A new article in frog's design mind by design researcher, Kara Pecknold, on her insights from her recent visit to pointB, Myanmar.
December 20, 2014
I got my A because I became a good consultant for the underdeveloped communities after this course. My ego, selfishness, impatience, discrimination, pessimism and such kinds of negative attitudes ran away from me now! I’ve changed a lot. I think people around me are much friendlier. I do realize what the word “Empathy” means. Though I was a short-tempered lady in the past, now patience and making friends are so called my super powers. Everything around me is attractive and life becomes much more meaningful. Most people admire me and rely on me.
I am named as a good listener. I spend lots of my time talking with people; especially those having mental problems such as they lost their properties, one of their loves passed away, family broken cases etc. My design thinking skill improves a lot more. I make new interesting handmade things and also train local woman how to make them. I do know that everything is possible and I can do it. I can solve problems very well. Feelings like fear and emotion are just strangers for me now. I’ve found myself.
Well dear pointB, the six-month course helped me change to a new lady. Now I’m a good consultant that was once my big dream! I know that I need much more to learn in the real world. I will try myself to be able to create more chances for the underdeveloped communities applying the knowledge and concept that you put in my brain.
On Monday March 10, 2014, pointB held a small opening ceremony at the new Design-Thinking Center for Community Engagement located at Mawlamyine University. We were joined by Mawlamyine University Rector, Dr. Htay Aung, Heads of Faculty and the English Department. Following the ceremony, pointB kicked off its first training course — a 3-month training with 33 faculty from Mawlamyine University's English Department. This course brings together design-thinking, teaching methodology, organizational development, life skills, study skills and of course, English language. It's been a historical week at Mawlamyine University — here are some excerpts from Dr. Htay Aung's opening speech.
pointB teams up with students from the Teacher Preparation College in Mae Pa (Thai-Myanmar border) to co-create this 1min stopmotion video.
**Our sincerest thanks to Tun BoBo for guiding this production
We are excited to welcome you to pointB! As many of you already know, we have been working on both sides of the Thailand and Myanmar border, supporting migrant, refugee and ethnic education programs under the US-based INGO, World Education. In 2012, we stepped out on our own to found Point B Design + Training (pointB).
Our vision is to create a smaller organization that is more optimistic, nimble and responsive. We see the opportunity to get into Myanmar early to explore new ideas and tools; to integrate the way we approach the development of education and community systems; and to support indigenous groups so that they have a voice in the rebuilding of a democratic Myanmar.
IN SHORT, WE WANT TO CHANGE THE STORY OF MYANMAR FROM PROBLEMS TO POSSIBILITY.
With this motivation, we have spent the last year building partnerships in Myanmar and the U.S. Against all odds, pointB is the first non-UN organization to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Myanmar Ministry of Education.
Under the guidance of the Myanmar Ministry of Education, we are partnering with Mawlamyine University in Mon state to open a Design-Thinking Center for Community Engagement.
Over the next year, we will establish a center, build our team, initiate needs finding within local communities, build partnerships, co-create new platforms for collaboration and begin to develop training programs.
Before we look ahead, we would like to pause to thank the people who have contributed to making pointB possible. First and foremost, our families — your unconditional love and support is the fuel that fires our work. A special thank you to our parents Dorothy and Chester Antos, Ed and Vernie Shum + Aura (the Oracle) and Farok Ardesher — your spirits are woven into the heart of pointB.
Thank you to our magical Board of Directors — Sandee Pyne, Andrew Scadding and Sonya Blazey. And to our wonderful partners at frog design, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Mawlamyine University and the Mon National Education Committee. We are especially grateful to Dr. Htay Aung, the Rector of Mawlamyine University for his courageous efforts in supporting education for the people of Myanmar.
Thank you to our donors and foundations — you make the good work we do possible. Thank you to those who have supported us with travel costs and accommodations over the last year.
A special thank you to Aaron-Taylor Waldman for connecting pointB to the worldwide web with this beautiful website.
And finally, to our team — Naw Tha Ku Paul, Salai Jobson Hung and Sein Sein Lin — we could not ask for a more talented, diverse and compassionate group of trainers to hit the ground running with in 2014.
Today, we are reminded that:
If I were to wish for anything I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of what can be, for the eye which, ever young and ardent sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.
-SOREN KIERKEGAARD, Either/Or
Thank you for enrolling in Point B Design + Training. We hope to create opportunities for people to be generous and experience possibility!
Rochelle, Greg and Sandy