Hyper Island students call out for an equal and sustainable future

The status quo doesn’t cut it for today’s students. Equality, ethics and shared values are high up on the agenda – both in and outside of the classroom. Now, three bright minds from Hyper Island are taking these values with them into the real world.

Carmen Beltran, Bruno Marconi and Teodor Hultberg met at Hyper Island while attending the Business Developer and Design Lead programs. While studying, they set up SHOUT! Studio, a creative agency with ethics at its core. Collectively, the three founders have worked for the following clients: Google, McDonald’s, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, Nestlé, Redbull and Telenor, Wallmart and the United Nations.

We spoke to Carmen about her background and why a new way of doing things is vital if we are to create a fairer world. Carmen is a keen creative mind and continually looks for ways to add design and user experience (UX) to the mix.

– I’m into human-centred design. Many of the non-governmental organizations that come to Hyper Island have limited resources for online marketing, but anyone hoping to make social or environment impact should have the design resources they need. I want to help these organization learn to love design, learn ways to build their products and services for the people they want to reach with them, Carmen explains.

– At Hyper Island, there’s always a great exchange of ideas. We talk a lot about how we can make the projects we are working on more accessible. One option is to start your own company and choose another way of doing things. Working with startups and SMEs mean you can be more open and human in your approach and make sure no-one is excluded by your work, she adds.

This is the video Carmen was involved in making for her studies at Hyper Island. She and her team pasted fun, contextual stickers in male-dominated spaces like pub toilets, gym mirrors and traffic signals to make people think about sexual consent and prevent sexual assault:

A new kind of design studio

SHOUT! studio  is a new kind of creative agency that was founded by Carmen, Bruno and Teodor during their studies at Hyper Island.

– We all had the same urge to do something we believe in. Hyper Island enabled us to connect to our values and we reflect on this every day. We use Hyper Island tools for all our clients. We use what we’ve learned in the way we connect with them, make them comfortable enough to show us their vulnerability, and share our concerns and interests. Transparency is a big thing for us, says Carmen.

Among the clients that the team has attracted is award-winning programming-for-girls startup imagiLabs.

– We created a new graphic identity, based on how they see themselves,” says Carmen. “We facilitated a design sprint for the Imagilabs team in which we discovered new insights that became very important for the way in which they communicate with different stakeholders and their customers. We also filmed a workshop and made the image less corporate-looking and more friendly, linking it closely to the objectives of the company. The imagiLabs vision is to build something new and inclusive. We love the them and believe in them. We only want to work with people, companies and causes that believe in what they are doing and bring change to the world in times of uncertainty.

Bringing tech to girls. ImagiLabs is inspiring the next generation of women studying and working in technology. Watch the team in action here: Imagilabs – Redbull Amaphiko

– We also did a competitor analysis, through which we discovered that they see themselves as fast-paced modern education enablers for women and have the vision of building a community where girls are coding and learning from each other. They want to get to the point where girls no longer question themselves and where there’s no gap between playing with Lego and  dreaming of building a spaceship. The jump is smaller for boys and we want girls to do the same.

Here we see imagiLabs CTO Beatrice, the mastermind behind the hardware that imagiLabs uses in its products unboxing and explaining the products.

Extending the opportunity

Carmen is also looking into ways take the imagiLabs concept and flagship product of a programmable gadget to share with kids living in a low income area in her home country of Colombia with the help of local foundation Koinonia. “I want to do an experiment in Cartagena, to gauge interest. What I like about the imagiLabs products is that it is the only one of its kinds based on mobile phones, which makes it accessible to the majority of the population who do not own a laptop or desktop.  It’s built in iOS for the moment, but the Android version will come along soon.”

Other projects Carmen has been involved with include Uppsala’s Pride festival (Welcome Out), a Pride for the integration of newcomers to Sweden and EMMSTECH, an organisation working to inspire women of color to pursue careers in tech.

Make sure to follow SHOUT! Studio on Instagram

“I am continuously learning about business at Hyper Island – especially how startups, female empowerment, tech can all go together,” says Carmen. “I have learned about how startups scaleup, especially here in Stockholm. Today, male founders seem to get investment  more easily than females. We need to work hard on changing the disparity. There should be no question on the quality of work or commitment of women to their jobs and companies. I want all women to know that it’s okay to try, even if they don’t know everything.”

Carmen Beltran
SHOUT! Studio