12652800_how_to_use_design_thinking_for_building_better_services_for_the_third_sector.docx (14.26Kb)

How to Use Design Thinking for Building Better Services for the
Third Sector: A Workshop Proposal
The critical role played by the third sector organisations is
becoming increasingly visible across the world, particularly in
developing countries and in solving “wicked problems” — a phrase for
intractable problems described by Hors Rittel and Melvin Webber
(1973). Wicked problems in social sector are novel, unique, illunderstood problems with no real right or wrong answers and often not
understood until after the formulation of a solution. These problems in
the social sector therefore pose unique challenges but also call for
solutions that should take into account peoples’ perspectives,
diversity, needs, and innovation all rooted in iterative processes with
rapidly building and testing models that may or may not work (an
approach often defined as “fail fast early”). A popular approach to
designing services and fostering innovation that has increasingly been
applied to community services sector settings is Design Thinking.
Briefly, design thinking is rooted in the following five principles:
1. Human-centered design principle: Empathy for the person or
people designing for, and feedback from users, is fundamental to good
2. Experimentation and prototyping: Rapid Prototyping is an integral
part of the innovation process.
3. A bias towards action: Design thinking is a misnomer; it is more
about doing that thinking.
4. “Show don’t tell”: Creating experiences, using illustrative visuals,
and telling good stories communicate your vision in an impactful and
meaningful way.
5. Power of iteration: In which a person’s fluency with design
thinking is a function of cycles, and iterating solutions many times
within a project is key to successful outcomes.
Thus Design Thinking is an action-oriented (also “action-packed”),
hands-on linear approach based on: (1) empathy-based-insights into
the problem from the users’ perspective (2) scoping out the problem
by triangulating information from other sources, and stories, (3)
expansion and generation of visualisation and solutions to the problem
(4) rapid prototyping of “models” that can serve as possible answers
from the designers and stakeholders to the challenge that spurred the
design thinking exercise, and (5) critically examining, testing, and
modifying prototypes.
Here we propose to conduct a workshop in this conference (ANZTSR
2014, Christchurch) on how to design community services using a
design thinking approach. The workshop will be about 60 minutes long
and will be organised at a space that can accommodate about 10
individuals. In the workshop, we shall invite up to ten participants to
engage in addressing the following challenge, “How might we improve
tertiary institutions’ value for the community?” (We are open to other
ideas as well). We shall provide the worksheets and props for the
workshop and no previous experience from the participants will be
necessary. After completion of the exercise, the participants will be
able to develop and reflect on about ten different prototypes based on
their experience of the design thinking exercise that may work and
many potential solutions may emerge. This workshop will enable the
attendees to learn about design thinking, identify needs of the
community, and build metaphors to engage with the community and a
process to generate innovative ideas.