Blog: Amal Designathon

Blog: Amal Designathon

Amal Designathon 2018: Making Technological Innovation Accessible

In his book, The Unfinished Revolution, Michael Dertouzos argues that while Silicon Valley has come far in its development of innovative technologies, it has lagged in its ability to make these technologies accessible to the people who need it most. While innovative and entrepreneurial instincts are already deeply woven into Silicon Valley’s fabric, there still exists room for growth in the development of human-centric computing. Much of Silicon Valley’s development has been limited to the fortunate few who have access to its wealth of resources. For most of the world, these innovations have yet to make the positive impact they have the potential to do.
This past weekend the AMENA Center at Haas, in conjunction with Amal cofounders, Negah Nafisi and Soha Eshraghi, hosted the Amal Designathon, an event that aimed to bridge these gaps in technological innovation. The Amal Designathon was a competition between UC Berkeley students interested in design and the MENA region, who worked in teams to develop the interface for Amal. Amal, is a platform that proposes a legal software system and simple online platform through which women in MENA countries can learn more about the legal rights granted to them in their country of residence, and secure and submit essential documentation needed for basic rights. When Amal cofounders and UC Berkeley alumni, Negah Nafisi and Soha Eshraghi reached out to the AMENA Center to discuss their proposal for Amal, we saw the potential to leverage student talent to help bring the platform to life.

The Amal Designathon took place on the weekend of September 22nd-23rd, in the Haas Innovation Lab inside of Memorial Stadium. Teams of UC Berkeley students worked tirelessly to create a interface for Amal, competing for the chance to work directly with founders, Negah Nafisi and Soha Eshraghi, to fully develop their interface and potentially present it to the World Bank. Within two weeks the AMENA Center and Amal were able to secure over 70 participants, comprised of UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students with various educational backgrounds. The common denominator among the participants was an interest in social impact and design, however, the Designathon was not limited in the scope of the majors and interests allowed for participants. Additionally, the AMENA center enlisted the help 30 industry professionals to guide the Designathon participants and serve as mentors as they worked in teams to develop an interface for Amal. Most mentors were industry leaders involved in UI/UX at companies like Google and Lime. Mentors were assigned to teams and provided a guiding hand, allowing the teams to develop designs that Amal would be able to implement into its interface.

The event began Saturday morning with opening remarks coming from Dr. Dariush Zahedi, Professor of Political Economy and Director of the AMENA Center, discussing the skills innovation gap that exists in the MENA region, and the importance of working with platforms like Amal, which will help to reduce these gaps. Then, Amal cofounders, Negah Nafisi and Soha Eshraghi, talked about their platform and gave participants a detailed explanation of the kind of interface they were looking for. 

 

 

Teams were able to make use of the resources available in the Haas Innovation Lab, and worked late into Saturday evening, only taking breaks to eat and attend a series of lightning talks given by Google’s John Angelo and Tara Hirebet.

John Angelo gave a compelling talk on how to successfully develop and gain support for your design. His experience leading system level interaction design efforts on Wear OS, and as the lead designer on the news and search team at Facebook gave him a wealth of experience that he was able to share with an eager audience of Berkeley students looking to gain insights into the design industry.

Later in the afternoon, Tara Hirebet, Senior UX Researcher on Google’s Next Billion Users (NBU) team, gave a talk on Designing for global Accessibility. Tara’s talk gave Designathon participants some important insights into the online tendencies of Amal’s target user base. Placing teams in the Designathon cited Tara’s talk as a source of inspiration for their designs.

 

By Saturday evening most teams had exhausted all their energy for the day, and were ready for the final push Sunday morning. On Sunday, teams were able to put the finishing touches on their designs, and finished preparation for final presentations. For the entirety of Sunday afternoon, each of the 13 teams presented their design to a group of judges which included Negah Nafisi, Chad Ackerman, and Shipra Kayan.

 

Every team was able to produce an impressive design, and judges had difficulty ranking the teams because there was such strong competition. However, by the end of deliberations the judges were able to select four teams to place.

 

In third place, was: team two, with members Zaki Alattar and Chase Walz.

In second place was team four, which was comprised of a group of graduate students at UC Berkeley’s School of Information: Paul Stott, Mu-ti Huang, Meena Kaushik, Olivia Seow, and Yuval Barash.

In first place, was team 11, a group of UC Berkeley students who had not met each other prior to the Designathon. Remarkably team 11 was able to develop enough chemistry to produce a compelling design which the judges rated the most effective:
Brandon Fang, Catherine Tran, Corey Hu, Franchesca Spektor, Parina Gujral.

