“…Design can be in form of business, product, writing…anything. At the core, we are all designers”, she said.
Gökçe Güven, a rising junior from Turkey, is studying cognitive science/computer science and business at UC Berkeley. Inspired by stories of communities, she devotes herself to bridge the gap between tech and design to bring people together to solve real problems.
Scholarship Track: Being a recipient of Adobe Design Circle Scholarship is not a small feat, accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Gökçe Güven: “Thank you”
Can you throw some light upon Adobe Design Circle Scholarship?
“Adobe believes that young people should have the opportunity to learn and express themselves through creativity and technology, regardless of their economic or cultural backgrounds. To help reach untapped youth communities and foster more diversity in the design industry, the Design Circle scholarship awards 10 annual college scholarships — up to $25,000 per year, for each year of the recipient’s undergraduate education (up to four years or $100,000)”
What do you feel about design and designers?
“Design needs diversity for innovation and change, this scholarship and community understands it. That is why I believe future designers must show what they want to do with design and not how cool they are at designing. Their design must reflect the changes they want to see. Design is not limited to shapes, but it can take the shape of business, product, writing, anything. At the core, we are all designers”
Do you think you are one of the best designers? If not, then what would have made your application stand out?
“I wouldn’t say I am the best designer, there are people with crazy skills out there. I always try to do my work such that it has a social impact. Using my work, I showed them that I want to use my design as a tool, which can empower communities – be it with new financial technologies or platforms to get everyone’s voice heard. I aim to design to create unique value and product sense. Probably, these would have been the reasons for my selection”
What do you feel are your other achievements, besides Adobe Design Circle Scholarship?
“At the age of 13, I founded a non-profit organization Girls on the Field to empower young girls in soccer and STEM. As a team, we have scaled to 10+ camps across the country reaching thousands of girls with UNDP, raising $100,000 for this product. This journey shaped me to focus on social impact. Working as a product lead with a team of 12 at Blockchain at Berkeley, I am designing decentralized applications (DApps) for micropayment systems to help micro-entrepreneurs in Latin America. On the side, I started Expat Society (San Francisco branch) with my International community and work as the Creative Director which inspires and nurtures me”
There is a very famous saying “Behind every successful person there is a woman”. How far does this stand true in your case?
“During my early days, I was invested in Girls on the Field and spent most of my time working with young girls in underserved areas of Turkey. More than the numbers every story I was part of gave direction to my mission and vision”
You have witnessed the hardships of your community very closely. Do you have any objective in mind, that will help them?
“I always believe that people never forget how you make them feel. To uplift them, I want to build products, experiences, communities, and projects that will make them feel their potential. I believe people are creative, motivated, and hardworking at heart. They just need the right economical structure and community empowerment. Our relationship with money needs to be redesigned”
If you have such a great objective then why did you come to Berkeley leaving behind your people and community?
“I never wanted the impact of my work to be confined to just a single nation. I came to Berkeley to build on skills and communities to scale the impact globally. And, seeing the importance of money in future endeavors and the way fluctuation of money affects millions of life, currently, I am investing my time in learning and contributing to building alternatives of money for financial inclusion.
I believe one day your work will become an inspiration for many. Coming back to the scholarship, how did you come to know about it?
“I came across an advertisement in the Berkeley Design Digest newsletter. Since then, this scholarship stayed at the back of my mind. However, I never had the courage to put together my application. When the deadline was just a fortnight away, I wrote a personal essay, submitted 03 portfolio pieces, along with their various why’s, what’s and how’s describing the story and mindset behind them”
Any advice to future applicants?
“I would tell them even before applying they should make up their mind that they have to send the application because the majority of them don’t submit the application. Always portray yourself as who you are, and what makes you authentic and unique (because you are!). The most important thing, believe in yourself.”
Thank you for sparing your valuable time with us. We hope the future aspirants will get benefited from your advice and suggestions. They will be motivated and inspired by your journey. We wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Are you a recipient?
We are always looking out for scholarship recipients to feature. Please reach out to discuss how we can use your experience to help others grow. Also reach out if you have been selected any special programs.