and here’s the main lesson I’ve picked up so far:

I’m also realising more and more how the first process of Mozaiko is really effective at finding problems and co-creating solutions, and in a really fast and low-cost way too. It is really addressing the question we set out to explore, and has given us really great insights into the way forwards to address problems in the local community in Recife – but naturally the sessions are not enough to validate any big decisions, and I know that more sessions exploring specific themes with the relevant parties is the way forward for Mozaiko.

Here is an overview of the events, strangely at the same time the British Council were doing a workshop at the same time –

But thank you so much everyone for participating is was a great day! Especially, thanks to Eduardo and Marcos thanks for showing me a new city, great trip once again!

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