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Turning Development Studies Theory Lessons into Practice – PIE Forum

Passion, Innovation and Execution (PIE) is an informal student forum created to broaden the scope of learning. This is achieved by turning theory learned in Development Studies into practice.


The PIE forum was inspired by students who felt compelled to be solution providers, challenging theories encountered during their Development Studies course. The resolution being sought is in the creation of industries or organizations that will specifically address these issues.


The Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies and Philosophy (BDP), under the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS), offers a unique and comprehensive combination of philosophical grounding for the issues of human development. It will equip you with the skills to help solve problems of contemporary society. It will prepare you to work and make informed life choices in an interdisciplinary environment and exercise the requisite decision making and leadership skills.


The main objective of the PIE setup of an informal – thinking and feedback – space, is to allow for ideas to come out freely and be vetted in their totality.

The hope is that this should open up the idea of instituting a development research week.


“By participating in and using the PIE approach, conceptualization and planning of our idea was effective since it encouraged a reflective and dynamic ‘team’ approach. It is like a secret weapon of making the idea smart and productive hence spending less time unproductively. It encouraged a more solution oriented mindset and helped us surround ourselves with a supportive environment. It also cultivated motivation and a self-driven working approach towards making the world a better place.”


Victoria Sogomo – Student presenter at PIE, developing a waste management company called Mazingira Safi.


“PIE was really insightful; in the sense that, to make a difference in the world, we do not need to go far and wide but initiate it and from there propagate it right from home. It brought to light the aspect of human dignity and the role it plays in the solution of problems. In my opinion, the solutions provided were also very practical and you could sort of map everything into its right place to be able to solve the whole issue. The graphical and pictorial representations also aided in helping us relate with the problem, making us feel as if we owned it and gave us a sense of urgency that we had a role to play in coming into the picture and being a part of the team to help solve the predicament.”


Francis Mairura, IT student, participant observer at the forum.


“The overall presentation was commendable and I picked up a few things from their work that encouraged me to go for what I want with the help of development studies.”


Natasha Gitungo, Strathmore student, participant observer at the forum.


The organizers of the event, Ms. Catherine Odhiambo, Mr. Cecil Agutu and Prof. Christine Gichure (Dean of SHSS) found PIE to be a beneficial tool for use in the various class projects that students get involved in and also in any other ideas that they may wish to develop within the development sector.