Blog, News & Events

IDIN's Brazil Chapter and Innovation Center Partner to Teach Design & Hands-On Maker Skills

Monday, September 28, 2015
Julio Lavalle

Every weekend, IDIN Network members from Brazil work closely with the IDIN-supported innovation center in Vila Nova Esperança, outside of São Paulo, Brazil.

Together, we host Creative Capacity Building workshops for community members ages 16 and up in four different areas: electronics, sewing, woodworking, and information technology. IDIN Network members volunteer, and are asked to make a commitment of two Saturdays: the first one to be trained in the workshop we will be teaching to participants, and the second one to actually teach the workshops. Last month, the innovation center welcomed IDIN Network members Mariana Negrao (IDDS 2009, 2012,2013) and Juliana Sauaia (IDDS 2014) to teach the workshops.

We also share the experience of the wider IDIN Network with high school students in our Social Innovation Course with a bi-monthly section called “Meet an IDIN Innovator.” So far this year we've had two guests: Roy Ombatti talking about his 3-D printed “Happy Feet” shoes for Kenyan children from low-income communities, and Carl Jensen talking about Zasaka, a social venture in Zambia that engages smallholder farmers to reduce post-harvest loss and improve crop yields. The Social Innovation course is currently taught by three IDIN Network members: Miguel Chaves (IDDS 2009, IDDS 2011, IDDS 2012), Nara Schenkel (IDDS 2012), and myself, Julio Lavalle (IDDS 2012, 2013,2014). Juliana also gave us a hand for a couple of weeks to mentor teams as part of the Social Innovation course, giving them support with the technical side of their projects.

We are always looking for new ways to engage our students with awesome and inspiring innovators around the world. We would like to encourage IDIN Network members to contact us to share an interesting project they're developing to inspire a new generation of innovators in Brazil or to visit the innovation center to learn and build capacity in community members to motivate the development of real impact projects.

Interested in working with the Brazil chapter or innovation center? Please contact the author of this blog and IDIN Network member Julio Lavalle at