Saturday, December 25, 2010

Design Thinking

Back in February I attended Stanford's Entrepreneurship Week - Structures for Social Enterprise: Panel and Showcase. Easily one of the best events that I attended this year.

Kjerstin Erickson, founder and Executive Director of FORGE was one of the panelists. That was the first time that I got to hear her speak - she's awesome. During the Showcase I got to talk with Bhalchander Vishwanath of United Prosperity, and Ashkay Kothari who was representing the Stanford course Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability.

Ashkay told me that he when he first visited Rwanda for the purpose of the course, he spent a lot of time listening to people. His Extreme group developed the Komera.

Ashkay introduced me to the concept of Design Thinking for Social Innovation. The Stanford Social Innovation Review published an interesting overview of the topic in the Winter 2010 issue of the magazine.

While further researching the topic I came across a free toolkit that IDEO created:

This process has been specially-adapted for organizations that work with communities of need in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Human-Centered Design (HCD) will help you hear the needs of constituents in new ways, create innovative solutions to meet these needs, and deliver solutions with financial
sustainability in mind.

I'm certainly not an expert on this, but this seems to be crucial stuff for anyone who aspires to effect change. My two cents:) For example, check out How can we empower women in Uganda's rural communities?, which appeared in the Guardian on May 5.

PS - I'm extremely Stanford-biased, but you might want to follow Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, Stanford Center for Social Innovation, and Stanford Social Innovation Review on Facebook:)

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff, thanks for sharing Nicole!


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