I4A in Jordan: Teaching, Connecting and Energizing Diverse Attendees to Tackle the SDGs in MENA and Beyond

ideas4action@wharton.upenn.edu Blog

Earlier this month, Ideas for Action (I4A) was thrilled to host an Ideation Workshop in Amman, Jordan at The Princess Sumaya University for Technology. Through a joint collaboration with The Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship’s initiative DART, I4A hosted the January 7 event for an excited audience eager to learn new skills and approaches to tackle local and global problems.

The event was open to all interested participants, and attendees hailed from backgrounds ranging from university students and entrepreneurs to schoolteachers and development specialists. Uniting this diverse group was a shared and boundless enthusiasm for the SDGs and how to achieve them in Jordan and beyond.

Wharton School student Joud Tabaza led the two-hour workshop, which began with an introduction to Ideas for Action and stories of previous I4A winners. The application process was also discussed, including a live demonstration highlighting the ease of the application process. The workshop then transitioned to the practical second half, in which the human-centered design approach was introduced and initial stages of the design process were put forward as participants assembled into groups. Within their groups, participants identified and addressed prominent issues they are determined to solve in Jordan, and they then applied elements of design thinking to these problems and their solutions. After a short networking break, teams finalized and shared their ideas and projects with one another, giving and receiving constructive feedback.

The workshop concluded with a few closing remarks on the competition, opening the floor to questions and a networking portion wherein one participant remarked “I just feel that there’s a lot of potential in Jordan and the region to improve many pressing issues through the lens of sustainable development.” Both workshop participants and the I4A team came away from the event inspired, energized and eager to continue working to achieve the SDGs.