LiA project with makesense: Week 3 in Mexico City

LiA project with makesense: Week 3 in Mexico City
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What went well?

The progress I made; what was achieved and done


The task of my new group is to help an NGO called PROMESA collect 24,000 multilayer packages to build rooftops for people in need in Mexico.

Our initial solution:

  1. Research and Target: Conduct thorough research on multi-layer packages and identify coffee shops as potential sources for these packages, specifically milk cartons. Coffee shops use a significant number of milk cartons daily, making them ideal targets for collection. We plan to send our 30 volunteers to contact the coffee shops for us.
  2. Collaboration Opportunity: Explore the possibility of collaboration with Nidaria, an organization that already collects multi-layer packages and seeks solutions for their disposal. Partnering with Nidaria can leverage their existing collection efforts and contribute to your goal. We plan to visit the founder of Nidaria to discuss this opportunity.

One significant achievement was the successful collaboration opportunity that emerged with Nidaria. This collaboration was made possible due to the strong relationships our project team built with other project teams within our collective session, which involved scholars from various disciplines. During the session, we presented our project and outlined our plans to repurpose multi-layer packages, specifically tetrapacks, for sustainable rooftops. The scholars responsible for the Nidaria project later learned about their organization's need to find a solution for disposing of tetrapacks. Recognizing the relevance and potential synergy between our initiatives, they reached out to us afterwards. This unexpected connection showcases the power of networking and knowledge sharing within our collective community, leading to a valuable collaboration that can significantly enhance our efforts. We are excited about the opportunity to work together with Nidaria, leveraging their existing collection of tetrapacks and our expertise in repurposing them. This collaboration not only strengthens our immediate goal of collecting multi-layer packages but also opens doors for future joint initiatives and scalable solutions to address broader environmental and social challenges.

What could have been done differently?

Things that did not get done and/or could be changed


In retrospect, we could have improved our team's efficiency by dividing our labor more clearly. It appears that we all independently conducted research on multi-layer packages, resulting in duplicated efforts. To prevent this, we could have allocated specific research topics or areas of focus to each team member. By assigning tasks based on individual strengths and interests, we could have avoided redundancy and maximized productivity. Additionally, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing within the team would have been beneficial. Regular check-ins and a designated research lead could have facilitated communication and ensured everyone was aligned. Learning from this experience, we can enhance our future projects by optimizing task delegation and fostering a more coordinated research approach.

What did I learn about myself when working with others?

Contributions, behaviours and values I exhibited


When I reflect on my experience of working with others on our project, I discovered valuable insights about myself and my contributions to the team. One aspect that stood out was my proficiency in brainstorming and categorizing ideas to bring clarity to complex discussions.

During the brainstorming stage of our project, I took the initiative to propose a compelling idea that would not only incentivize coffee shops to participate but also create a positive impact on the community. I suggested launching a 3-week campaign where coffee shops collecting the most milk cartons would receive a rewarding opportunity at the end. To illustrate, we planned to allocate a portion of our budget, around 7000 pesos, to purchase approximately 200 cups of coffee. These cups would be distributed to homeless individuals, making a meaningful difference in their lives. In return, the coffee shops had the obligation to clean and return their used milk cartons to us for repurposing.

Moreover, I recognized the potential for collaboration with coffee shops in a different capacity. I suggested partnering with coffee shops to provide coffee during workshops conducted by other scholars. This collaboration would not only support our project but also foster a sense of community engagement and create opportunities for knowledge sharing.

In addition to our offline efforts, I proposed leveraging the power of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to raise awareness about our project. By organizing a social media pitch, we aimed to capture people's attention, educate them about the importance of repurposing multi-layer packages, and inspire them to join our cause.

Throughout this collaborative journey, I discovered my strength in generating creative ideas and organizing them into actionable plans. I realized the value of my ability to think outside the box and bring structure to complex discussions, making them more accessible and understandable for the entire team.

What did I learn about leadership?

Leadership attributes and insights I developed


Throughout the project, I gained valuable insights into the role of leadership and its significance in driving a team towards success. I discovered that having one main responsible leader overseeing the entire process is crucial for effective project management.

One of the key lessons I learned is the importance of closely tracking time and labor division. As the main leader, it was my responsibility to ensure that the project was progressing in the right direction. By keeping a close eye on the timeline and allocating tasks appropriately, I could ensure that each team member was working towards our collective goals.

I also realized that I felt more comfortable taking on the role of controlling the project's direction and overseeing the details. As the leader, I found it essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the full picture. This allowed me to communicate effectively with all team members and ensure that everyone was aligned and working towards the same objectives.

I recognized that without a leader who possesses knowledge of the entire project and communicates effectively with all teammates, the project's progress can be hindered. Lack of clear direction and miscommunication can lead to confusion, delays, and even potential harm to the project's outcomes.

What do I want to develop or focus on next?

What I still need to develop


In my leadership role, I strived to foster open communication, ensuring that each team member was aware of their responsibilities and the overall project goals. I encouraged regular check-ins, providing an opportunity for team members to voice concerns, seek clarification, and offer suggestions. By maintaining a transparent and collaborative environment, I aimed to empower team members to perform at their best and contribute their unique perspectives.

Furthermore, I learned that effective leadership goes beyond simply delegating tasks. It involves motivating and inspiring team members, recognizing their strengths, and providing guidance when needed. By recognizing and leveraging the skills and talents of each individual, I aimed to create a cohesive and high-performing team.

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