37 MBA students
Project: Social enterprise Soul of Africa
Collaborators: 11 designers
Guest speakers: Inderpaul Johar of architecture practice 00, Les Wynn from Xerox, Engine service design
During a one-day workshop, 37 MBA students who took the elective worked with 11 designers from different disciplines to help frame and tackle some of the current challenges facing Soul of Africa, which employs women hand-stitching shoes which are sold internationally, with the profits going back to support AIDS-affected communities in South Africa.
The aim of the event was to bring together the ways of problem framing and solving typically used by MBAs with designers from different disciplines, to help Soul of Africa engage with some of the challenges it is faced with. From Soul of Africa, we were joined by co-founder Lance Clark, Galahad Clark of Terraplana, Franziska Amaral, and Martin Foley. Soul of Africa was originally started with £30,000 and has raised over $2m which has been invested into South African communities affected by AIDS. Women handstitch shoes which are then shipped to the UK and US, and sold in major retail outlets such as Clarks and Next.
Mixed teams worked on strategy, operations, marketing and design combining creative and analytical approaches to generate recommendations for Soul of Africa.
The MBA students then carried on working on the project as part of their assessed work. Their documents were shared with Soul of Africa, who may take some of the ideas forward.