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DSI / Social Design
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Spring 2020 Fast Track Students Announced

Our honors Fast Track program is kicking off the spring semester with new students and impactful projects! The selected students began developing these designs outside of DSI coursework, and have brought them into our space to be workshopped and developed at an accelerated rate.

Damian Ashton (‘20) is prototyping ways to incentivize New Yorkers to always carry reusable bags in partnership with Key Foods, the Department of Sanitation, and Amer Jandali’s (‘16) environmental organization Future Meets Present. The prototypes hope to reward sustainable shoppers for minimizing the damage of single-use bag waste on the natural environment. The project is particularly timely, as the New York government will be implementing a statewide single-use plastic bag ban in March.

Alyson Fraser Diaz (‘21) & Evan Ressegger (‘21) are creating a professional development curriculum and tracking system based on common pain points felt by employees in non-profit sectors. The goal is to limit the quick burnout commonly experienced by non-profit workers by shifting work culture, improving community, and inspiring staff to grow personally and professionally.

Danielle Skinn (‘20) is continuing last semester’s compostable pillows project, which is previewed here. She now plans to expand the development of her pillows and find a core audience to market her product to.

Esther Yip (‘21) is expanding upon her prize-winning concept, Go Together. The project is a digital tool that was originally conceived as part of MIT Hacking Medicine’s 2019 Grandhack in NYC, and was awarded the grand prize in mental health as well as the UHS Post-Hackathon Prize. The tool is designed to help facilitate family discussions on alcohol abuse and recovery, and consists of interactive team-based activities that create a shared sense of purpose and inspire action while making space to care for individual feelings that arise from such a sensitive topic. She is continuing this work with the help of her original Hackathon team, which consists of MIT Sloan School of Management MBA candidate Emily Jager & physician-scientist and addiction-specialist Kevin Chen, who holds a degree from the Yale School of Medicine.

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