'Digital Accelerator Project' kicks-off in Mexico


Youth Business International's ‘Digital Accelerator Project’ is a six-month project exploring ways to facilitate innovation and quicker adoption of digital technology within our network.

Throughout the project we will be working with seven of our members in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over the summer, we'll start working on defining and co-creating digital strategies and roadmaps for all the members involved, culminating with a regional workshop in October and a 'Digital Accelerator Summit' at our Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) Summit in November, 2018.

The first of the discovery phase workshops took place in May in Mexico. Our Head of Digital, Fiona Hall, travelled to the country to support our member, Yo Quiero Yo Puedo in understanding how this new project works and what they should expect from taking part in it.

Here she reports back on what she learned:

Yo Quiero Yo Puedo have their offices in a quiet residential street in Mexico City, it is hard to believe the amount of activity that gets masterminded behind the unassuming grey front door. The organisation, setup in 1985, prides itself on empowering individuals to become ‘Agentes de Cambio’ (Agents of Change) working across the sectors of health, education, productivity and citizenship.

They have a deep rooted belief in personal psychology and the power of the individual and their belief is to make change happen. This enthusiasm for change was evident as we embarked on the workshop.

Our hosts for the week were, the charming but ruthlessly organised, Delil Athie (Director of Operations) and the passionate and engaging, Dane Salinas (Head of the Entrepreneurship Programme).

Day One

We started with learning all about the organisation, how they work, the communities they serve and how they are structured and organised. We then held a two and a half-hour workshop with the wider management team to introduce the ‘Digital Accelerator Project', review their answers to a digital maturity assessment and ask them to contribute to shaping a goal statement for what they wanted to achieve from this.

The rest of the day was filled with in depth one-to-one interviews with all the key stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding into their digital maturity, how they used digital and what opportunities they thought existed, it was exciting to see where they are and the potential for moving towards a more digital environment.

Day Two and Three

This was all about introducing the entrepreneurs to the concept of design thinking - we ran the first workshop in Mexico City and then travelled an hour by plane to Guadalajara to conduct the second one.

On each day, around 18 entrepreneurs were tasked with creating a series of entrepreneurial personas and customer journey maps. This process was split into stages:

  • First tierra (earth) which established the key points/interactions on their journey with Yo Queiro Yo Puedo. This covered anything and everything from completing the first application form, interview, training sessions, mentoring matching, workshops;
  • Next came the rosa (roses) where we asked everyone to identify the high points and positive parts of the journey;
  • Then espina (thorns) the parts that were  not so good parts or negative;
  • Finally we identified the cupolla (the buds), the opportunities putting forward ideas for improvement or the things that needed to be changed. 

This was definitely the most exhausting but rewarding part. Both days were very intense, but the highlight was definitely meeting the inspiring groups of entrepreneurs and hearing about all the different businesses they were running, anything from cake making, to tourism, to gaming and music composing.

We finished the session by sharing some inspiring digital trends around the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Digital Reality.  The response from the Entrepreneurs was enthusiastic with many of them stating that they would use the whole Design Thinking process in their own businesses.

Day Four and Five

The week wrapped up back in Mexico City with more interviews, this time with mentors, the comms team, the finance teams and the wider management team.

I found it so inspiring that although the team at Yo Quiero Yo Puedo are already using digital they really want to take it to the next level and feel this opportunity is the catalyst needed.

Summing up

It was a fantastic week and it was a real privilege to meet and work with the dedicated and committed team at Yo Quiero Yo Puedo and although I can’t speak a word of Spanish – it didn’t matter as I am fluent in the international language of Design Thinking. 


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