The first and second place teams will have the opportunity to continue to develop their interface for Amal and will also receive a tour of Facebook or Lime with their design team. Additionally, each placing team will have the opportunity to dine with their respective mentors and continue to maintain their relationship with industry experts.

The AMENA Center was more than happy to host this year’s successful Amal Designathon which exceeded all expectations. The work accomplished this past weekend will go a long way to bridge the technological and innovation gap that persists in the MENA region.

The AMENA Center looks forward to hosting more events like the Amal Designathon and will continue its important work in fueling entrepreneurial innovation in the Middle East.

 

Executive Education Course

Executive Education Course

Executive Leadership & Innovation Course

In this Page:

Program Dates:

October 14-26, 2018

December 9-21, 2018

This program will provide a full exposure to the latest concepts and practices of executive leadership and innovation. The curriculum is tailored, and will be delivered by world-class professors from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and successful leaders in Silicon Valley for Senior Managers in the region.

This boot camp combines classroom sessions with lectures and interactive activities as well as out of class exercises and assignments to provide participants with the skills, culture, and networks needed to establish, operate, sustain, and scale new and old businesses.

Executive Course Details

  • “The Program is a very good program for entrepreneurs … Visiting different sites helped us network much more effectively.”
  • “The program was really excellent. I didn’t expect what would happen. Everything was amazing.”
  • “The program was very informative. The concepts are really clear and show you how to transform a small company into an enterprise.”
  • “I think it was very useful and efficient. I really learned a lot and I hope to use this newly acquired knowledge and skills in practice.”
  • “I learned quite a lot. I think the program was very well organized.”
Boot Camp Activities

Lectures by professors and pioneers to hands-on projects, and visits to relevant Silicon Valley companies. All Boot camp components, including lectures, projects and visits will address local needs and requirements.

Lectures: Lectures will be delivered by world-class UC Berkeley faculty members and practitioners from Silicon Valley. Emphasis and content will be adjusted to fit the backgrounds and requirements of the participating group.

Projects: Participants will be split into teams of 4 or 5 to work on hands-on realworld entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges derived from their contexts. The course is designed to make the experiences of participants as meaningful as possible by enabling them to hone their entrepreneurial skills in real-life settings. Participants will be required to think through and apply what they learn in class in teams. Each team will be paired with and mentored by a coach. Teams will present their projects on demo day to a panel of judges, who will evaluate their solutions and provide them with feedback.

Visits to Silicon Valley: The foremost global innovation hub. Visits to various Silicon Valley entities will be organized to maximize the visit’s relevance and utility to the participating group’s interests and concerns.

Fireside Chat with Pioneers: This boot camp will also be enriched by insights from academics and innovative leaders, who will discuss their successes and failures, analyzing the lessons they have derived from each.

Advantages

Project-Based Learning Approach: The boot camp is composed not just of a series of lectures, but the formulation and completion of a real-world hands-on project. Upon arriva participants are placed into teams which, operating under the supervision of a coach, wor on projects that will be presented to a panel of judges at the end of the boot camp.

Contextualization: Boot Camp contents and activities, including lectures, projects and vis are organized to augment their relevance to the countries, industries, and companies from which the participants are drawn. The contextualization approach is designed to maximize the benefits that accrue to participants.

Certification: Upon completion of the boot camp, participants will receive a certificate issued by the UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business.

Features
  • Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, gaining familiarity with the processes that will allow them to go from ideas to implementation. This boot camp will cover best practices on recruiting and retaining talent, forming teams, pitching ideas, raising capital, prototyping solutions, testing markets, selling and marketing products and services, and launching scalable enterprises capable of creating value in both economic and social terms.
  • Participants will also learn how to define problems and determine which ones to solve, becoming familiar with formulating solutions that are “usefully different” from and superior to what exists on the market.
  • Throughout, theoretical and conceptual approaches will be supplanted by case studies and visits to Silicon Valley, where students will be exposed to practical examples of both budding and thriving startups, renowned technology companies, venture capitalists, angel investors, as well as incubators and accelerators.
  • The bootcamp will be enriched by insights from entrepreneurs and VC’s, who will discuss their successes and failures, analyzing the lessons they have derived from each.
Objectives & Outcomes
  • Learning to define effective and dynamic organizations and new tools for improving performance.
  • Better understanding management challenges —both unique and shared — and best practices for addressing them.
  • Learning to organize and lead multicultural, geographically distributed teams, and keeping them aligned and productive.
  • Learning to maximize your influence and persuasion through improved negotiation skills and techniques.
  • Learning to attract, develop, motivate, and retain talent by engaging and energizing the people you lead.
  • Learning to use innovation to improve decision making, grow your business, and improve organizational health.
  • Learning to use advanced digital technologies in your work.
  • Learning to use innovative ideas and critical thinking techniques to improve organizational performance.
  • Learning to use advanced design thinking methodology and problem solving methodologies to improve organizational performance.

