The LISTO project has developed an International Virtual Classroom, short IVC. It aims at developing and strengthening students’ innovation and entrepreneurial skills within the framework of an international, multicultural and multidisciplinary virtual exchange. The IVC focuses on global entrepreneurial ventures and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. It brings together 100 students and about 20 teachers/mentors from the LISTO partnership.
Here we would like to share some perspectives and impact stories from our students.
In addition, two of the our LISTO IVC alumni can share how they used the IVC training to make a change.
Marcos A. Villarreal – UNC – IVC 2019
After the IVC 2019, I developed The Among Us Project, which is a series of online ESL lessons aimed at reinforcing accuracy and fluency in English by playing Among Us. I came up with the idea after realizing that, in the context of the COVID pandemic, we teachers need engaging virtual environments in which our learners can interact, have fun, and develop their oral skills. Among Us is a perfect candidate because of its simplicity and communication-based gameplay. I created a prototype and with the help of a few volunteers, I ran a few tests, which were quite successful. I posted the results on several subreddits and people absolutely loved the idea. This gave me the confidence to pitch the project to a prestigious language school here in Córdoba (Argentina), and they loved it too, so I’m currently working with them.
I never would have developed this idea into a real project without everything I learned and did at the LISTO project’s IVC. Thanks to my experience there, I feel I can propose real solutions to problems around me, and nowadays that’s something we really need.”
Mônica Alves Rodrigues Alencar – UFPE – IVC 2020
My name is Mônica, I’m 22 years old and I currently study Social Sciences at the Federal University of Pernambuco and Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Brazil. I’m planning to graduate both in July 2021 and then start my Masters about Public Policy and Human Rights.
During the LISTO IVC 2020, me and my group developed a project about a very serious issue of my city, Recife: the amount of plastic residues on the streets and the lack of habitation structure to comfortably house and shelter the citizens. My city has an accentuated inequality problem and there are a lot of homeless people, so that was our focus.
The solution we’ve created is called SBricks, a project to collect and treat the plastic residues that are wrongly discarded, and create bricks or other constructing materials with that plastic. Our project was selected as one of the best projects, as we were mentored by professor Guerra, and it was a very productive experience.
After the project was over, I was the only participant that lived in the city we chose as “target”, and I found myself in a relatively hard position. I’ve had a really great experience thinking about my cities issues and managing ways to improve the quality of life of the people near me, but if I were to continue and make the project happen, I’d be alone.
Well, the project ended in May 2020 and I didn’t give up just yet, so I started researching and trying to talk to people that could give me some answers about the real viability of the project, as my academic interests are quite different from what I needed to conduct it. The months passed and passed and I had a lot of useful information about it! Turns out the more I found people that worked with it, more information and network they had to offer. I talked to engineers, professors and entrepreneurs that were somehow related to that area and it was taking some steps further.
Network is an amazing thing. During my participation in the LISTO Project, I was participating in a political education NGO as well, and I started a conversation with a journalist colleague about my project and he said he could introduce me to the Executive Secretary for Urban Innovation of my city. He works directly with plastic and public policy and has a very successful project to turn plastic residues into vases and other decorative ornaments, which was a really happy coincidence!
I planned my presentation of the project and went to the meeting, but when I stepped into the building I met an architect that worked there as well, and he showed me part of the process and gave me some ideas and other network information, including how I could make my project come to life. It was great, but when I met the actual Secretary, I already had another perspective!
Turns out I didn’t present my idea to him, and we had a great conversation! At the end of everything, he offered me an voluntary internship opportunity, and I said yes almost immediately! It was exactly the meaning of my life goals becoming true, because I could use my academic background at an activity I was really interested in!
As this entire year, everything planned changed. We had elections some months after that meeting and the new Mayor is allied with the old one, so theoretically everything is still happening. But we do have a transition process, so I don’t really know if my internship is going to happen or the political changes will move my plans as well.
If I could say anything to a person that is thinking about applying to become part of the LISTO IVC, I’d strongly recommend it! Before the project, I didn’t know I was so interested in social and sustainable entrepreneurship, as my college courses do not really encourage that. I’ve found something I’m really interested in and it opened doors I didn’t even know were possible! I’m grateful I had that experience and got to know a lot of interesting people from all over the world and we could discuss important issues and solve problems together, with a great mentorship and attention. If I get the chance to work there and keep focusing on my cities problems, I believe that great things are going to happen and I’m grateful to the LISTO Project for that.
The LISTO network will offer the IVC again 2021: https://listoproject.eu/ivc-2021/