MID Talent is an acceleration educational program for creative entrepreneurship aimed at young people, which unites design thinking and digital fabrication since October 2017 to March 2018.
This case study is part of a report we published in April 2018, exploring how “super nodes” support DSI initiatives to grow and scale. You can read the full report here.
Super node: Fab Lab Barcelona
Issue to be resolved
After the economic crisis in Spain, many young people were left without work and with a dysfunctional labour market. Within this context, MID Talent was born, a preacceleration project for entrepreneurship aimed at young people. In the program, youngsters collaborate in teams, discovering new methodologies and tools to solve social challenges through creativity.
The MID Talent format consists of a oneweek challenge, where twenty young people of different profiles collaborate in teams to solve a social challenge. In the process the group acquires knowledge of design thinking, digital fabrication, coaching, entrepreneurial skills, etc. The idea is that these young people (who didn’t know each other before) manage to identify and rely on the skills of each other to develop sustainable entrepreneurship projects, by way of alternative education methodology.
Role of the super node
At the Fab Lab Barcelona, we introduced the participants to the concept of Fab City and the approach of the Lab, including guided research methodologies in the field. The participants investigate the neighbourhood, talk with users and validate ideas in situ. We take them away from the theory to bring them closer to the real world and their needs.
After the development of the projects, we led the design process and introduce them to t 55 digital manufacturing and its many possibilities. Finally, in an afternoon the youngsters have to prototype their projects (or part of them) in our lab, using our methodologies and digital tools. We represent the practical part of this educational model, where young people learn by doing, develop a critical thinking and must make decisive decisions as a team, boosting their collaborative skills.
Four editions of the MID Talent have been carried out, working to solve different issues, such as social housing, food waste, local materials in the neighbourhood and culture dissemination. In all the editions the participants have collaborated achieving very interesting results. They have learned new tools, approaches and creative methodologies, improving their entrepreneurial skills.
For example, an interesting project of the challenge was to recycle coffee waste in restaurants in the neighbourhood to create personalized soaps with exfoliating properties, allowing reusing a waste stream that had no use to add value to its customers. This project was the winner of the first edition and the winning team is working to implement the project as a business.
The MID Talent is about to finish, with its latest edition. But based on the success and good results of the challenge, we hope to replicate this model in new editions.
The main lessons of the MID Talent are the implementation of an alternative educational model, which works for projects with social impact, develop sustainable initiatives and encourage collaboration between people from different backgrounds.
At the institutional level, a lesson is the collaboration of different types of institutions with different know-how, such as museums, universities, creation labs and NGO’s; this distributes the risk and ensures the success of the project.