Ripple (part 1) — Introduction

A social program that helps groups of high school and college students tackle social issues in their communities.

Over four months ago, I started the Share A Cause Project, a social campaign that is exploring how to give the student volunteer community in Vietnam (my home country) opportunities to grow, innovate, pursue their ideas for good causes, and create more impactful outcomes.

The campaign includes a one-month research and two on-going projects: one is the social program Ripple, a collaboration with the Orchid Scholarship Foundation, and the other one is a Kickstarter project (UNTOLD). They are running independently in parallel, but both aim to raise awareness and inspire actions.

*Orchid Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit volunteering organization that aims to promote education and development of Vietnamese youth by helping them reach their full potential and achieve success in their lives.

Research findings

(Full synthesis here)

The majority of the volunteer community in Vietnam is made up by high school and college students. Their most significant values are a large number of participants, time, energy and compassion. However, they are facing a lot of challenges:

  1. Lack of general experience leads to short-term vision, smaller scale, and short life-span projects.
  2. They have yet to have effective solutions for documenting progress, project evaluation, records of past projects, and success metrics.
  3. There’s often duplicate work, and valuable information doesn’t get shared as most of the groups within the community work independently.
  4. Fundraising can occupy a lot of time and effort, which prevents the group from investing in the actual work.

All those challenges result in less innovative and less impactful projects.

Frame the design challenge–HOW MIGHT WE

  • Help the student volunteer community optimize their capabilities and achieve more impactful outcomes?
  • Encourage them to generate new and innovative ideas?
  • Build a sustainable system for the community?
  • Turn this program to a ripple effect of inspiration and support to student social activities in Vietnam?

The solution–Ripple

Ripple is a social program that allows us to invest in innovative ideas proposed by groups of high school and college students on how to respond to the social problems in their community. We will provide each winning group with funding and mentorship to bring its solution to life.

Applicants can choose from three topics:

  1. Traditional volunteer activities
  2. New technology integration
  3. Innovative income-generating solutions

Target audiences: High school and college students in Vietnam that need help to develop and execute their ideas for social cause.

Winning Rewards: At least six winning ideas will receive:

  • Funding up to $500 and scholarships from APUS Vietnam.
  • 2 design workshops that help to reframe their approach to social issues and solidify their execution plan, as well as provide opportunities for the groups to help and learn from each other.
  • 3 months of training, mentorship and design support from our mentors and partners (APUS Vietnam and LIN Center).

Timeline: March-September 2018

Ripple Workshop 1

Ripple Goals

To provide students new perspectives on how to tackle social issues and benefit the communities, thus encourage them to generate new and innovative ideas.

To amplify the support for the student volunteer community: Through ongoing programs, we help students who are passionate in making a social impact get connected to the resources, talent, guidance, partnerships and design expertise that they need to thrive.

To build awareness and inspire action: We convene the Vietnamese youth community to collaboratively create solutions to address our social challenges. Everyone who’s involved in or follows the program is inspired to take action, inspiring their local communities to get involved in tackling social issues.

Together we can create a Ripple effect of inspiration and support to student social activities in Vietnam.

How you can be a part of this Ripple effect

  • The more funding we receive, the more groups of students we can help.
  • If you are enthusiastic about the project — please spread the word. Lending your voice to our cause is much appreciated.

Next: Ripple (part 2) — Workshops

Two full-day design thinking workshops in HCMC for the shortlisted groups that are based here and two 1:1 Skype sessions for the rest.

Product Designers by day, Zen practitioner all the time 🧘🏻‍♀️ One mindful moment at a time

Product Designers by day, Zen practitioner all the time 🧘🏻‍♀️ One mindful moment at a time