Home

Innovation + Design Director Garrett Mason Writes Final Travel Journal

Innovation + Design Director Garrett Mason Writes Final Travel Journal
Garrett Mason, director of St. Martin’s Innovation + Design Program, traveled to Morocco to participate in the CorpsAfrica All-Country Conference. There he lead design thinking training sessions for CorpsAfrica volunteers. His sessions focused on the same collaborative problem-solving strategies that students at St. Martin’s learn in their classes each day.

Throughout the conference, St. Martin’s students are interacted with CorpsAfrica conference attendees via internet video calling chats, giving the students opportunities to ask questions, learn about new cultures, and discuss the design thinking process with CorpsAfrica volunteers from around the world.

Founded in 2013, CorpsAfrica is creating a new model for international development. Tapping into the energy of young Africans and inspiring them to serve as volunteers in rural, high-poverty communities, much like the Peace Corps, the organization runs programs in Morocco, Senegal, and Malawi.

Mason kept a log during his travels to share his experiences with the St. Martin’s community. Below is the final entry of his three-part journal.

Journal Entry #3

Hi from New York City! I have just returned from Morocco after nearly 20 hours of traveling from a very remote village in the High Atlas Mountains where only six families live to the largest city in the US. It is quite the cultural swing!

I find I always come back from trips overseas renewed and with a larger understanding of our tiny place in the world. In 10 days, I attempted to soak up all of the experiences that I could — from teaching design thinking to a group of 50 eager, young African leaders to strolling the bustling fish market of Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast. My eyes have been opened to so many new perspectives.

This particular visit has not only helped to develop my understanding of the people of Morocco, but also Malawi and Senegal. It has been a memorable visit to be able to see so many familiar faces whom I have trained in design thinking over the past two years through the CorpsAfrica program.

My experience working with the young people of Morocco, Senegal, and Malawi has made it even more evident to me how important it is to learn about other people and cultures.  

Our globalized world depends on being able to work with others, and not just our neighbors down the street, but our neighbors around the world. This is a skill that, if developed in our students, can have an enormous impact on their lives.

I hope that as our international program continues to grow, our students will take full advantage of the opportunity to learn about other countries. And I hope students are able to travel overseas and be immersed in the language and culture of new places. Kiki Stelly and Joe Vaccaro have led summer trips for many years to Europe. Now with the addition of trips to China, there are wonderful opportunities for our students to see the world firsthand.

I wish you all to continue being curious about the world and the people in it and the joy in discovering and exploring all that it has to offer.

Bismillah,
Garrett

Read Journal Entry #1

Read Journal Entry #2
Back

Share your StM