By Katrina Albert
Day two of the Technology and Social Innovation week consisted of an insightful and complex workshop on Design Thinking. Hosted by the dynamic André Fortin, the workshop allowed participants from very diverging backgrounds to exchange on the importance of forming bridges between social innovation and digital technologies.
Objectives of the Workshop
Get participants to think collectively on how to build more bridges between social innovations and digital technologies.
Introducing the tools of design thinking through the experiment of a 5 hour condensed creative process.
Designing a briefanddynamic presentationto share the results from the experiment.
Overview of the Workshop
The workshop began with an Icebreaking activity where participants were asked to introduce themselves with the help of a massive wrench that was passed along the group of professionals. Following the introductions was a sharp conference on Creativity and Design Thinking to fall right into the core subject of the seminar.
M.Fortin first elaborated on the key elements of creativity and the barriers to the latter. He also emphasised the rules that had to be followed in a creative process in order for creativity to flourish all along the upcoming group activity; the center of the Design Thinking Workshop.
And so it began.
Participants were divided into 3 groups and were each assigned an issue that emerge from the integration of social innovation with the digital technology sector:
OPEN INNOVATION: How to collaborate in order to become more efficient?
TECHNOLOGY FOR THE COMMON GOOD: How to reclaim technology in order to use them for social innovation purposes?
HUMAN NETWORK: Hot to open networks to new influences in a sharing and long term perspective?
The discussion allowed participants to not only address these important matters but also to use their field of expertise to looked at the issue through different lenses. They were then asked to build an ideal prototype to answer these important matters with the help of small kits that were distributed to each team. The results were impressive. Design thinking took form at this stage of the workshop. Innovative prototypes emerged from a few ropes, small blocs, Legos (for those who were lucky enough) and a lot of collective creativity.
Groups shared the significance of their model and the elements that helped this one reach its assigned mission. Each prototype presentation raised more questions regarding ethical and trust matters as well as distribution of information.
Questions to which neither the participants nor M.Fortin had the time fully to address due to the time constraint of the workshop. This being said, participants left the seminar with the urge to answer the latter and their reflection shall continue on during the rest of the week’s events. Most of the participants also mentioned that they will apply Design Thinking tools in their respective work very shortly.
Mission accomplished. One step closer to more innovative and social businesses.