Renata Mendes

Renata Mendes

Social designer that work with design thinking for educators.

Renata Mendes is a designer, post graduated in innovation management, who works since 2002 with projects to create solutions to complex problems. For 10 years she was a partner at Associação Mundaréu, an organization for the generation of work and income that had the first Fair Trade store in Brazil. She was also part of the NGO Solidarity Economy incubator SBCSol, a mixed initiative between the municipal government and the university in São Bernardo do Campo, a supporter of Creative Economy groups. For 7 years she has been a consultant designer at NGO Artesol, whose mission is to safeguard traditional Brazilian crafts and recently, which aims to expand the impact on communities through technological inclusion. Inthis project she was co-creator, screenwriter and director of a series of podcast, web classes and mini documentaries.

She works as an independent consultant for companies and NGOs in facilitating future planning and in design workshops for learning, such as the one held at the What Design Can Do? 2016 edition, in São Paulo, with the theme: violence against women. It also invests time and energy in the formation of Creative Economy networks and in design as an approach to transform early childhood education.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

Because I am a social designer and the mother of a boy in kindergarten, I feel deeply committed to creating new models of education aligned with the 21st century. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, I see the opportunity to create and prototype new ways of structuring education, more supported in school communities where members are aware of their roles.

How can education support students to flourish?

Education can pave the way for students to learn. From early childhood, human skills such as creativity, empathy, identification, and problem solving, divergent and connected thinking can be more appreciated.

What role does innovation play in education change?

Innovation is in the field of experimentation, without fear of making mistakes. In many countries, we reproduce outdated models of education, which prepare students in the same way that happened in the Industrial Revolution. By widely knowing a diversity of educational experiences in different places, different contexts open us the opportunity to make structural changes.