October 2016

Thesis workshop with the fab 5

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I hosted a thesis workshop today to receive feedback for my 5 ideas. I recruited 6 people from SVA, who had some knowledge of my ideas to some who had no idea what I was up to. The workshop was for 75 mins, I time-boxed each session to make good use of the time I had reserved from all.

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Idea worksheet

I created worksheets for each idea.
It included sketch of idea, description, what makes this idea interesting? what thought does it represent? And other variations of that particular idea.

In each time-boxed session, I asked everyone to think about what makes the idea interesting and build on that idea.

It was a very useful workshop, it validated some of my ideas and questioned most of my assumptions. This also helped me to go towards a narrower path, meaning there was a clear favorite and the another ‘this could be an interesting idea’.

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Some of the key things that I learned from the workshop was “Story telling can go so far”, “How can you change a person’s behavior with data?”, “In urban planning, local government will always be involved” and “don’t forget about cost!”

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I will report back with an in-depth report of feedback and comments of each of the ideas.  Stay tuned!

The fab 5

I started to brainstorm ideas for my thesis. I timebox a couple of hours on a weekend and sketched out 10 ideas. After an action packed bloody dual long discussion with my thesis advisor, 5 were picked and they are:

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Organizing my research

I am never this organized, but I decided to start to organize my research for my thesis. Bookmarking links does not cut it for me anymore. Especially, when I forget what they were about a week later. Researching for my thesis is information overload and super detailed in my organizing.

Here is the screenshot of what it looks like in my google drive.

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I receive my research from all over. From the internet, books, videos, talks I go to and interviews. So I decided to make these my main categories.  Then I would break down each research by adding the source, summary, and tagging them. The summary is the essence of the article and tagging them helps it to be a quick reference.

Thesis Plan [Phase 2]

After having a great discussion with my thesis advisor, progress is being made. This week to-dos:

Week of October 16-16

  1. Dig deep into the chosen ideas (timebox 1 hour)
  2. Research more on rising currents and future of sea levels
  3. Contact Emergency management office in NYC
  4. Go back in history and look at natural water-ways

October 04-16: Done

  1. Research more on other cities and countries
  2. How they deal with floods: Holland and Colombia
  3. What NYC is doing for preparedness: Download app and visit website
  4. Get some ideas from the research: Mock up and sketches

Documenting brainstorming [1]

Last week, on Tuesday we got into groups. Each of us had 30 minutes or so to talk about our thesis topic and as a group brainstorm ideas. I was kind of excited for this exercises because I felt a bit stagnant about my ideas.

Unfortunately, when it was my turn…it was difficult. Maybe my facilitation was not good and I do admit I have a tough topic. I mentioned that I could take 2 paths: A crisis management based upon city planning and the other focusing on the residents, especially the elderly. One the comments that I received was I was too specific. Personally, I thought narrowing the topic would help, since this is a broad topic.

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The ideas that came out during my brainstorm session were just improvements of my existing ideas. I was disappointed in the end as the results were not anything new.

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With that said, this motivated me to talk to more of my classmates who were excited about my topic. I had a long conversation with James. He helped me work through some tough barriers. I am in a better position today and I can say I have made progress.
I also spoke to my accountability buddies (Uijun and Paola), they gave me tasks to complete based on the brainstorm session.

Tasks to complete – October 04-11

  1. Research more on other cities and countries
  2. How they deal with floods: Holland and Colombia
  3. What NYC is doing for preparedness: Download app and visit website
  4. Get some ideas from the research: Mock up and sketches

Thesis Plan [Phase 1]

Thesis area: Emergency, water ways, rainy days. This is a very broad topic and there are so many directions, that I can take.

Goal for phase 1: To do much more secondary research on my thesis idea and hope to narrow down my topic y 10%

October 04-11

  1. Research more on other cities and countries
  2. How they deal with floods: Holland and Colombia
  3. What NYC is doing for preparedness: Download app and visit website
  4. Get some ideas from the research: Mock up and sketches

Objectives

  1. Gather more information on FEMA process, UNICEF, Red cross.
  2. Contact people in the emergency and crisis management to understand their day-to-day and during a disaster
  3. Find people on LinkedIn and contact them
  4. Join Emergency LinkedIn groups
  5. Join Facebook groups on Emergency services and post on the walls
  6. Create a list of people who get affected by a disaster
  7. What is currently out there to help _____________
  8. Who is my audience?
  9. How do___________survive a flood?
  10. Research on cities and rising sea level
  11. Join Team Rubicon

(more to include)


October 4th

  1. Join Team Rubicon
  2. Find people on LinkedIn and contact them
  3. Join Emergency LinkedIn groups
  4. Join Facebook groups on Emergency services and post on the walls
  5. Create a list of people who get affected by a disaster