Design solution Networks at Better World by Design


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Emer Beamer presented Butterfly Works take on designing social solutions to complex world problems: by designing not so much the product or service which is also important but through bringing the right group of actors together to solve as a network the problem at hand.

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  • Hallo, thanks for inviting me, I am really pleased to be here and plan to take full advantage of the great program that you ahve put together Today I will give you some inisght into what butterfly works has learnt in various processes regarding our approach and why we think networks are so important
  • To give you some context of where I cam coming from . . Butterfly Works is a social solution and design studio. Based in Amsterdam, we work globally and have 15 staff members The organisation was founded in 2000 by the 3 people named above, two designers and an urban planner, The name butterfly works was choosen beuase of the butterfly effect....
  • We are creative minds who co-design social change. We work in emerging economies because we believe in undiscovered potential. We share knowledge, trigger creativity and build sustainable businesses. Our team is made up of organisers and designers
  • Beyond that the Dutch are very proud of their design tradition, perhaps more important to mention is the natural place that design takes in many organisation and systems, as in it is a generally accepted core competency and essential attribute to the good functioning of a system, you could say design thinking is the norm
  • Having a core ethos of making and engaging with other makers we find making things with other people often the best way to do research, better than talking or observing
  • To give an example, here you see a collageaue making part of a tent in mongolia with an organisation of furniture makers, they dont share a first language but they do share making skills, she aims to find out more about their work methods, level of finish, use of tools and paints.
  • While working she discovered that the paint they were using had too much lead in it, making it bad for the crafts people working with it and impossible for this local business to export internationally due to safety and health regulations To tackle the problem of the toxic paint, invloves a range of actors, not just the craftspeople and this got me thinking that the solution is in the networked solution or said otherwise, the solution is to design a network that solves the problem
  • And that got me thinking that this is true for nearly all situations and that in fact as a social designer perhaps most of the work goes into the designing of the networks that carry the solution forward
  • Lets look at a visualisation of the network of actors in the scenario of the paint issue just described. Note that the actors include people, organisations and also the paint and the distance. As these are all factors to be dealt with when considering a solution for the toxic paint. In this sense I am borrowing from the actor network theory wherein one is cognisant of the agency of non-human actors as well and not just that of people. The influence of non human actors may not be intended but is nevertheless always part and parcel of a situtaion. In this scenario a non human actor would be the paint The other actors that you see
  • Drawing these actor networks has proved an insightful tool, expecially when taken over a period of time. To that end we looked at a project of a very different nature to see what the actor network would tell us
  • Learning about Living is a project that runs in Nigeria, it was co-created in 2007, for which we led the process and has now reached above 230,000 young people with combined eLearning and mobile strategies, 120 it runs in 7 states and a number of teacher training colleges, My pet peeve early in this project is that folk hearing that we were designers assumed we had chosen the colours on the cd cover, and i always said no, we design the learning experience, the usability, the logistics of the useage, the needs of all the relevant actors, its the whole process, So that got me to ask the question what is actually our role as a designer and is it perhaps that we get the right people together, do we perhaps design the solution network
  • So if we look at this network of actors which we brought together to co-create a concept which answers the question 'How can icts contribute to sexual health and aids prevention amongst teenagers in Nigeria' The issues motivates actors and enlists them, the ministries lend instituitonal support and weight to the process, the ngos are the ones who are in contact with the school and young people and the tech providers All these people, organisations and technologies need to be heard in any possible solution
  • And then looking at the same network of actors a year later, we see that the designed tools in this case a cd-rom, a learning manual a teachers dvd have largely replaced our role in the actor network The students and teachers have become the main actors, supported by the ngo's and schools, The donors wishes have been replaced by budgetting and reporting requirements if i were to show you this same network now, the numbers of young people involved have grown significantly and our role is finished altogether, The netowkr of actors carry the solution forward
  • But such networks dont just appear, they have to be mobilised, and enlisted, how do you go about finding nodes
  • This is actually a pair of sneakers :-) Our role in this network was to find the creative talents and local producers who would contribute to the co-design of the new brand and to develop the return model, thats what we call the concept for how the profits from the brand will be reinvested for good
  • After spending a week in Oagadougo, meeting artisans co-operatives, cultural representatives, local photographers, an eco cotton producer, we still hadn't found a creative talent whose work could be incorporated into the actual sneaker, Then we spotted this flyer and decided to find out who had made the drawings
  • And finally the artist himself, Wilfried de Paul, a really talented illustrator and painter who does both silkscreen work and live mural drawings
  • And finally here you see the finished prodct a co-designed sneaker, which incorporates the drawings of the artist in both the packaging and the shoe itself
  • Everyone is talking about the wisdom or lack of it, of the crowd, and as our world gets more connected we see also of course huge potential for incorporating the crowd into these solution networks
  • Building bridges is an initiative to map, connect and encourage peace initiatives in kenya
  • Once the campaign kicked off, we were really happy to see the initiatives pouring in, the crowd really took part, in 3 months time more than 600 grassroots peace groups had been mapped with the campaign
  • Here you can see how the role of the crowd has become the main force in the campaign witht he tech tools and campaign supporting their activities The team, made up of 3 Nairobits alumni, this node in the network has become perhaps the most important one
  • The team, this node in the network has become perhaps the most important one
  • The mobile is still growing in leaps and bounds in emerging countries and to that end the device of choise to reach people
  • We wanted to find our of the mobile could eb used as an indepth leanring device to imporve the quality of life in the slums We sat down for a number of co-creation sessions and ended up developing a board game concept the board game proved very popular
  • So much so that the board game is going to be published in the Netherlands and Kenya next month
  • But back to the mobile game, Using the dynamics of the board game we have indeed made the mobiel game, it tests it has proved popular
  •   And it being a digital product of 256kb it can be downloaded from mobiel portals in various countries, we are just at the negotiation stage to recah crowds in a number of countries
  • In this project, baskets made from old tyres were redesigned with Morroccan craftspeople and a container of them exported to the netherlands for sale
  • But what is the impact on a community of selling a consignment of baskets
  • Wat voor neven effecten heeft het inkopen van manden op de omgeving
  • Wat voor neven effecten heeft het inkopen van manden op de omgeving
  • donkeys
  • Heel veel ezels en vrachtwagen
  • Wat gebeurd er met de theeman ?
  • Erg blije theeman
  • Design solution Networks at Better World by Design