Wood Mackenzie

Four students from the MA Design Management course collaborated on a 7 week project to take a closer look into energy distribution with energy consultants Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac).

Samuel Yusuf, Mohammed Anwer, Beatriz Azevedo Martins Leite Badji and Soukayna Sadaani were all part of the collaboration which supported students towards developing their leadership, project management and entrepreneurship skills, and was part of the Leadership and Design Entrepreneurship module. Students were given a brief from the user experience team at WoodMac and then they applied design process and tools such as design thinking, forecasting, trend analysis, user research to identify a problem and propose solutions.

WoodMac posed a challenge: How could their wealth of data and insights be leveraged to shine a light on the strides companies make towards a sustainable future?

Under the guidance of their mentors and with the knowledge learnt on their course about the principles of design thinking, the team immersed themselves in the intricacies of energy sustainability and distributed energy systems, attempting to uncover solutions that resonate with industry and the public. Their task was not just to understand, but to reimagine. What if energy could be distributed equitably and transparently? What if communities could actively engage in shaping their greener energy future?

The pivotal moment was their final presentation at WoodMac's London headquarters. The team presented their findings to a distinguished panel, including key figures Craig Foot, VP, Product; Huw Morgan, Product Designer; Ria Sheppard, Design Leader; Tanisha Banik, UX Designer; Todd Robertson, User Researcher; and Amy Simpsons, marketing lead. With each slide, they illustrated how their Net Zero self-assessment diary and innovative community engagement strategies could catalyse a paradigm shift in energy consumption.

This project was a springboard for collaboration and further exploration. Reflecting on their journey, Beatriz said: “We have loved the experience”.

Dr. Mersha Aftab, MA Design Management Course Director, emphasised the invaluable lessons learned through hands-on collaboration: “On the course we work on live client briefs which gives students a great platform to apply some of the key methods of design management. Also, students learn some of the softer skills like communication, collaboration, managing expectation and presentation skills whilst working on the project. They get feedback from industry experts as well as their tutors making such live projects a very fulfilling and learning experience.”

At the same time, Tanisha Banik, a UX Designer at WoodMac and BCU alumna, lauded the students' confidence and dedication.

This project showed the students the importance of collaboration, creativity and unwavering resolve, which they will carry forward into the rest of their studies and careers.

MA Design Management

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