I attended a talk this morning at the third day of the StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation by Jeff from IDEO. The talk focussed on the topic “Design for Social Imapct”, something that is very relevant to teams working on ideas at Acara. I wrote a post on design for social innovation a few weeks ago which was a synopsis of a report done by the Stanford Social Innovation Review and I am excited to talk about it again.

Jeff spoke about several interesting case studies from projects IDEO has worked on. From water delivery project and the children’s eye care project in India to the Keep the Change project in the US , everything that IDEO is about Design Thinking.  On any project they work on, the focus is on three key aspects – People, Technology and Business.

A lot of key learnings came from the talk, some of which I am putting before you:

  • Always spend a good amount of time to understand your users. Talk to people who would be your most probable consumers but do not forget to speak to people who are less probable to be, but might be, your customers.
  • Study ALL of your stakeholders and understand how will your idea impact ALL of them.
  • Test your ideas, implying build a prototype and test it on your actual customer in a real environment.
  • Think how can your stakeholders help you make your venture sustainable.
  • Define metrics to measure impact and create a framework to track it.
  • One very important aspect of reaching out is TELLING YOUR STORY, which helps organizations with funding, more support and access to resources. So make sure you spend a good amount of time on it.

As  all our teams start working on ideas, going through IDEO’s Human Centered Design toolkit and some of the best case studies on their website would be really helpful. All the best to all of the teams!

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