MDES Blog: Midterms are Coming!

Eiffel Tower from a student of MDes
Walking to the American Library in Paris to do research for the thesis

Hi, this Daniela writing for the MDES blog.

It’s been two weeks since the last post, and there is a lot of news! The couple last weeks have been stressful for everyone. Midterms and deliveries have been our daily lives, so I have been swamped, however, now we passed through the storm.

In this post, I will share about an event called Aperó that we have to organize for one of our classes. Aperó is a common word for meetings with friends in France, and it was translated as Happy Hour by Make Sense: the organization that co-leads our Master Program.

We have a class on social entrepreneurship where we were researching about a social problem that concerned us. Segyo and I researched the issues that homeless women have in Paris, but we were missing the perception of local people about this social problem. That was the main reason we arranged an Aperó.

It’s basically a conversational group where people share opinions of the topic proposed by the host. The Happy Hour event was posted online, and everyone who wanted to join was free to do so! Segyo and I posted our event, “What are the struggles that homeless women face in Paris?” and just a couple of days after, we had an enormous number of strangers registered. We felt really amazed by the people that were interested in our topic without even knowing them!

The event took place on October 3rd at 20:00 at the Hi Hostel in the 18th arrondissement. Heading there was a challenge for me since I faced a lot of traffic disturbances, however, the universe let me be there right on time! At our table, we had three local women who shared a lot of opinions and knowledge on the topic. They said that the more significant problems that homeless women faced in Paris are the hygiene and safety issues. At around 22h, we finished with the round of questions and opinions, and we thank our lovely participants for being part of our Happy Hour.

The week after our Aperó took place, I started becoming stressed about the midterm deliverables. I’m not going to lie, it has been a couple of stressful weeks preparing everything, but despite the intensity, I’m enjoying the journey! The good news is that last Wednesday, I finally delivered my thesis draft. I’m researching the participation of social media in a feminist campaign all over Paris. It has been fascinating to gather information, but I’m still waiting for feedback from school… Hopefully, I’m on the right track.

And last but not least, I am preparing a midterm for the Design Thinking class. Dorianne, our professor, proposed a huge challenge for us: How to make PCA more sustainable?

Janani, Segyo, and I choose to focus on digital waste awareness and change of habits. In some interviews we conducted, we found that few people know about the problem but don’t know how to change their habits. And also, those who don’t know anything about it at all are really interested in having more information. Right now, we are discovering the insights we collected, and search for solutions towards the problem.

That is all for these weeks and now, I leave you because I have to study for my French exam! See you in two weeks!