Climate Change tackled by COMSATS students

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On Monday Dec 5th, seminar hall in academic block I of COMSATS, Islamabad was filled with over 70 participants seeking to learn and employ a systematic design methodology to solve a problem for their local community. The social challenge selected for this session was to design a solution for the alarming issue of Climate Change. Forest fires, ozone layer depletion, global warming are some of the examples of how Climate Change is affecting the entire planet and there is a dire need to have local solutions to this global issue. Participants already had a fair idea of the issue and were keen to brainstorm on the approach to counter the issue.

ComsatsRepresentatives from the industry were also invited to serve as mentors to the participants. They included Ayesha Batool (Lecturer at NUST, Principal Architect at Sheher Saaz); Majid Khan (Senior Engineer at Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority) and Anum Hussain (Graphic Designer at Pakistan Innovation Foundation). The event was presided by the Chief Guest Head of Department (HoD - Electrical Engineering) Dr. Qadeer ul Hassan who was accompanied by faculty members including Adnan Qureshi. There was a good amount of diversity among participants with students belonging to Electrical Engineering, Business and Social Science majors.

Design for Pakistan Curator Ahsaan Rizvi began the session by explaining the Stanford five stage design framework and the issue of Climate Change. From there onwards, it was all action by the audience who went through the complete design cycle understanding the issue and developing a solution. The most interesting part of the session was “prototyping” where participants took keen interest in building a physical form of the solution in 10 minutes. A good number of creative solutions came to light, for example one group came with an idea of having a competition of plantation among urban units in the city while the other group emphasized the need of awareness sessions for green vehicle usage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Comsats addressing climate change challenge

Dr. Qadeer ul Hassan presented certificates to mentors and organizers of the session to conclude the event. He admired the team of Design for Pakistan for taking the initiative and urged the students to take charge in continuing such activities in the campus. The workshop is part of the project by Design for Pakistan to train and prepare young minds to solve social challenges using design innovation. The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan and the Fulbright Commission are the main sponsors of the project along with partner universities.