Program

Day 1

Arrival – Registration
5:00 pm: Opening
Reception, Networking

Day 2

9:00 am: Session 1 – Organizational Leadership
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Session 2 – Organizational Leadership
12:30 pm: Lunch, Networking
2:00 pm: Session 3 – Organizational Leadership
3:30 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Workshop – Team Up
6:00 pm: Welcoming Dinner, Networking

Day 3

9:00 am: Session 4 – Design Thinking
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Session 5 – Design Thinking
12:30 pm: Lunch, Networking
2:00 pm: Session 6 – Design Thinking
3:30 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Fireside Chat with Leaders

Day 4

9:00 am: Session 7 – Design Thinking
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Session 8 – Design Thinking
12:30 pm: Lunch, Networking
2:00 pm: Session 9 – Design Thinking
3:30 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Fireside Chat with Leaders

Day 5

Silicon Valley Visit 1

Day 6

9:00 am: Session 10 – Strategy and Organization
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Session 11 – Strategy and Organization
12:30 pm: Lunch, Networking
2:00 pm: Session 12 – Strategy and Organization
3:30 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Fireside Chat with Leaders

Day 7

Free Time

Day 8

Free Time

Day 9

9:00 am: Session 13 – Corporate Governance
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Session 14 – Corporate Governance
12:30 pm: Lunch, Networking
2:00 pm: Session 15 – Corporate Governance
3:30 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Fireside Chat with Leaders

Day 10

9:00 am: Session 16 – Innovative Management
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Session 17 – Innovative Management
12:30 pm: Lunch, Networking
2:00 pm: Session 18 – Innovative Management
3:30 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Fireside Chat with Leaders

Day 11

Silicon Valley Visit 2

Day 12

9:00 am: Project Workshop
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Project Workshop
12:30 pm: Lunch, Networking
2:00 pm: Project Workshop
5:00 pm: Reception, Networking

Day 13

9:00 am: Demo 1
10:30 am: Break
11:00 am: Demo 2
12:30 pm: Lunch Networking
2:00 pm: Closing
3:00 pm: Farewell Reception

Day 14

Departure

Registration

Costs including lodging, breakfast, lunch, and visits:

$14,000

Attendance, Cancellation, & Late Arrival

Please keep AMENA Center informed of cancellations and delays. Arriving late and/or leaving early can be extremely disruptive. It is your responsibility to make the necessary arrangement to be present for the entire duration of the course.

Your presence and participation in the seminars is essential for receiving a certificate from the Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Should you have questions, please contact us at:
amenaced@haas.berkeley.edu

Housing & Transportation

Lectures and class sessions will be held at University of California, Berkeley – Haas school of Business.
Transportation from/to site visits will be provided.

Housing

Participants will be housed at the Berkeley faculty guest house or in the Shattuck Hotel in the city of Berkeley.

Visa Information

VISA Support

Some participants are eligible for the “VWP” (Visa Waiver Program). The VWP enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining visa if they have registered online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The first step is to see if your home country is one of the thirty that fall under this category. Participants can find this information on the US consulate’s website of their home country. If a student’s home country or country of citizenship is a member of the VWP, then the participants from that country will need to follow the procedures for the visa waiver.

Non-American / Non-VWP Citizens

If the participant’s home country is not a part of the VWP, the student would have to apply for the B1 business visa. Do not apply for a student visa because the application will be denied. The term “business” includes conventions, participation in seminars, conferences, consultations, and other activities of a commercial or professional nature. Students may need to specify the nature of the boot camp. The official description of your presence in Berkeley, California is as follows: attending a full-time Executive Training seminar. Participants are required to check with their local consulates for the most up-to-date procedures for obtaining a visa.

Documents for Visa Application

As for the documents needed for this visa, participants will receive an official invitation letter from the UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business once registration has been approved and endorsed by the AMENA Center. US visa policies may vary from country to country. The US is sometimes very strict when making decisions about issuing visas, and is not obliged to justify visa refusals. In such cases, AMENA center will provide you with options to reschedule your boot camp or to receive a refund per registration policy. Nevertheless, a common reason for visa refusal is that the applicants fail to demonstrate sufficient ties to their home countries. Below, is a list of documents we recommend prospective participants take to their visa appointments:

  • Boot Camp Program Guide
  • UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business Acceptance Letter
  • Certificate of Tuition Payment
  • Copies of return plane ticket
  • Proof of residence in home country
  • Bank account information
  • Job details or University registration

Contact form

Contact

7 + 6 =

December 2018 Bootcamp

December 2018 Bootcamp

Boot Camp

Boot Camp for Innovation, Technology, & Entrepreneurship

 

December 20, 2018

Location: Haas School of Business || University of California, Berkeley

Classes will meet from December 20, 2018.

