Studio+Entrepreneurship GDE730 19/20

Module 3 Week 8: Workshop Challenge

The Challenge

Develop a digital tool or process to aid the collaboration for future working from your findings in the previous three weeks. 

  • You should ensure this response is to your own emerging ideas on your own working methodology.
  • Present your idea as a designed visual proposal in the format of your choice.

A good place to start

Following on from last week, during which I explored ways in which I could incorporate co-collaborative design into the migrant community in Bordeaux, I now want to think carefully about how I can develop a digital tool or process to aid collaboration between the CMB (Collectif des Migrants de Bordeaux) and the migrants living in Bordeaux. 


How can we integrate migrants into our society?

How can we give them the confidence to thrive by using design in their environments?

How can I aid community integration through the development of a digital tool or process? 

How can I aid community integration through the development of a digital tool or process for specifically the youth culture amongst the migrant groups of Bordeaux?

Useful Link:

Migrant Youth integration and empowerment

“How can the liquid integration processes of young migrants in vulnerable conditions be supported, in order to increase social and economic benefits of and for migrants in Europe?”

Here are a few critical areas that I have identified through my work with the Collective des Migrants de Bordeaux. 




Mental health 


I pinpointed these areas whilst discussing with the young people (migrants aged between 10 and 17) what their core concerns and values were: these 5 spheres of preoccupation were recurrent. 

So, in what ways might a digital process or tool help the settlement process for youth migrants in Bordeaux in these five critical areas?


  • Educating schools about the migrants’ situations
  • Allowing schools an insight into the lives of migrants so that teachers, pupils and parents can empathize with the difficult situations these migrants have come from and into. 
  • Opening up the minds of the youth migrant community to education and to not being afraid or embarrassed about their level of knowledge or the speed at which they pick things up 
  • Tackling issues surrounding language differences and finding ways to to break through language barriers


  • Making the youth migrant community aware of employment possibilities and what skills will be required to exploit them
  • The creation of apprenticeships and internships by those within the collective who are in a position to help
  • Encouraging the migrant youth community to believe in the benefits of employment in Bordeaux and helping them to understand their rights in the workplace
  • CV workshops and career path building workshops to help give them a focus and drive to them to succeed at what they love


  • Help to portray to those outside of the migrant community and collective, the importance of giving these migrants safe, clean and comfortable accommodation so they are in a stable environment to restart their lives in Bordeaux. 
  • Reaching out to the relevant people in national and local government to help place these homeless migrants in accommodation to maximise their chance of successfully restarting their lives.

Mental Health

  • Giving people an insight into the deep struggles and pain that the youth migrants endure from when they are wrenched away from their home at a key time in their life when they are just beginning to discover who they are to starting a whole new life in a country where they may not speak the language or understand the culture. 
  • Allowing people to see the importance of welcoming the youth migrants into their community and the direct impact that their own attitudes towards them have on not only their mental health today but their mental health as adults, and on the decisions they make and how they choose to live their lives


  • Opening the window to the people of Bordeaux so they understand their attitudes towards youth migrants are going to directly impact whether they will, one hand, seek to integrate and contribute to society, or, on the other become resentful towards it and ultimately disassociate from its cultural traditions and legal dictates
  • Letting people see that, with our support, these people have a huge amount to add to our society, making it more diverse, dynamic and broad-minded. 

A consideration of these 5 areas has repeatedly revealed the need for and possible benefits of reciprocity.  As a result, I am now looking at developing a digital tool or process that can be used by the collective in collaboration with the youth migrants that allows the latter to portray the problems they face and the former to realise ways in which they can make a difference. 

Focusing in on a concept

Looking through all the different areas that I identified as having the potential to make a real difference to the youth migrants of Bordeaux, there were a few that stood out. I think the one concept that really ties in with what I am aiming to achieve this week is embedded in the questions:

How can I aid community integration through the use of a digital tool or process for the youth culture amongst the migrant groups of Bordeaux?

How can I aid migrant youth integration within schools through the use of a digital tool or process, designed to make teachers, students and parents aware of the struggles migrant families face in order to live within their community? 

Brainstorm of possible tools that could answer this question:

A coded software designed on a computer that allows migrant youths to dictate their story in their language into a microphone, which would then appear on the screen and be translated into French so that the members of the school could understand and learn from it.

Migration Mapping: Transborder Immigrant Tool Transition (TBT)

This mobile phone technology provides poetry to migrants crossing the border from Mexico to the UK whilst also leading them to water caches in the Southern California Dessert. 

