Programa GAIA

Master in Decision Making & Innovation

Hi Gaians!

First of all, I would like to thank all the groups their involvement and work during these two weeks. As we said at the beginning of the module, it is difficult to teach (referred to us) about innovation and creativity, but we think that it is possible to learn (referred to you) about these topics.

Surely you have realized that…during this Activity, almost the 100% is learnt with one of my favourite methods: Discovery Learning (not to be confused with trial-error). During these two weeks you have discovered interesting things as your Basadur profile, the different kinds of innovation, several methodologies, the importance of users’ feedback and of prototyping as well as the difficulties of coordinating a team in an innovation work and mostly of all, the arduous task of prototyping and testing ideas that are defined step by step.

I also hope that the “invisible learning” that you have had during this module, helps you in the future (I mean Crowdfunding, Apps Prototyping, Microgrids or whatever you learnt).

What I can guarantee is that this process, launching an idea + prototyping + testing and re-prototyping (which in innovation is known as PIVOTING: leaving a foot aligned and change the direction of the other), can be done in the timeframe that we proposed.

I also learnt a lot about how you guys can really make the world a better place, awesome ideas and nice implementations that, in some cases, you should consider to follow up as we recommended to some teams (please read particular feedback in the community).

So, change the world is hard and the weather is still hot, but some of you chose to try it and you really deserve an applause.

The FIVE most important things here were:

1) PROTOTYPE in order to validate your assumptions. As we have told you during these two weeks, it was really important to show the divergent and convergent processes that you have been facing to get your prototype.

2) TEST your PROTOTYPE, but with real users (iteration) developing REAL INTERVIEWS in THE REAL WORLD (lazy surveys are not the best thing to learn because people answer WHAT YOU WANT, NOT WHAT THEY WANT!!!)




As a summary, I realized three kinds of teams (teams without a prototype are not included in these feedback):

1) I want to prototype but I validate my own prototype and invent some potential feedbacks for the future –> You should be a sci-fi writer, but that´s not an innovation methodology my friend.

2) I want to prototype and I want to test it, but It´s too hot outside and streets are dangerous, maybe with a survey it´s ok… and our friends and family will answer that “everything is good honey!!” and we will rule the world. –> This is a good exercise to firm up your social network and your family ties but it´s not and innovation methodology.

3) Ok, I have a prototype and I know that the truth is out there, I want to find it and I will try to be creative to find some neighbor (NGOS, Experts in my company) to gather some feedback. I don´t need to go to Africa to test my prototype. –> You really understood what innovation is about and you should apply for the contest we told you in your personal feedback.

Let me show you some examples of people really solving these challenges:


Rafiki Power acts as a rural utility company, building decentralized energy solutions in regions that lack basic services like running water and electricity. The company’s renewable hybrid systems are packed and standardized in recycled 20-foot shipping containers, and they’re currently powering over 700 household and business clients in rural Tanzania.


Aspire Food Group believes insects are the protein of the future, and that technology has the power to bring the tradition of eating insects that exists in many countries and cultures to the rest of the world. The company uses technologies like robotics and automated data collection to farm insects that have the protein quality of meat and the environmental footprint of plants.


Loowatt designed a toilet that uses a patented sealing technology to contain human waste within biodegradable film. The toilet is designed for linking to anaerobic digestion technology to provide a source of biogas for cooking, electricity, and other applications, creating the opportunity to offset capital costs with energy production.


Hala Systems, Inc. is a social enterprise focused on developing technology-driven solutions to the world’s toughest humanitarian challenges. Hala is currently focused on civilian protection, accountability, and the prevention of violent extremism before, during, and after conflict. Ultimately, Hala aims to transform the nature of civilian defense during warfare, as well as to reduce casualties and trauma during post-conflict recovery, natural disasters, and other major crises.


Iris.AI is an artificial intelligence system that reads scientific paper abstracts and extracts key concepts for users, presenting concepts visually and allowing users to navigate a topic across disciplines. Since its launch, Iris.AI has read 30 million research paper abstracts and more than 2,000 TED talks. The AI uses a neural net and deep learning technology to continuously improve its output.


LuminAID makes portable lanterns that can provide 24 hours of light on 10 hours of solar charging. The lanterns came from a project to assist post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, when the product’s creators considered the dangerous conditions at night in the tent cities and realized light was a critical need. The lights have been used in more than 100 countries and after disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, and the earthquakes in Nepal.

Thanks for your effort and best regards!

Luis González Lorenzo

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