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Design Thinkers Academy London

You have no authority here Jackie Weaver, no authority at all!

Read the standing orders! READ THEM AND UNDERSTAND THEM!!

Of the many Zoom stories that have gone viral over the last year, one that caught the public attention more than most (yes, even more than talking cats) was the crazed chaos of the Handford Parish Council meeting. Despite the now iconic Jackie Weaver’s best efforts, the meeting spiralled wickedly out of control, with arguments, kick-outs and more. Aside from the smiles it produced, the meeting also provided a stark example of the dangers of this digital world we now live in and why now, more than ever, good facilitation matters.

Good facilitation is all about leading a group of people towards your common goal in a way that utilises all the various qualities of the group. At the Design Thinkers Academy London, our facilitation training focuses on Design Thinking facilitation and how to confidently guide teams in applying Design Thinking, yet the same core principles of facilitation remain.

A great facilitator guides people through the process and inspires participants to get involved. They engage people in co-creation and collaboration…

How do you solve climate change?

Simple questions often have complex answers. We have one Earth, but are consuming the resources of 1.6 planets. Most of us understand that we cannot go on like this, but how do we make the changes required to save the world?

It is important that we understand that climate change is complicated, that we refuse to be intimidated by this complexity and that we recognise that we all own this crisis. Abraham Lincoln believed that crises create opportunities. …

For the launch of our new Responsible Revolutions initiative, founder and director David Kester talks through what led us here and why the world needs innovators now, more than ever.

Recently I have been reading and studying the origins and habits of human innovation. My interest is the scale and scope of the change management that businesses, organisations, and nations now face. It is unparalleled.

Just to avoid extinction, we have to…

Anthropologists, like Joseph Henrich (Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard) reveal that we can learn loads from looking back over the history and the cultural evolution of successful societies. The behaviours that have made certain societies thrive and innovate (and others not) hold some answers to how we tackle the exciting, daunting, wicked, existential and ultimately everyday challenges of the climate decade.

Hey Behnosh! So each individual business worked on their own challenges yet it was using customer closeness tools. So we did:

- Persona

- Customer Journey Map

- Problem Framing

- Opportunity Statement

We've done quite a bit of work in this field, including our big Plastics Challenge with SAP, which you read more about here:

Lockdown life isn’t easy and as so many of us face more lockdowns, it’s easy to lose motivation. So, to try and counter that and bring some positivity to the new year, we’ve put together a list design blogs, podcasts and more, that are helping inspire us during this difficult period. These explore a variety of topics, helping us understand the new normal, see life from new perspectives and get our creativity flowing. Have a read and please share with us any content that you’ve been relying on during this period.

Hear how creative people navigate life

There is a whole array of great creative talks and podcasts out there on the web to delve in to. Design Matters was the world’s first podcast about design and creativity and features interviews with designers, writers, actors, entrepreneurs and ‘other luminaries of contemporary thought’. Listen in to be inspired by their creative stories.

Explore emerging trends

Check out the Trendhunter website. It looks at the latest new products and services around the globe and emerging trends. The information is crowd-sourced and covers every different sector you can imagine relevant to life and business, from flat-pack cardboard workstations to new co-working spaces in…

For our latest podcast, we look at the art of facilitation. Effective facilitation in the workplace has never been more important, as the world navigates the vast complexities of remote working. So we speak with two expert facilitators about their experiences as facilitators, exploring what makes a good facilitator, whilst also looking at our new Online Design Thinking and Advanced Online Facilitation courses in detail.

Meet the facilitators

For the facilitation podcast we interviewed two of the lead facilitators on a lot of our open courses: Susana Osório and Arnoud Koning.

Susana is our Head of Design and Learning Programmes. As a Design Thinker, designer and facilitator, Susana has been guiding teams to develop new solutions across a variety of industries and geographies, from commodity to luxury goods, for clients including Conrad Hilton Hotels and Fung Group. …

In November we are launching our new online Service Blueprinting course. In order to share more about the course, we spoke to one of the coaches, Simon Gough, about service blueprints, how he uses them and why it’s so important for companies to adopt them.

So what will delegates learn on this new service blueprinting course?

Most importantly they’ll learn how to actually make service blueprints — starting with a simple version on day one and then building layers, to make those blueprints useful for any project. We’ll also go through all the theory that they need to know. This includes focussing on what service blueprints can best be used for and how to get a project going in their organisation. Towards the end the participants will focus on what comes next: the outputs and outcomes that make service blueprinting a core component of service design within their organisations.

What is a service blueprint exactly?

A service blueprint is a process diagram…

From Zoom calls that last forever to meeting action-points quickly forgotten, online meetings are proving a new and challenging experience for companies across the globe. So, we spoke to facilitators David Kester and Susana Osório, to come up with 5 important ways you can improve online meetings, to increase their effectiveness, efficiency and enjoyment.

At the Design Thinkers Academy London, we’ve seen first-hand the wave of problems people have had with running online meetings and workshops. It’s a new world and one that most companies were not prepared for. Everyone was suddenly having to quickly upskill on platforms like Zoom, that most had never previously heard of before, let alone relied upon. For a lot of people, it has been a tricky transition. So, to help you turn the tide and make the most out of your online meetings, we spoke to our two lead facilitators, David Kester and Susana Osório, to get some…

For our next podcast we focussed on the research method critical to Design Thinking: ethnography. Here we explore what ethnography is and its history as a research method. We look at the benefits of ethnography to business and how it can still be conducted during the current lockdown.

Dr. Katie Gaddini
Dr. Katie Gaddini

For this podcast we interviewed Ethnographer Dr. Katie Gaddini. Katie is a sociologist and a writer. She is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the department of Social Science at the University College London (UCL), and an affiliated researcher at Cambridge University and the University of Johannesburg. She is currently writing a book based on five years of ethnographic research with single evangelical women, to be published by Columbia University Press. At UCL, Katie lectures on ethnography, teaching the methodology and the history.

Ethnography is about understanding a person, a set of individuals, a community, on a very deep level to…

Even during a pandemic, you still notice the small things that make you stop and smile for a moment. Small things like some of the brilliant visuals we’ve spotted, explaining how our behaviours can make a difference in relation to Covid-19. Yes, they can be simple, but it’s the clever thinking behind them and clarity of message that we love.

A great graphic often communicates much more powerfully than words can. There’s an immediacy and a simplicity that really helps people understand what you’re trying to get across, and to remember it too. When that message is about staying safe and saving lives, it reminds you why good visuals can be really important.

Check out our selection of visuals below. Thank you to whoever designed them for playing your part. It’s easy to forget how ideas like social distancing were barely understood a couple of months ago but are now ingrained. …

Design Thinkers Academy London

We’re the UK arm of the Design Thinkers Academy. Using design thinking, we help embed new ways of approaching complex problems.

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