Overview of Post: Robert Fabricant is leading a group of Social Innovators through steps of the Design Thinking process during a conference.
Thoughts on Post: Robert touches on one of the biggest challenges that Design Thinking faces when applied to the social/human application: How do you create an effective rapid prototyping experience? I look forward to reading his thoughts on this.
Live From PopTech: Bringing Design to Social Innovators
BY Robert FabricantWed Oct 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM
Every year (at least for the last two) I have had the honor of serving as part of the core faculty of the PopTech Fellows Program. This means I’m involved in the planning stages for this five-day retreat. No matter how much time I spend preparing for the program, I’m always astounded when I finally meet the fellows. It’s difficult to comprehend the variety of innovations that this incredible group is driving, from virtual mobile phones and paper diagnostics to batteries made of common soil and building materials made of mushrooms. What’s even more astounding is the fact that the people driving these ideas are both incredibly special and shockingly ordinary.
My role is to introduce them to the design process–to provide some tools to help them think through and challenge the assumptions they’re making about their interventions. As always, I’m struck by how open-minded and creative these social innovators are (otherwise they would not have achieved anything close to the outcomes they’ve already seen). Creativity is not something they chose as an identity or practice–it’s a means, not an end. They many not spend a great deal of time talking about design, but research, prototyping, and abductive reasoning are at the heart of their work. Read the rest of this entry »