DMBA and Civil Labs Design Entrepreneurial Curriculum for Oakland Teens

DMBA and Civil Labs Design Entrepreneurial Curriculum for Oakland Teens

This past Saturday, the DMBA were lucky enough to host a design sprint with the co-founders of Civil Labs, as well as with some very special guests. Civil Labs is a social enterprise supporting youth development in the Bay Area. “Civil Labs exists to empower young people to make change in their community, and give them the resources to do so.” Started by two C5 DMBA students, Isaac Buwembo and Graham Gardner, Civil Labs has already had great success within their labs, with outcomes such as the Youth Startup Lab, as well as a very popular product, True Pops.

“True Pops was started in July 2016 in partnership with three brilliant young people and some wonderful partners who loved our ice pops almost as much as our mission: to create great jobs and learning experience for youth of color in Oakland.” True Pops had grown into a full summer curriculum designed to teach young people about entrepreneurship and leadership. As their popularity grows and more opportunities arise, Isaac and Graham recognized the space to improve on and grow this experience. This led to the collaboration between Isaac and Graham as well as a group of DMBA students who were particularly interested in the impact that educational programming can have on young people. Starting with a sprint, everyone had the opportunity to come together and dive deep on existing constraints as well as opportunities for True Pops.

The sprint existed around the question “How might we design a summer experience for young people to develop entrepreneurial skills through seasonal employment at True Pops.” During the sprint, the DMBA students were all lucky enough to have a very special guest star in each group. The young people who have participated in True Pops came over to San Francisco to participate in the sprint. From user research to final pitches, these young people were able to not only learn about design thinking and participating in a design sprint, but provide user insights to the DMBA students that greatly influenced the way they designed.

After hearing the final pitches, one could see how greatly these young people affected the outcomes of this particular sprint. They were able to bring insights forward that was vital to user research and the overall process of the sprint. The sprint was a mixture of young people, current students from both cohorts, as well as alumni, and it was evident that the wide variety of experiences contributed to such an amazing outcome.