GUPES Green Gown Awards 2016 Latin America & the Caribbean Uni. San Francisco de Quito

Tags: sustainability | International | Community Engagement | GUPES Green Gown Awards | Universidad San Francisco de Quito | Ecuador

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WINNER

Social and Environmental Innovation Projects for Ecuador (PISA)

Proyecto de Innovación Socio-Ambiental (PISA) pursues social-environmental innovation projects to improve quality of life in different communities in Ecuador using Human-Centered Design. In collaboration with École des Ponts’ d.school Innovecteurs class, Universidad San Francisco de Quito began this project as a pilot seminar to work with communities using ethnographic research, fast prototyping and community level implementations to address their own identified needs.

The initial case studies are in Galapagos and in an indigenous Andean community. In Pambamarca (Andes) a water collection system with a fog collector was implemented to increase the quantity of water available for agricultural purposes in the community. In El Progreso (Galápagos) a cleaning protocol and a filtration system in the collection tanks were installed to improve water quality and people’s trust in running water from the government’s system. Both projects are establishing microenterprises with members of the community that take care of the long-term sustainability of the projects.

Top 3 learnings

1. We better understand Design Thinking as a tool to address social issues in communities, putting the user in the centre of design of a program.
2. We have strengthened our ties to the community of El Progreso in Galápagos, understanding that listening to the users, even in traditional public services can make a difference in the usage of those services, increasing trust in
the system.
3. We have creatively addressed a water accessibility issue with an Andean community that is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, increasing resilience and adaptability, an issue we expect to continue encountering in our work.

What it means to win

“USFQ will be honored to receive the GUPES Green Gown Award. We are inspired to use social innovation to strengthen our community engagement as well as encourage freedom of thought and education.”

Carlos Montúfar PhD, Rector, USFQ

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