The creative writer Leila Nadir and Ricardo Dominguez describe their work as a cross between art and activism.

I think this is an inspired example of a digital tool within the migrant sector. The tool is designed to help migrants cross the border, but it is also acts as an art installation concept video that can be admired within a gallery space.  


This application is the ‘brainchild’ of Claes Persson, a successful Swedish entrepreneur based in NYC. With Sweden accepting the highest number of refugees in Europe, Persson realised his home country was made up of people from all over the world who were lost and struggling to find their way and start a new life. His business partner Ernest Radai arrived in Sweden in the 1970s and struggled for years with language and administrative barriers to integration. Together they created an app that helps migrants with areas such as integration, employment, housing, language and education. 

Imagine how tough it must be at the beginning when you move to a new country and you have to start all over again, especially for a young person. 

The app is used not only to help migrants with their specific needs, but also to collect valuable information for the government to see exactly where the problems lie and determine how they can streamline their way of managing migrants. Persson worked out that in 2015, if every single migrant entering Sweden was using this app, the saving would be around 90 million euros (an average per person saving of 421 euros). This is because less money is wasted on unnecessary services and all energy is directed towards initiatives that will actually help the migrant.

Interesting link article about how technology has changed the lives of Migrants:

Can digital technologies help reduce the migrant-native educational achievement gap?

Interesting quotes from this article:

“The report emphasises the importance of the use of digital technologies which can provide access to educational materials in native languages and stimulate the integration of migrant students in the host society which in turn can help combat migrant-students’ achievement gap. The report findings conclude that ICT for education is being used more among immigrant students than students born and raised in a given country and that their ICT skill levels are equal to native students.”

“ETUCE encourages inclusion and digitalisation as they can be a means of support, particularly promoting the social and emotional learning aspect for migrant students.”

“It is important to ensure that all students are given equal access to high quality and inclusive education and equal opportunities irrespective of their background to help create a just and diverse society”

Reflections so far:

I can see clearly that technology has the potential to help youth migrants within school to find community support, learn and grow; and, more generally, that communication is a very effective means to gradual but full integration. Full efficacy would have to pay attention to possible barriers in terms of language; but, given this, the tool could ultimately be very helpful in helping overcome these in the wider world. I can now see that my digital took must be something that the migrants can interact with and express themselves through so that, in turn, the students, teachers and pupils can understand this expression and provide friendship, encouragement and support.  


“During the first phase of REBUILD, background information as regards profiling and needs analysis will be gathered, in order to then develop an AI-based skill-needs matching tool to link migrant needs with services provided at local level in each country involved in the project. The main output of the project will be a digital companion for migrants enabling personalized two-way communication: by means of chatbots, users will be provided information about available public services and will be given tips to access them. The tool will allow users to share immediate feedback as regards the usefulness of the support received, which is bound to help future users follow their own procedures.”

My thoughts

This idea of a ‘digital companion’ is interesting although I do not find the idea of a chatbot very comforting and welcoming. They have generic responses and I would not consider this level of AI as ‘personalised’ or a real ‘companion’. 

I could develop a digital tool which will help young people to build a timeline of their lives online which they can then present to those in their community. How can they express their story to those around them when they are frightened, unable to speak the language and feeling alone?   

“…linguistic background of potential users. The tool will be multilingual and multimodal. It will resort to non-verbal communication to convey information, in the form of pictograms and short explanatory video chunks, both based on universal design principles. Throughout the project, target users will validate the pictograms and the other non-linguistic communication devices that will be employed.”

Exile Voices

Collaborative Voices 

Collaboration des Voix 

A computer software that allows migrant youths space on the school intranet, giving scope to:


Creative individually & collaboratively 

Compare notes 

Instant chat 


AI chatbot 

Age group?

Country workshops – migrants 

AR goggles so that other children can experience the country the migrants come from

How can migrant children integrate with the culture and other children in their class at school?

After becoming slightly frustrated not be able to connect the dots this week, the concept suddenly came to me:

A buddy system: a piece of developed software that can be added onto the school intranet. When a new migrant joins the school, they can sign up to a programme where they are assigned a native ‘buddy’ who will help them to integrate; these buddies will be students in the school who have also signed up to the programme. The programme will also be a platform that gives scope for migrants and their buddies to come together and take workshops, school trips and learn about each other’s culture and language. 

This will be a way for native children to befriend individuals and learn about different cultures; and for young migrants to meet and converse with natives, developing their language skills and furthering their sense of integration. 

Final Presentation