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Burning and Building Bridges | Dr. Sarah Schulman | InWithForward


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Dr. Sarah Schulman from InWithForward speaks at SDGC19 in Toronto.

How do we turn our social safety nets into trampolines? That big, hairy, audacious question led our small social design team from the UK to Australia to The Netherlands to Canada. We knew if we wanted to disrupt social systems, and fundamentally shift outcomes for people most on the margins, we couldn’t do it as fly-in and fly-out design consultants. We needed to be full partners in change. This talk will offer the story of our partnership: how a passionate, idealistic, and at times, naive group of service designers, industrial designers, graphic designers, interactions designers, ethnographers, sociologists, and community developers has worked alongside mid-level managers, frontline workers, non-profit CEOS and bureaucrats to reimagine the social sector. We used to believe it was all about building the capacity of the sector to do research & development. We don’t believe that anymore. Come along to this talk as we share and debunk myths around collaboration, consultancy, and capacity building. Find out what we think it will take to move past incremental reform to disruptive transformation.

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Burning and Building Bridges | Dr. Sarah Schulman | InWithForward

  1. 1. Building and Building Bridges: Lessons from five years of deep partnership to redesign the Canadian welfare state. Leadership & Business Guru and InWithForward’s lead of org change dr Jennifer Charlesworth Sociologist and InWithForward’s social impact lead dr Sarah SchulmanDr. Sarah Schulman Founding Partner @inwithforward
  2. 2. We are gathered on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. We honor their past, present and future stories and learn humility from their resilience.
  3. 3. Sarah Jonas Anna Daniela Natalie Valentina Jess Melanie Yani Boyd Peter Gord Janey Charlotte John Alysha Shokhan Mischa Jenn Kelsey The people of IWF
  4. 4. Safety nets Trampolines Our mission
  5. 5. The people of this land +450 more
  6. 6. Meet William
  7. 7. Meet James
  8. 8. Meet Alexa
  9. 9. Meet Haci
  10. 10. Meet the Underhills
  11. 11. Shame Removal Displacement Low ExpectationsTrauma
  12. 12. “Coming to know also requires complex, committed, consensual engagement.” Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
  13. 13. An app A service A coordinated hub Isn’t enough… {insert fancy new thing}
  14. 14. What we know Meaning, purpose, belonging 
 & love come from relationships, not from services.
  15. 15. Let’s take a look at the relational history of the welfare state.
  16. 16. History of the welfare state A medical immigration nurse is speaking with an immigrant mother and her child Library and Archives Canada, c1965
  17. 17. Helper Beneficiary 1800s Power dynamic
  18. 18. Helper Hierarchical Paternalistic Power divides Charity meets professionalization Beneficiary
  19. 19. Professional Client 1900s Power dynamic
  20. 20. Manager Worker 1950s Power dynamic
  21. 21. Design accepts this relationship 1980’s Power dynamic Manager consultant Client ‘User’
  22. 22. Characteristics of these relationship types Expert
 driven Non- reciprocal Invested in means over endsCharacteristics
  23. 23. Positive deviants flip the script
  24. 24. Vulnerability Mutuality Shared endsCo-learner Alternative relational basis
  25. 25. How do you codify & spread this relational basis when it presents a threat to status quo power? Alternative relational basis
  26. 26. Processoriented Solutionoriented Situated in organizations Situated in community Grounded Data WNH We’ve experimented
  27. 27. Newcomers Homelessness Disability Seniors Justice system Unemployment Mental Health Children & Youth City NGOs Gov. Sectors/topcis Initiatives
  28. 28. Partnerships It starts with partnerships that don’t replicate transactional, top-down relationships
  29. 29. What this looks like for us in practice Three case studies
  30. 30. Ben books
 & goes on experiences as a ‘Kudoer’ Frane is a botanist & hosts a nature hike experience Enabling growth interactions
  31. 31. Not passing time interactions
  32. 32. Through in-person experiences, Kudoers build skills, natural networks, and a greater sense of self and future. Meaningful Employment More inter- dependence Better mental health
  33. 33. The relational basisThe relational basis LearnerLearner To Community member From Disabled person
  34. 34. The relational basisThe relational basis LearnerLearner To Protector From Protected
  35. 35. What makes a meraki box? novelty connection Many of the people who will use your box have lives full of things they enjoy! The challenge is introducing NEW things into their context. We don’t want these boxes to be generalized and watered down- we want them to be specific and enriching. Boxes should always help the users find a new pathway to community. This could be a meetup group, a class or competition, a place with a collection of content about your topic, a Kudoz experience, or maybe a group challenge. soul Meraki boxes are soulful because they capture the passion and peculiarities of their Muses. When people open up your box for the first time, we want them to feel as if they’ve opened a gift you made just for them. stretchchallenge
  36. 36. The relational basis LearnerLearner To Service provider From Person served
  37. 37. Structure It’s not just about process 
 or solutions; it’s also about stewardship and structure
  38. 38. Tension Compression TorsionShear Structure Best practice Next practice
  39. 39. Tension Compression Shear Torsion
  40. 40. @inwithforward Get in touch! Design Director Vancouver Innovation Lead Vancouver Community Mobilizer Vancouver Experience Designer Toronto UX/Developer Fellowship Vancouver We are hiring