Personal Project Spotlight - Aashna Lakhani | Aga Khan Academies

Personal Project Spotlight - Aashna Lakhani

26 February 2021

How far do you think your understanding of the Learner Profile influenced you to undertake this particular topic?

My understanding of the learner profiles influenced my decision to choose this topic to a great extent. For example, having the courage to influence people who you have never spoken to before. Being reflective is extremely important, being reflective of our choices and how it impacts our surroundings. This reflection influenced me to choose the topic “the decision to recycle paper”.  I chose this topic because I was eager to inquire more about my areas of interests and gain knowledge.  

Conducting workshops is an interesting way to communicate your research, how did you come up with this idea?

I was initially going to do something different like making a website. However, when I started to brainstorm ideas, I realized that the best way to communicate my research and to teach people how they can recycle would be to do something interactive. Since I wanted to teach my audience how to recycle, it is a hands-on activity that would require constant communication and demonstration. Keeping all this in mind I contacted my supervisor and decided on conducting workshops, as they would allow me to interact with my audience well. Because of the current circumstance (Coronavirus), it was advised to not have physical contact, so I decided to have online workshops via Zoom. 

What were your initial expectations, with yourself and the audience of your product, and to what extent did they come true?

My product was a series of online workshops. I believe I have exceeded my expectations. Initially, I was expecting about 40-50 participants and 5 sessions in total. However, I ended up reaching out to about 70-75 participants which felt great. My audience exceeded my expectations too, they were so active and eager to learn, which resulted in impactful workshops. I did not expect myself to complete so many workshops in time, however, I managed to do so. All thanks to my audience and my supervisor for helping me achieve my expectations and beyond. 

Did you learn anything new through this process?

Yes! I have learned so much, not just about my topic but I have developed so many more skills. I have learned how to recycle paper with what is available at home, I have learned to be patient, I have learned to communicate better. I have also learned how to respond to people with different perspectives. Coming to skill development, I have learned how to manage myself (self-management) and to manage my time through planning and prioritizing (time management). I have learned how to conduct virtual workshops through the use of online guides! Lastly, I have learned about how minute decisions can have great impacts and how our decisions matter. 

How do you think the knowledge you have gained through this will help you in the future?

The knowledge I have gained about the impacts of human activities on the environment and ethical consumerism will help me reflect on the choices I make. In terms of what I buy and what I do. Understanding the concept of ethical consumerism will allow me to make sustainable choices in the future. Apart from topic-related knowledge, the knowledge I have gained about effective communication will help me express my thoughts and transfer my knowledge better in the future. 

Do you think you were able to make a significant impact in the society through this project?

I think I have. Because the participants in the feedback survey mentioned that they will try their best to start recycling. So even if about 50% of them start recycling, it is going to make a difference. When someone starts doing something, they are likely to tell others about it. The audience will pass on the knowledge they have gained and so on. It’s like a cycle. I have been able to influence their choices, which I believe is quite significant and will impact the choices they make. Thus, having a significant impact on the society.  

Would you be looking to continue spreading awareness on your topic even after the project? 

Yes, definitely. I had a few participants who told me that more of their friends would like to attend my workshops on paper recycling. I am looking to continue spreading awareness on my topic even after because I believe there is a lot of scope to reach out to more and more people. 

If yes, in what methods would you consider?

I am considering to continue the workshops, because a few more people have said that their friends would like to join. I am also thinking about creating a social media page to raise awareness on the importance of recycling and how our decisions can have huge impacts.