We co-create every project from the beginning.
The more fully we can understand the context, the more adeptly we can respond to it as it evolves over time as things change. Customization is the key, context is everything, and you know yours best.
Our teams have collaborated in over 100 projects. Below is some of our latest.
As practitioners and educators of innovation, we always build innovation capability in everyone we work with.
Inspiring design thinking in disaster relief
A creative day @ an annual meeting
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Geneva needed to break old habits and upskill staff at an annual global meeting. DSIL ran a design thinking training for the global marketing teams using real-time challenges identified prior to the session. Teams practiced how to spot new opportunities for effective marketing initiatives by truly listening to how users responded to the organization's work. The experiential workshop improved the organization’s creative capacity and produced new ideas for how to spread knowledge of the rules that protect war victims.
Designing inclusive programs for people who use drugs
A global gathering of programers and funders
Open Society Foundation (OSF) invited DSIL to co-create a strategy meeting that centered the voices of their grantees and communities of people who use drugs around the world. Under the mantra “Nothing about us, without us!“ DSIL helped OSF see that buy-in isn't needed if marginalized populations were allowed to drive planning and program design. DSIL guided this group to explore diverse opinions, think through how services for people who use drugs could be something that benefits whole communities, rather than just a subset of vulnerable people and realize different solutions were possible for each geographic location while still remaining true to Open Society’s vision.
Designing strategy that can endure adversity and change
An annual retreat to remember
Asia Catalyst fights for the right to health around the world. Board members, senior management and field staff came together to think about past successes and identify areas to pivot in the face of a changing political and financial climate. DSIL moved the group through days of co-creation, introducing new tools for reflection and innovation that Leaders could teach within their teams. Always thinking on a systems level, DSIL ensured the new strategy had flexibility built in. Asia Catalyst’s Team Leaders also worked on their personal development through one-on-one coaching sessions with DSIL coaches.
Designing co-created solutions to local problems
A 16 day summit showcasing radical collaboration
DSIL designed and implemented the International Development Design Summit in 2017, the first ever to be hosted in Asia. The summit brought over 25 participants and 50 team members together with the local community to bring 6 ideas to the prototype phase to be tested and scaled. The two-week event catalyzed an inclusive & sustainable approach to development in Southeast Asia. New solutions to challenges in farming, fair trade products, and local health were identified and tested. Check out what we learned together with MIT D-Lab, Winrock, Raitong Organics, USAID and many more.
Innovation Project Feature
Proof that we can learn these skills and do them well, together.
This project was grounded in human-centered design mindsets and was also innovative in many other ways. From who was invited in on the core team, to the capability building design, to the ecosystem of players at the kick-off's meetings- this project feature showcases just how much we can get done (and how well we can do it) when we honor process as a strong deliverable in and of itself and go from there.
Our purpose: DSIL, UNICEF and other committed partners wanted to better understand how sexuality education is working in Thailand. That meant taking the perspective of Thai Youth seriously. After the opportunity to share, we brought youth along to learn the process of innovation so they could use it to channel their experiences into actionable steps and design new solutions. They did that and more!
Check just some of the tangible solutions from one winning team. From the insight that many teen boys felt embarrassed about buying condoms, they re-designed for them. Making packet directions easier to read in one glance, creating characters to explain more about why condoms matter and even added on an app so youth can have a larger discussion about the relationships in their life.
What We Do.
Innovation Capability Building
We work with organizations ready to learn things well.
Our experiential training is all about hands=on learning that ensures teams have the practice necessary to use the mindsets, process, and skills needed to innovate often. Customized training paths use the real challenges present in the workplace today. From Design Thinking to LEAN methods to Liberating Structures© we will find 1 or more innovation process that will drive the goals of the company. Bonus: our facilitators are also coaches so each learner can see where they are getting stuck and why! Fun fact* this increases emotional intelligence too!
Systems Change Strategy
Innovation is more than ideas or post-it notes. Ideas must turn into tested solutions and tested solutions still must thoughtfully embed itself into the current system it plans to operate in- as easily as possible. Our team develops systems thinking strategy ensure we keep in mind the realities of the current system, culture, competitors, and resources that are available in companies and communities. Let's not waste more time creating hollow innovation just for the fun of it.
Whether there is a need for groundbreaking or incremental innovation, the DSIL lead designers are also versed, facilitators. We work alongside teams so that capability is built along the way to creating meaningful innovations. Kill two birds.....and next round you won't need another innovation consultant.
From 5 days, 6 months, or one-year projects -all lead us to the goals that will strengthen teams long-term with exciting short term results too.
For organizations ready to deepen their understanding of the complex challenges they face. The innovation process of HCD creates the space to see challenges from many different lenses and from there create solutions that don't have gaps. We build capacity along the way with your teams and others who experience the challenge. HCD uncovers powerful insights which lead to more resilient solutions, money saved, less time wasted.
We work with the bold.
In every organization, there are leaders who are ready to tackle the hard work of collaboration, and bold enough to get started.