YLabs' global adventures with Mural

Written by 
Emma Schnee
June 9, 2021

YLabs, a global research and design organization, takes an innovative approach to designing solutions that improve young people's health and economic opportunity in 16 countries. Over the past year, they’ve radically adopted new technology solutions and equipped their global team to keep designing and collaborating with communities.

In this webinar Rebecca Hope, YLabs Executive Director, and Ward Bullard, MURAL Head of Education and Nonprofits, discussed how the YLabs team found success in new ways of working, including:

  • Brainstorming and co-creating with youth in a refugee camp
  • Facilitating a workshop for the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders
  • Fostering team culture and connection during a challenging year

Watch the full replay:

Check out the presentation mural:

Click on the image above to explore the presentation mural.

Don't have time to watch the entire session? Take it bit by bit.

To kick off the webinar we followed Rebecca’s tip to always start meetings with an icebreaker and invited the audience to participate in one of the YLabs team’s favorite icebreakers — sketch your neighbor.  

Test out this warm up as seen in the webinar with your team in your next meeting or workshop!

👉  Sketch your neighbor template

👉  Selfie Sketch Template

Designing Safe Spaces for Menstruation in Refugee Camps

YLabs often has projects in remote areas where it has been necessary for them to develop the right tech stack in order to enable on-the-ground work, data collection, synthesis, and collaboration with teams in country and staff around the world. Rebecca shared one of their projects, Cocoon, where the YLabs team is co-designing safe spaces for young women to manage their menstruation in the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Northern Uganda. 

Hear about the project from Rebecca:

Learn more about YLabs’ Cocoon project.

A map of the collaboration and communication tools YLabs used for Cocoon. 

Building Community Around Shared Goals

This year YLabs facilitated a working session as part of the World Economic Forum to reimagine the future of African cities for the current cohort of young leaders. Young people in Rwanda and Kenya were trained to use MURAL to facilitate the international community session. This was an opportunity that would have been more challenging for them to participate had they not so enthusiastically embraced remote collaboration.

Learn from Rebecca about the session:

💡 “We would have to do it in person you know and fly people out from our Kigali office or the U.S. to join these big, collaborative sessions and I think it’s obviously great if you can save some of those costs as a nonprofit when you are managing constrained resources.” – Rebecca Hope

Building Connection

The Ylabs team used MURAL to stay connected during the challenging year. Rebecca shared how her team used MURAL to bring employees into the visioning process for the future of YLabs as well as the warm ups they used to kick off board meetings.

Tips and Tricks

Rebecca ended the session by sharing her six tips for creative collaboration that she recommends to other organizations. 

Want to hear more from YLabs? Check out their recent blog post: Five Ways to Design Right When Everything is Going Wrong.

👉  MURAL is free or discounted for nonprofits. Check out www.mural.co/nonprofits to see if your organization qualifies.

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About the author

About the authors

Emma Schnee

Emma Schnee

Integrated Marketing Manager
Emma is a a marketing manager at MURAL where she champions the stories of educators, students, and nonprofits to highlight the creative and impactful ways they incorporate visual collaboration into their work. She is passionate about the intersection of social impact, business, and design.