1. 10 non-obvious assumptions about your target customer or organization that you need to validate.
  • They might be highly capable of operating whatever type of machinery that we put in front of them
  • They may already have another form of income
  • These women may not have all day to work on creating the products that we are thinking about
  • There may not be a market for whatever product we decide is the best for them to start producing
  • There may not be an easy way for the women to get enough plastic to create these products
  • It may be a more laborious process than we originally intended
  • There may not be enough space to collect, produce, and store the products we plan to have the women create
  1. List 10 hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork
  • The team will have to test and make sure that the women can, in fact, make use of the machinery easily
  • They need to make sure there is a steady collection stream of the plastics
  • Whatever system we decide is easiest to obtain these plastics, we need to make sure it works
  • They need to make sure that the amount of sorting, cleaning, producing, and potentially selling of these plastics and products isn’t overwhelming for the women
  • We need to make sure that this is a program that will not take up too much of their time during the day so that if they have other priorities at home they can take care of those too
  • The team needs to make sure that it is a safe working environment for the women
  • they need to make sure that the women the team will be training think that the products they will be making are a good fit for the community
  1. What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class?

One of the strengths I bring to the team is my research skills, my writing skills, my background in environmental studies and sustainable development, and my past experience in working on projects such as this one.  Since I won’t be traveling to the Philipines with the team, most of the work I am doing is heavily research oriented. I can sit down and find information on whatever is relevant to us within minutes (maybe an exaggeration?).  However, there is only so much research one can do without actually experiencing what the work is like on the ground.  Since I am studying environmental studies and sustainable development, I am looking at this project with a major environmental perspective which is unique compared to all the other members of the team.  In class, I have brought up questions addressing the impact that this project will make on the environment overall.  Even though we are taking plastics out of the environment, are we going to create other toxic chemicals from transportation and processing of the plastics?  Also, since we are so heavily dependent on repurposing these plastics, are we doing anything to solve the root of the plastics problem not only in the Philipines but worldwide?

Last class this prompted a short discussion on having this project potentially change the narrative of single-use plastics in the Philipines. If people realize that the products that the women will be creating are out of recycled plastics, will the population begin to think differently about the plastic products they buy everyday?