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"The waves of the sea help me get back to me."
- Jill Davis



Following my graduation from RCA I sought out a program that would allow me to spend time with ocean life. Some of my favorite memories are from when I was a teenager working with a sea turtle conservation organisation in Costa Rica. And after so many years of working and studying, I craved recreating that same feeling of peace.


Participating in GVI's Canary Islands volunteer program was a great opportunity to not only travel and enjoy the wonders of nature but to explore the possibilities of how tourism might be leveraged to have a positive environmental impact rather than a negative one. The way I see it, simply reducing tourism is not a realistic goal. People will always want to travel and go to great lengths to have unique local experiences. Knowing this, I believe it's important to educate tourists on ways their presence can cause harm and the ways it can help. 


1/3 of all whale and dolphin species either reside in or pass through Canarian waters

Of 79 species of cetaceans in the world, 29 can be found in the canary islands; Pilot whales, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas and more. However, their populations are continually put at risk due to the impacts of global climate change, over-tourism and hazardous boating practices.

GVI's volunteer program is based out of Tenerife, one of the most popular islands for tourists to vacation. Our mission is to monitor the local cetacean populations, contribute conservation data to the government database, and spread environmental awareness to the community.  Local government organizations use our data to help inform proposed legislation and local conservation efforts.

What are we doing to help?

Our mission is to create a refugee-led service platform that enables community members to share lived experiences, easing the challenges of resettlement. Using a myriad of service design tools including co-creative workshops, journey mapping, blueprinting and prototyping we developed our final service concept entitled Context.

Your digital friend, helping you navigate new journeys with context


Context is a browser extension which supports refugees by overlaying crowdsourced cultural interpretations of information onto existing websites. Allowing a community of individuals and organisations to provide insights and tips based on their lived experiences.  

It’s like if Grammarly offered culturally interpreted advice instead of spelling & grammar checks. 


Our team created a concept mock-up of how we envision the platform to work, using the UK national healthcare website as an example. Using Context, refugees will be able to easily find explanations from an actual human to understand the differences between how things work in their home country compared to in the UK. They can ask questions, flag information, and even become a contributor themselves.

iPhones with a View
Context UX Mockup_edited_edited.jpg

Context is currently being taken forward into early development in cooperation with a group of professional volunteers and support from design agency Hellon. We hope this student project evolves into something that can have a real impact!

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