Project Blue Africa

The Idea

Project Blue Africa is a task force in charge of designing a well in the Maji Region of Africa. The task force is spearheaded by four three-member teams each from different functional areas of expertise. Within each team, each member possess slightly different specialized knowledge. The four teams that compose the task force are: a) The Anchor Construction Team, tasked with creating the construction plan for the well; b)The DELTA Engineering Team, tasked with designing an innovative well that maximizes sustainable water output; c) The Geology Team, tasked with identifying and locating potential water sources, and d) The Maji Region Village Council, tasked with understanding the local cultural and economic forces of the region. Over the course of the experimental session, these four teams combine their expertise to design an optimal well plan for the Maji Region.

The Process

Over the course of the experimental session, participants are first trained to develop and utilize their unique area of expertise. Then, participants collaborate toward team and system-level goals. To assist in the development of knowledge and enable informed decisions, each member of the task force is provided with a unique interface. These interfaces provide individualized information regarding the participant's role in the task force, his or her individual motivations, and how he or she should interact with the region and with other task force members. The interfaces provide the foundation for members' decisions about the well plan, allowing them to evaluate its output capabilities and assess the costs of construction and maintenance. The interface also includes a decision-making tool that allows the teams to incorporate all the information they can collect from their teammates and assess a given area for its various team-respective criteria.