To promote life skills such as creativity, problem solving, and perseverance of youth in El Salvador, USAID Bridges to Employment (Bridges) collaborated with the company INNBOX on November 14, 2018, to host an Extreme Design Thinking Lab as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018 activities in San Salvador. Presented with a problem to solve within a short amount of time, youth worked in groups to brainstorm solutions, sketch a quick prototype, present their idea to representatives of participating companies, and print the prototype in 3-D. Through this one-of-a-kind event, private sector representatives had the opportunity to observe the youth’s thought process, creativity, logic, experimentation, and ability to work under pressure.
This lab also presented a new and hands-on way for companies to conduct job interviews, providing youth the opportunity to show off their skills and highlight their potential impact to employers. A total of 150 youth trained by Bridges and 70 other youth participated in the Extreme Design Thinking Lab, whose ideas were evaluated by representatives of the following organizations: National Council of Small and Micro Enterprises (CONAMYPE), NOVA, INSERT, Central American Software Services (CASS), Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), Salvadoran Information Technology Chamber (CasaTIC), Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce (CAMARASAL), and 3DP-CCRS, among others.