July 1, 2020
The moinworld Summer Camp
Every year we at moinworld e.V. organize our summer camp for female students and want to tell you about this year’s Corona Digital version. The goal of moinworld e.V. is to create a developer community where women and girls have the same opportunities to help shape the digital future as men. We achieve this by strengthening women: Through IT education and by supporting a helpful network. During the summer camp, a group of girls usually visits five tech companies in Hamburg, for example Google or Airbus, for one week in the summer. But for reasons we all know, this concept was not possible this year and many companies are currently struggling with the crisis. Fortunately, some Google employees* agreed to support us anyway and so the digital summer camp on the topic of Unconscious Bias became possible!
Unconscious Bias - What is it
On the first day, after a short introductory and familiarisation phase, we started with an introduction to the topic of Unconscious Bias. Katrin from Google passed on to us girls what she had learned at the corresponding Google workshops. Briefly summarized: Unconscious Bias are prejudices of which we are not really aware and which unintentionally shape us and our interaction. In between Peter (also from Google) asked questions on the topic: Have you ever been treated differently because of Unconscious Bias or have you already treated people differently because of it? When for example? How did it feel? Because everybody took part, you got to know each other better.
Design Thinking - What did we learn
On the second day, we started brainstorming, because the goal of the week is to develop a product that explains and brings Unconscious Bias closer. For this, Merete from Google guided us through the Design Thinking process. This was completely new for most of us, because you don’t usually come into contact with it at school. After explaining a few basic things, such as that the user is in focus and it can help to change perspectives, one member of each group was interviewed. In the two groups, into which we divided, we first developed questions and then one person was to be interviewed as “user”. We then divided the results into users, needs and knowledge to develop a sentence that describes the user. Then we formulated a “how could we” question, for example “How could we enable students to reflect more on themselves & become aware of their prejudices & privileges”. To solve this question we first collected ideas individually and then in the group!
Ideas - What have we come up with
On the last day, after a little group work, we presented our ideas. For this purpose, some of the moinworld-community members joined us! The group one developed the app “Unbias”. The app is a diary which regularly asks the user questions and tasks concerning Unconscious Bias in order to make the topic public. There were also lots of ideas on how to make the product even better: Blog post, information material, cooperation with suitable organisations, tips on mentoring and events In group two, a great concept was created to bring information to the man or woman in a handy and exciting way! For this purpose, Instagram is to be used above all, according to the young target group. Contributions with slogans like “A man without a dress is like a woman without pink”, questions like “Did you know that Albert Einstein was strongly supported by his wife in his work?” and calls like “THINK TWICE” should encourage users* to share and spread the word!
Voices from our participants
“I learned interesting new things about unconscious bias, as well as new technical methods.”
“It’s an important subject, especially for younger people, and that should change.”
“Confronting one’s own prejudices is something that most people rarely do. It was refreshing to learn more about a deeply rooted topic that affects us personally as well as socially. While many companies, organisations etc. ignore this problem, Moinworld has drawn attention to it. In some moments it was unpleasant, but I think it is important to become aware of the problem through this feeling. Also the content of the “Design Thinking” was very interesting. To collect ideas in a short time, no matter how stupid it may seem to you, I found it motivating, because I often have moments when I doubt myself. I found the training to encourage this way of thinking great.”
“I learned a lot about unconscious bias, but also about problem solving strategies such as the Design Thinking method. I’m also surprised at the prototypes that were created :)”
“I learned a lot and I really enjoyed working with the other participants and mentors.”
“I think this is an important topic that has to be brought to your attention again and again. The summer camp helped me to understand my prejudices and their origins through background information. It is an important process to become aware of the unconscious prejudices as well.”
Impressions from the last years
Read the field report from the last years hier.