Noam Sohachevsky is the co-founder of Mint Digital and he's now a service designer at Apps for Good. We first met through a mutual connection (thank you Tom Trewhella!) and quickly realised we were both on very similar journeys. We both founded successful design agencies and left in the search for something different and we're both currently moonlighting; building our own ventures to help make the change we want to see in the world. We have been supporting and cheerleading each other since and I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for Design Club. Noam has written about how his venture has been developing over 2017 here. Here is what he has to say...
What's the biggest lesson you've learnt over the last year?
It’s all about the tribe. Finding people that care about what you’re doing, as much as you do. This isn’t a new lesson, but since starting Design Club, I appreciate it more than ever. Design Club is not-for-profit. It relies on the generosity of others. For support. For guidance. For mentoring (of children). Without a tribe, Design Club can’t happen. Without tribes, nothing of meaning can happen.
What's your burning question of the moment?
What's the best way to nurture empathy in children? Design Club is answering this question by creating Design Thinking workshops and projects for children.
Design Club isn’t alone. For example, there is The Empathy Toy, by Twenty One Toys. Start Empathy, by Ashoka. The Empathy Museum (not just for children) has created A Mile in My Shoes. A shoe shop where visitors are invited to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
I hope we continue to look for ways to nurture empathy. In the book, Zero Degrees of Empathy, clinical psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen claims that “empathy is our most valuable natural resource.”
What's the most inspiring thing you've seen in the last year?
Google Expeditions. It allows teachers to take their students on virtual school journeys, from Machu Picchu to Antarctica to the International Space Station. For students, it provides rich and immersive experiences. For schools, it offers a valuable service. If adopted (or delivered) widely and in the right way, it could be transformative for education. As a piece of engineering, it’s a beautiful union between content, design, and technology.
What would be your one piece of advice for students out there?
Embrace empathy. Be your most empathic self. Not just in your work as a designer. But in your life and everything you do. True empathy makes us more understanding, more tolerant, and more generous.
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