Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Design Thinking: Thinkers, Science and Practice

by • September 6th, 2012

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin

 If to think and be aware of those thoughts (to think about thinking) is a defining feature of what it means to be human, why is it such a challenge to think about types of thinking? An answer to that question might help explain why design thinking is so difficult to translate into action and […]

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Jonah Lehrer and the Crisis of Knowledge Synthesis

by • August 22nd, 2012

Jonah Lehrer - Pop!Tech 2009 - Camden, ME

Jonah Lehrer is/was as big as it gets in science writing and two weeks ago proved the adage that the higher one climbs the farther the fall after admitting to some false content in his stories. This is bad news for him, but may be much worse for all of us interested in making science […]

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How Serious Are We About Learning?

by • July 26th, 2012

When journalist and book author Daniel Pink tweeted the above image the other day it provoked thinking about what real learning means and what it takes to achieve it. We produce enormous amounts of knowledge, yet struggle to put it into use, but we also teach much and learn little because the systems we’ve designed […]

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The Complex Consequences of Simple and Easy

by • July 9th, 2012

PS2-complex

For any marketing of complexity to work, the risk in creating a false guru is high, but so too is the risk of installing overly simplistic filters. In both cases we need to address complexity with a complex response and doing so with one that doesn’t exacerbate the problem by adding too much extraneous information to our media ecology, getting us back into trouble elsewhere.

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Mindful Navigation of Complexity and Social Media

by • July 4th, 2012

Meditation 1

If we are to mindfully design our social media ecology and do it in a manner that promotes empathy and connection, rather than overwhelms us; engenders learning and insight over simple content absorption; and promotes creativity and innovation rather than just talks about it, we need to answer the question more intently and act accordingly.

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Empathy: The Ultimate Design + Systems Challenge

by • July 1st, 2012

Empathy

Empathy is a central feature of good human-centred design, yet is often practiced narrowly. Visualization with systems thinking and mindfulness are three additional features that can transform empathy from a simple tool to a vehicle for transformation by connecting us less to absolute problems and more to relative ones. In today’s Globe and Mail newspaper […]

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Innovation, Design Thinking and the Folly of Fads

by • May 24th, 2012

Is it time to move on or shall we try to invigorate the discussion of concepts like innovation and design thinking with dialogue, evidence and (self-referentially) some innovation and design thinking to advance not only the discourse on these topics, but also their adoption, study and adaptation to help us tackle the complex, wicked and pervasive problems that seem to be growing in our world each day.

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Disruption by Design

by • March 13th, 2012

If we are to expect that the fields most connected to social action and the promotion of wellbeing are to contribute to our betterment in the future, they need to change. Disruptive design for programs, services and the ways we fund such things is what is necessary if these fields are to have benefit beyond themselves. Long past are the days when doing good was something that belonged to those with a title (e.g., doctor, health promoter, social worker) or that what we called ourselves (e.g., teacher) meant we did something else unequivocally (e.g., educate). Now we are all teachers, all health promoters, all designers, and all entrepreneurs if we want to be. Some will be better than others and some will be more effective than others, but by disrupting these ideas we can design a better future.

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The PR Problem for Design, Evaluation,and Complexity

by • January 30th, 2012

The same might be true of design, evaluation and complexity if we let it. It’s not a surprise that these three concepts are intimately tied together, as those training to apply design thinking and strategic foresight learn. Perhaps its time to start giving these ideas away, but to do so we first need to rehab their image and apply some design thinking and brand development strategy to all three ideas. As practitioners in any or all of these fields, giving away what we do by educating, reinforcing, and ensuring that the work we do is of the highest quality is a way to lead by example. None of us is likely to change things by ourselves, but together we can do wonders.

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How Systems and Design Thinking Can Address Violence Against Women

by • December 6th, 2011

Today, as we remember the lives lost and damaged from the events of December 6th and the global challenge that this represents, consider taking up the challenge and perhaps together we can systems think and design our way to a healthier, more equitable world for men and women alike.

Imagine how we can create a system that makes the unthinkable truly so. As designers, envision what we could do if we engaged people in the design challenge to reimagine our sex and gender roles in a healthier image.

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