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07 Intercontinental Trips

  • New Visions, New Leaders
  • "Masters of Design and Innovation 2017"
  • Number 10 - 23 de October de 2021
Masters of Design and Innovation
  • Masters of Design and Innovation

The students will have the chance to take an intercontinental trip and take part in a range of projects with institutions from all over the world. Students themselves will choose which project they want to develop, depending on their interests, motivations within design and the subject matter chosen for their personal thesis. Designing, executing and communicating is more effective when it is carried out through a real and specific project.

Additionally, these include a social aspect, full of sustainability values, befitting the needs of society today. One of the main characteristics will be the multi-disciplinary nature of the trip, which will be taken by students of the three master courses: a combination of talents to carry out social innovation projects which generate a positive impact in their realm of action.

34 creatives, 3 destinations, 10 challenges.


2 Colombia: Puerto Nariño and Leticia

A village on the edge of the Amazon, where there are no cars, is the ideal destination to discover successful models for sustainable development. Puerto Nariño, the heart of the Colombian Amazon, was the destination chosen by the Masters of Design and Innovation to collaborate with the Fundación Omacha.


2.1 Fundación Omacha

The Fundación Omacha is an environmental non-profit NGO focused on the conservation of threatened species and key ecosystems integrating scientific research with socio-economic actions in local communities to guarantee sustainable life processes, which has been working for more than 30 years in priority regions such as the Amazon and Orinoquia.

“For us it has been strategically positive to establish a collaboration with the IED, because it allows us to see our conservation work processes through the eyes of students from all over the world, with many perspectives and interests, as well as providing us with fresh and innovative ideas, based on multidisciplinary approaches. The process of working with the IED has established reciprocal feedback, because, before arriving in the Amazon, the students’ ideas were based on imagery and internet searches, which often do not match reality. Later, when they were on site, it was very helpful to hear their many questions and comments on possible innovative ideas to improve the efficiency of actions such as responsible tourism in Puerto Nariño, the conservation of dolphins and the improvement of the productive chain around mandioca. Although the field work we carried out together was limited, we observed the enthusiastic spirit of the students and their teacher, who immersed themselves into the reality of the indigenous population in the area, and the honest reflections they carried out to come up with ideas that could contribute to improving local people’s quality of life.

Innovative ideas are necessary, but they require monitoring in order to be carried out. For this reason, we are certain that our collaboration with the IED must take place in the medium and long term, as well as including several cohorts of students, so that the proposals can be adjusted and adapted over time. In the short term, it is significant to see how these students have activated a personal and professional maturity process after just a brief contact with communities in developing countries, and how the local people feel that there is an interest in their realities and problems from other parts of the world.”

3 India: Bangalore and Anantapur

A trip to India is an unforgettable experience, a visit to a unique country full of colour and contrasts, which the Masters of Design and Innovation students enjoyed a long with the Fundación Vicente Ferrer.

The young creatives collaborated with the NGO for development on the IDT Project for Crafts and Fair Trade, which emerged to fight against the serious discrimination suffered by women with disabilities in rural India.


3.1 Fundación Vicente Ferrer

The Fundación Vicente Ferrer is a development NGO committed to the transformation of one of the poorest areas in India, the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and the most vulnerable communities, which are at risk of exclusion.

“Last November, the crafts workshops of the Fundación Vicente Ferrer in Anantapur (India) had the privilege of being visited by 13 students of the “Masters of Design and Innovation” at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Madrid. The aim of this initiative was to contribute to the continuity of the project for Active Cooperation, fair trade and charitable work of the Fundación Vicente Ferrer.

The Fundación Vicente Ferrer took a very positive view of the involvement of the young creatives, highlighting the significant repercussion of their works. The foundation wants to express, once again, its gratitude for the effort, enthusiasm and sensitivity of these students when producing their projects, and feels that they went far beyond creativity and innovation, in their pursuit for sustainability.

Intertwining Design and Trade is truly necessary and feasible if we wish to contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty in the world. As Vicente Ferrer used to say, “belonging to society depends on one’s ability to take part in economic activity. In a subsistence economy, respect comes from the ability to make some money. In India, the result of this are thousands of people stripped of their rights because of their inability to do so.”

This initiative has not only brought about real change in the lives of those taking part, but also in their communities.”

4 South Africa: Cape Town

Cape Town is the most cosmopolitan city in Africa, a combination of mountains and skyscrapers, which, along with its history, makes it a very inspiring place for our Masters of Design and Innovation students.

A trip to one of the developing cities with the greatest potential in terms of social sustainability. This value was observed by the creatives along with the young farmers of the Sustainability Institute.


4.1 Sustainability Institute

The Sustainability Institute (SI) began in Lynedoch Ecovillage in 1999, with the aim of providing a space in which to create a more egalitarian society. At present, the SI is an international centre for life and learning which provides experiences focusing on ecology, community and spirit.

“Possibilities happen through the openness of individuals to what’s different - to ‘the other’. This is supported and encouraged through seeing ourselves as co-inhabitants of the world, questioning deeply what it means to be human and seeking solutions through wonder, mystery, intuition and solid knowledge. Active involvement means that learners move from passive recipients of knowledge to deeply engaging with intellectual, spiritual, proactive and emotional possibilities to find answers to complex solutions.

Renewing creativity comes through a dialogical approach to learning. Radical upheavals (from the Latin ‘radix’ meaning ‘roots’) are not always comfortable, nor comforting. Co-creating a learning path, forging futures that engage the present and past often means deep listening, re-learning, opening vulnerability and being guided by ways of knowing that are not always explicit, nor obvious. Participation, conversation, art, time for silence and being in nature are some of the keys to the resurgence of a creativity core to our ways of learning.”