On Friday, May 22nd a first generation of Community Service Engineers have graduated. The members of the jury were delighted with the technical end results and the user centred design tracks the students told about to achieve these results.
Good communication is crucial to understand end users and other stakeholders. Quite often cultural misunderstandings arise since the Community Service Engineer makes the bridge between disciplines, works for organisations in which he/she does not work as an employee, operates in niche markets across country borders, contributes to the superdivers society,…Intercultural competences are therefore a necessity.
Have students taken into account legal and environmental issues while developing? These are important aspects! This week we've looked into 'intellectual property' & 'creative commons licences'. Now we also know what is meant by 'circular economy' and 'cradle to cradle'.
Can we make up a sustainable business model for our projects end results? Would we find funding? Not that we will all build our own start up as graduates of this curriculum... but why not think about it?! Other partners in the field such as Kea, VOKA Health Community, Leuven.Inc, Sociale Innovatiefabriek, Verhaert and others will be able to give a much more detailled answer in regard to theses questions.
Thanks to their analytical skills engineers are very good at systems thinking for social profit organisations. We have gained insight in terms such as workability and active jobs. We have also learned how to facilitate interaction between people and technology.
Let us start thinking about a sustainable future for our project's end result! User Centred Design has been our design philosophy! Can we co-create a future for our project work in a collaboration between a social profit and a business stakeholder? We got a lot of inspiration from Mark Bloemendaal's Implementation IQ.
Accessibility comes to mind when you think about buildings and how people in a wheelchair can get in easily... but it is a much broader concept. What about accessible ICT? Do you think it is doable for a blind person to consult the balance of his/her bank account via the secured login procedure? We have also learnt that a lot of tools that are today mainstream products, started as an assistive technology to make information accessible. This can be said about scanners, word prediction tools, voice over technology,...
A sector of assistive technology? Yes indeed! This week we've learned about subtitling at the Flemish Broadcasting company VRT, job adaptations at the Flemish government, European standardisation bodies, ... On Saturday Jabbla was our host in Gent and here we've met Zora the first 'humanoid' robot in the world that is working directly with people in care centres.
Week 15 - Background information on processes, management, finance and economic structure of the social profit sector
By now we have a clear view on the organisations in the social profit sector. But are processes, management and finance different from regular companies? We got valuable insights into those questions thanks to prof. Pacolet and Peter Catry, HR-manager at the Red Cross Flanders. By now we are at the curriculum's halfway point. Time to present the status of our project work and reflect back.