Chicas Poderosas organizes a series of workshops on design thinking to encourage media innovation in Brazil

International organization Chicas Poderosas is furthering its mission of joining women journalists and technology in today’s newsrooms with a series of design thinking workshops that will launch Aug. 22 in Rio de Janeiro.

“The importance of this event is to have an opportunity to speak with media leaders who can comment on the main difficulties in the area in Brazil, in particular, and try to create ideas on how to find solutions," Portuguese journalist Mariana Santos, CEO and founder of Chicas Poderosas, told the Knight Center.

At the workshop, instructors Mariana Santos and Sina Mossayeb, design director at IDEO, will address issues related to user-centered design. This process includes steps of inspiration, idealization, and implementation. In the end, participants should be able to develop a common language for innovation and create new proposals and ideas. All this would be done with human-centered design tools.

"Successful innovation must be technically feasible and have a viable business plan, but we find that the best results come when we begin with the needs and desires of people," Vicki Hammarstedt, Chicas Poderosas co-director and digital media director at the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute in the U.S., said of the event.

Continuing in October, the organization will run design thinking weekends and teach the methodology to women journalists in Manaus, Recife and  São Paulo.

The events are a preview for the launch of the organization’s incubator in Brazil, the New Ventures Lab. Starting next year, a select group of women will be chosen for 17 weeks of mentoring that will help to accelerate the creation of new journalism companies. Recife, Manaus and São Paulo will host the three poles of the project.

"As the accelerator of Chicas Poderosas, (New Ventures Lab) aims to accelerate independent media led by women, from Brazil and the rest of Latin America, we want to spur progress with this training, so that [the participants] have an idea of how we are going to develop the 17 weeks of acceleration," Santos said.

Applications will soon be available on the organization's website. The dates are as follows: Oct.14 and 15 in Manaus; Oct. 28 and 29 in Recife; and Nov. 4 and 5 in São Paulo. To participate in the Rio workshop on Aug. 22, it is necessary to request an invitation from the site.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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