No matter where you are in the development process of your organization, idea, start-up and/or non-profits, identifying new opportunities to engage with your community/client can be a challenge. This workshop will provide a hands-on approach to the practice and how to apply the principals of ‘design thinking’ to uncover the influencers and values of your community/client.
So what is ‘design thinking? It is a way to instill customer-centricity and empathy, a means to solve complex problems, a methodology to foster exploration and experimentation and sometimes a design/marketing buzz word! Bottom line: design thinking is a problem solving mindset that is not exclusive to designers but is a technique that can be used by anyone to approaches every day challenges.
What is so important about identifying those influencers? Well… influencers are external factors (including individuals/groups) and ideals that effect individual behaviors. Whether it’s understanding who your community seeks advice from or listens to on the radio, understanding influencers give you the insight into why people behave as they do, who they interact with regularly and allows for new opportunities of future engagement. Finding the influences are a really helpful way to engage (education and/or market a new product/campaign) a community in a new and non-traditional method, helps to build new partnerships and can really help to see increase in impact/sales.
Within the workshop you will learn:
1. 'How to' do empathic research: Empathic research is similar to 'ethnographic research' - which is to gain a deep understanding of how people live their lives
2. 'How to' develop your own community/client influencer map. How and where to look for these external factors, help understand who your audience is and where they can be reached.
3. 'How to' turn the influencers into opportunities. Look at case studies of other organization/companies finding new and impact way engage their communities /clients.
This workshop is not a quiet taking-notes kind of class, everyone will be participating and going through the techniques. You will walk away with a cheat-sheet on how to bring these techniques into their regular work life.
I am a designer, educator and the founder of TYTHEdesign, a collaborative design consulting firm. TYTHEdesign partners with nonprofits, community-based organizations, and social ventures to help them work better, provide improved service, be more efficient, and increase the impact of their work. TYTHEdesign’s latest projects include the system and interior design of a low-income pediatric medical clinic, a life-skill training program for family shelters, print/web collateral material, an educational after-school program teaching life skills through community and entrepreneurship in the South Bronx and organizational products and system designs for a mobile soup kitchen.
Prior to starting TYTHEdesign, I worked as the NYC chapter head for Project H Design, a charitable organization focusing on product design for social change. While there, she was one of the lead designers of 'Learning Landscape', an educational active-learning playground installed all over the world, from Tanzania to Mexico, and also featured at Cooper Hewitt’s 2010 National Design Triennial. Additionally, I served as the Assistant Director of the Pratt Design Incubator, working with clients such as UNESCO, WestElm, and Starbucks, as well as with a series of small non-profits and entrepreneurs.
Through my experience with all of these communities, I have learned that some of the best solutions come from using ‘design thinking’ techniques with a collaborative team. As a result, I hope to teach others how to use these techniques to help find solutions to their own challenges.