This program will provide a thorough exposure to both the concept and practice of entrepreneurship. The curriculum is shaped and delivered by world-class professors from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. The course combines classroom sessions with lectures and interactive activities as well as out of class exercises and assignments to provide you with the skills, culture, and networks you need to establish, operate, sustain, and scale new businesses. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive Berkeley-Hass certificates.

Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, gaining familiarity with the processes that will allow them to go from ideas to implementation. The course will cover best practices on recruiting and retaining talent, forming teams, pitching ideas, raising capital, prototyping solutions, testing markets, selling and marketing products and services, and launching scalable enterprises capable of creating value in both economic and social terms. Participants will also learn how to define problems and determine which ones to solve, becoming familiar with formulating solutions that are “usefully different” from and superior to what exists on the market.

Throughout, theoretical and conceptual approaches will be supplanted by case studies and visits to Silicon Valley, where students will be exposed to practical examples of both budding and thriving startups, renowned technology companies, venture capitalists, angel investors, as well as incubators and accelerators. The course will be enriched by insights from entrepreneurs and VC’s, who will discuss their successes and failures, analyzing the lessons they have derived from each.

If you have any questions about the program or application please send an e-mail to amenaced@haas.berkeley.edu

 
 

Application Deadline: TBA

Program

● Day 1
○ Arrival – Registration
○ 5:00 pm Opening
○ Dinner, Networking

● Day 2
○ 9:00 am Session 1: Orientation
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Session 2: Entrepreneurship in a Box
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Session 3: Entrepreneurship in a Box
○ 3:30 pm Break
○ 4:00 pm Workshop – Team Up
○ 6:00 pm Dinner, Networking

● Day 3
○ 9:00 am Session 4: Design Thinking
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Session 5: Design Thinking
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Session 6: Design Thinking
○ 3:30 pm Break
○ 4:00 pm Fireside Chat with Entrepreneurs

● Day 4
○ 9:00 am Session 7: Design Thinking
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Session 8: Design Thinking
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Session 9: Design Thinking
○ 3:30 pm Break
○ 4:00 pm Fireside Chat with Entrepreneurs

● Day 5
○ Silicon Valley Visit

● Day 6
○ 9:00 am Session 10: Entrepreneurship in a Box
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Session 11: Entrepreneurship in a Box
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Session 12: Entrepreneurship in a Box
○ 3:30 pm Break
○ 4:00 pm Fireside Chat with Entrepreneurs

● Day 7
○ Free Time

● Day 8
○ Free Time

● Day 9
○ 9:00 am Project Workshop
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Project Workshop
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Project Workshop
○ 4:00 pm Reception, Networking

● Day 10
○ 9:00 am Project Workshop
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Project Workshop
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Project Workshop
○ 4:00 pm Reception, Networking

● Day 11
○ Silicon Valley Visit 2

● Day 12
○ 9:00 am Project Workshop
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Project Workshop
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Project Workshop
○ 4:00 pm Reception, Networking

● Day 13
○ 9:00 am Project Workshop
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Project Workshop
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Project Workshop
○ 4:00 pm Reception, Networking

● Day 14
○ Free Time

● Day 15
○ Free Time

● Day 16
○ 9:00 am Session 13: Legal Issues for Startups
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Session 14: Legal Issues for Startups
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Session 15: Legal Issues for Startups
○ 3:30 pm Break
○ 4:00 pm Fireside Chat with Entrepreneurs

● Day 17
○ 9:00 am Session 16: Financial Issues for Startups
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Session 17: Financial Issues for Startups
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Session 18: Financial Issues for Startups
○ 3:30 pm Break
○ 4:00 pm Fireside Chat with Entrepreneurs

● Day 18
○ Silicon Valley Visit 3

● Day 19
○ 9:00 am Project Workshop
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Project Workshop
○ 12:30 pm Lunch, Networking
○ 2:00 pm Project Workshop
○ 5:00 pm Reception, Networking

● Day 20
○ 9:00 am Demo 1
○ 10:30 am Break
○ 11:00 am Demo2
○ 12:30 pm Lunch Networking
○ 2:00 pm Closing

● Day 21
○ Departure