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DSI / Social Design
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With the new Fast Track program, DSI students take their bold ideas into the world

Catalina Cipri, Taylor Sokolowski, Zongliang Shang and Qianshang Chen are launching the first projects to be chosen for the new DSI Fast Track program, and they are using the opportunity to create projects, and businesses, that tackle important issues. This initiative combines the students’ work in their entrepreneurship classes and their involvement in their thesis projects. It illustrates the immersive nature of this program.

Zongliang Shang and Qianshang Chen are using their thesis project to reduce food waste, and create a profit doing so. The two are using damaged and ugly fruit from local retailers to create water kefir — a delicious drink that’s healthy and sustainable. Zongliang and Qianshang are looking to produce their first batch of the drink in April, and will work to sell the product in Bushwick.

Catalina Cipri is creating a bot that provides access for job seekers to get the career counseling they need 24/7 — in English, Spanish and Arabic. She wants native speakers to feel a connection to the bot, so that they are able to get the support they need quickly and is working to make the bot’s voice feel natural and the conversations organic and friendly.

Taylor Sokolowski
is working to encourage interfaith dialogue between Christian and Muslim women. This is important, because some American Christians have fears and misconceptions about Islam, but the majority haven’t even met a Muslim person. In April, Taylor will be testing a website that ultimately inspires offline conversations between Muslim and Christian women.

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