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Sofía Fraga

SABF Blog - Coordinator

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Let’s play together

I remember going to the toy store with my parents for my 8th or 7th birthday to pick out my present. Those were the times when there was nothing as boring as getting clothes and there was nothing that could beat that trip to the toy store and those long aisles filled with fun.

I can’t recall if I wanted to be a marine biologist or a crazy scientist (special emphasis in the word “crazy”, because it was the most important part of the degree!), but I was looking for a microscope on that trip. Looking back I can see why may be the toy store wasn’t the best place to buy one! I finally found one, but of course it was a toy.

Disappointment didn’t last too long, since I kept looking around and I found it. The perfect gift. It was a box almost as big as me, and with big letters spelled: CHEMISTRY. When I bought it I felt so grown up, I could picture myself turning my house into an amazing lab. Each time I played with it, it felt like I did. The hours I spent with that chemistry set are countless.

What I didn’t see back then was that the box was decorated with different lab equipment, nothing else. Finally, on the side, the box specified the recommended age for the players. Leaving the specific age aside, the thing that stood out was the fact that there was a girl and a boy on the sides of the number.

As I grew up and started leaving my toys behind, I started paying more attention to the ads. The little kitchen, the register machine, the laundry set…the toy every girl wants for this Christmas. The workshop, the cars, the tools’ box, the little man of the house can’t have too many of those.

Sometimes, you don’t realize the effect that one can have on children. If you let them believe since that early age that they should play with something because it’s a “girl” or a “boy” toy, that kid grows up believing life is filled with “girl” and “boy” stuff and believing that decisions have to be made considering that, including of course, deciding which degree to pursue.

Usually school doesn’t help. If a girl does well on maths, it’s “impressive” and if a boy does poorly on literature, it’s “natural”. That’s because boys do better in science and girls do better in softer subjects. I heard that one between mothers so many times.

The world of science is seen as a man’s world, and if that was the case because it just happens, so be it. However, degrees in science are pictured as hard, intense, with a lot of manual skills. Therefore, boys are more encouraged to pursue them, since it’s risky for a girl.

We need to increase awareness on the impact we have on children and start thinking before speaking. If not, we are still raising adults that think that the natural place for a woman is the kitchen, while there’s nothing more charming than a man that cooks. We keep nurturing a society where is “amazing” that a woman pursues a degree in science. More important, we set what kind of aspirations kids should have.

If I ever have kids, I would like for them to grow up in a world where they don’t feel as a minority if they are the only woman in a class full of men or vice versa. If I ever have a daughter and she decides to study engineering as her mother, I would like for the first question she’s asked not to be: “Hey, it’s full of boys! When are you getting a boyfriend?”

Changes begin at our homes and we collaborate as a society. While playing they learn. Let’s learn to let them play.

Launch of the 2017 SABF

On Friday the 16th of December, the SABF Community gathered in celebration to launch a new edition of the SABF and introduce the Organizing Team.

It began with Matías Buscaglia and Sofía Fraga, Co-Directors of the 2016 edition, welcoming all the guests. Together, they shared a little bit of history of the Organization and showed the closing video of the last conference, along with the objectives and trajectory of the SABF.

Yemel Jardi, Organizer of the 2010 and 2011 editions and current Chairman of the SABF Council, shared with us his experience and talked about the commitment the new team is undertaking, telling us about how the SABF affected his personal and professional life. Finally, he shared a very special message with the parents and friends of the members of the new team, emphasizing how their support is essential to every organizer throughout the year.

Afterwards, Federico Cimini and Federico Verrastro, the Federicos, the Directors of the 13th Edition, took the stand and introduced the topics for the upcoming conference:

Main topic: Chasing a Shared Purpose

In our reality, it is easy to get lost in the moment, surrounded by stimuli that require our immediate attention. But do we ever take the time to think about where we are going? Or even better yet, where do we want to go?

To begin the pursuit of answers to these questions, we must first understand the reality that surrounds us and how it affects us. In a sea of ​​information, we must accept the challenge of overcoming our reality gap.

However, understanding the context is not enough if we fail to analyze our own reality from a closer perspective. It is indispensable to know ourselves. Challenging our identity, to discriminate the essential of the disposable.

Finally, we must find a way to build this future. Taking individuals as main inspiration, empathic design will allow us to question the pillars of our society. By redesigning what we assume  unchangeable, we can create a future that allows us to chase a true shared purpose.

Reality Gap:

We are living in an exceptional time in history, we have an abundance of information and yet we can’t say we have gained greater knowledge of our reality. In a world full of data and information, how much of it gets transformed into actual knowledge? How do we recognize truth in an overload of information, of infinite sources and with no control authority? Furthermore, in many cases, the real issue is not about the lack of knowledge, but of its even distribution. In the solution to these problems lies the key to understand the world we live in, free of misconceptions. It will be impossible to change our reality if we don’t truly overcame this reality gap we have locked ourselves in.

Challenging Identity:

Visibility, instability and mobility. One of many things that our times have made possible is the discovery and mass awareness of different cultures, languages, heritage and perspectives. We live in a world where geographical segregation of culture is no longer a reality. Where new technologies have allowed different ways of perceiving the world and our shared experiences become widespread. It is only natural then, that we ask ourselves: who am I? What makes me different from the rest? The uncomfortable clash between people with such different realities, makes us question our own. This is a call for taking to pieces the concept of identity, redefining the values that are essential and by doing so, building a concept with true relevance in the reality that we share.

Empathic Design:

How can we design something for someone we don’t know? From a simple product to a whole functioning city, empathic design seeks the way to achieve the ultimate design that will meet the user’s true need. But, can this concept be extrapolated from the business world to every-day life? Better education methods, different working environments or even more inclusive and representative government tools. This sheer concept is the door to a new way of thinking regarding design, disrupting the classical view and taking the final user as the principal source of inspiration and creativity. Viewing design through empathy, through the eyes of real people. Finally shaping our own future.

These topics will be discussed during the 2017 conference that will be held through August 3rd to 5th, for which the applications period is from February 6th to April 16th 2017.

Finally, the Directors thanked the SABF Council, the Board of Trustees and the Organizing Team. Before introducing the members, they shared an advise with them: to enjoy and learn from the achievements as well as from mistakes, and to seize together the new experiences that await.

We would love to introduce the members of the team of the 2017 edition:

Fundraising: Luciana Montivero (Head), Vanesa Camila Nicora y Marcos Diehl.

Information Technology: María Candelaria Zangari (Co-Head), Lautaro González (Co-Head) and Eliseo Parodi.

Media and Communication: Thomas Segovia (Head), Sofía Altrui, Bautista Blacker and Andrea Ambrosoni.

Speakers: Guillermina Bond (Head), Roberto Santiago Chá and Agustina Soriano Sergi.

Student Relations: Luciano Blachman (Head), Luisina Busso, Nicolás López Llovet, María Agustina Cuello and Nicolás Rainuzzo.

Organizing Team of the 13th edition of the SABF.

We congratulate the new organizing team. We hope you have an excellent year full of lessons and growth!

#NotAWomanLess

Dear reader, I invite you to reflect just one moment with me. Have you been watching the news this week? What do you say about the past month? Many things have happened: the exchange rate rose, fall, rolled in the air; some politician was criticized for talking more or for talking less than he was supposed to… well, always the same news. Do you know what was another recurrent headline? A girl was found dead. How bad it is to say it with that lightness, “a girl was killed”, it feels far and close at the same time; far because it didn’t happen to somebody close to me nor to myself, and close because that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen tomorrow…

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