Design Thinking for Social Innovation


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Suzi Sosa, Executive Director, Dell Social Innovation Challenge, The University of Texas at Austin

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Design Thinking for Social Innovation

  1. 1. Suzi SosaDesign Thinking for Social Innovation Associate Director RGK CenterA Systematic Approach to The University of Texas at AustinGenerating Ideas with Impact
  2. 2. An Historical Bifurcation Mission Money
  3. 3. Organizational Consequences Mission Money Government NGO Business CBO
  4. 4. Early Crossovers Mission Money Pub/Private Partnerships Government CSR NGO Business Cooperatives CBO NGO w Earned Income
  5. 5. Disappointing ResultsFailures:NGOs -> Few mission-based solutions able to scaleBusiness -> Few business CSR programs with meaningful impactAll -> Lack of dynamic social innovationConsequences:• Social problems fundamentally unsolved• Disenchantment with “pure” business, “pure” NGO, and “pure” government
  6. 6. A Spectrum EmergesFor Profit Non-Profit Business NGO Traditional Traditional with Social Hybrid with Earned Business NGO Impact Income Financial Sustainability Social Impact
  7. 7. Best of Both Worlds Mission Money • social commitment • focused objective • distributive (selfless) • operational efficiency nature • access to capital • inspire others • easier to scale • collaborative • more innovation/risk- • inclusive taking • leverage the market/consumers
  8. 8. Social Entrepreneurship1. Innovative idea = significant social impacts2. Financially sustainable business model (& efficient use of resources)3. Replicable & scalable
  9. 9. Why innovation?
  10. 10. What is Innovation? Innovation Value“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. It is the actthat endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” - Peter Drucker Private Sector : Value = Money Social Sector : Value = Social Impact
  11. 11. Innovation & ValueAn innovation creates a significant increase in the marginal delivery of valuewith regard to a persistent social problem New New Impact Impact Social Impact Current Current Impact Impact Improvement Innovation
  12. 12. How do you find value?
  13. 13. Creating ValueCapturing Opportunity New InsightsDeeper Understanding ?
  14. 14. What is Design Thinking?
  15. 15. What is Design Thinking?
  16. 16. Design for Innovation create make choices choices INNOVATION! Idea generation Synthesis
  17. 17. The Innovation Cycle Ideation Inspiration Iteration Implementation
  18. 18. The Design ProcessInspiration Ideation Iteration ImplementationLISTENING ANALYZING PROTOTYPINGDREAMING THINKING EXPERIMENTING create make INNOVATION! choices choices idea generation synthesis
  19. 19. Key Traits of the Approach • Deploys both right-brain and left-brain strategies • Iterative, experimental • Interactive, collaborative • Interdisciplinary • Challenges assumptions by suspending beliefs. • Observes the problem with a beginner’s mindset. • Assumes nothing.
  20. 20. Find the Core of the ProblemIt’s not just to find answers but to make sure that you are askingthe right questions.
  21. 21. Decon/Recon-Struction
  22. 22. Scotia-Glenville Traveling Children’s Museum
  23. 23. The Innovation Cycle Ideation Inspiration Iteration Implementation
  24. 24. Two Key Questions:Who is the person you are trying to serve?What is the problem you are trying to solve?Start with the person (that will lead you to the problem)
  25. 25. Phase 1: InspirationListening &Dreaming
  26. 26. Listening: Who Are They Anyway? The most meaningful social innovations come from deep and precise understanding of the circumstances and needs of the client. Two Types of Listening 1 : Direct Source (external) 2 : Empathy-based (internal)
  27. 27. Listening Techniques Individual interviews (5 why’s, think aloud, show me) Group interviews In context immersion (work alongside, home-stay, re-creation) Self-documentation (photos, videos, drawings) Community-driven discovery (engage community in research) Expert interviews IDEO Method Cards
  28. 28. Personal Interviews
  29. 29. Group Interviews
  31. 31. Empathy (Another Type of Listening)TECHNIQUES • Empathy Map • Storytelling
  32. 32. A Day in the LifeHave you lived a dayin the life of yourclient?
  33. 33. Empathy Map
  34. 34. Empathy Map
  35. 35. Storytelling
  36. 36. Dreaming
  37. 37. Dreaming, too Journaling Drawing Building Exercise Music
  38. 38. Observation Empathy Insight
  39. 39. Creating ValueCapturing Opportunity New InsightsDeeper Understanding ?
  40. 40. The Innovation Cycle Ideation Inspiration Iteration Implementation
  41. 41. Phase 2: Ideation
  42. 42. Seeing Patterns
  43. 43. Ideation ProcessGoal: Identify Potential Opportunities• Extract Key Insights (few and powerful)• Organize Ideas (by level or magnitude)• Find Themes (linkages)• Create Frameworks (visual representation of the system)
  44. 44. FrameworksTIP: Push them toextremes to find insights
  45. 45. Mind Maps
  46. 46. Creating ValueCapturing Opportunity New InsightsDeeper Understanding ?
  47. 47. The Innovation Cycle Ideation Inspiration Iteration Implementation
  48. 48. Modern Prototyping : The Miracle Brace 1:25
  49. 49. Prototyping for ServicesThe Pilot Project
  50. 50. The Innovation Cycle Ideation Inspiration Iteration Implementation
  51. 51. Creating ValueCapturing Opportunity New InsightsDeeper Understanding ?
  52. 52. Why is design thinking important for social entrepreneurship?
  53. 53. Reduces Risk• Unlike traditional businesses, social enterprises often cannot “afford” to push a partially-developed product or service and wait for market feedback • costs may be too high • potential negative social impacts may be too largeDesign thinking improves the quality of a product orservice from the start.
  54. 54. A Fresh Look Social problems are extremely complex and many of them are affiliated with a lot of “baggage” about how they ought to be solved. Design thinking allows entrepreneur to shed much (or all) of that baggage, leading to an innovation.
  55. 55. Innovate Everything Social problems are extremely entrenched and require new, innovative methods to solve them in financially sustainable ways. Require innovation not just in the product or service but also often in the delivery, financial model, partnerships, etc.
  56. 56. Doing the ImpossibleDesigners have a lot of places to hidebehind, a lot of excuses.“The client made me do this.” “Thecity made me do this.”I don’t believe that anymore.“In the end, you have to riseabove them. You have to sayyou solved all that.”Frank Gehry | Architect WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL | LOS ANGELES
  57. 57. Summary: the Path to InnovationInnovation Comes From:• challenging or abandoning previously held assumptions;• uncovering hidden truths;• discovering opportunities for significant improvement;• vigorous disassembly followed by methodical reassembly incorporating new information;• an iterative, ongoing process that takes nothing for granted and is obsessive in its pursuit of perfection.
  58. 58. Suzi SosaDesign Thinking for Social Innovation Associate Director RGK CenterA Systematic Approach to The University of Texas at AustinGenerating Ideas with Impact
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