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July 2014

Design thinking* allows for using different perspectives to look into alternative worlds: what can we learn from nature and children for instance? While criticizing each other’s work anonymously, can you come with an improvement while using those different world’s perspectives (or e.g. De Bono’s thinking hats)?

While experimenting (prototyping), mandatory elements entail: concept description, scenarios and probabilities, including experts to challenge conclusions and adequate data analysis for back up. Clarify (by observing, insights and reframing), ideate and develop before implementation of any intervention.
While researching I face the definition struggle: cross sector social partnerships, total system/large scale intervention, (systemic) intervention for social change, social issue platforms and collaboration for inclusive impact. What might be more relevant is how to pitch the problem setting to stakeholders. The way Steve Jobs pitches his Ipod helps: curiosity before content, options before solutions, taking consumers through the experience. Design thinking offers the sketch of the imaginary future (‘what if’….). While meeting the local government, it doesn’t assist me to tap into a journey that should provide a ‘game changing’ solution: the City is cash strapped and focused on law compliance and enforcement rather than innovative collaborative policy making. The funeral insurance industry is more enthusiastic, however they are as bureaucratic as the not for profit sector: the departments of product innovation are not likely to collaborate with CSR and/or consumer education. We can only seduce stakeholders into the journey by offering them an alternative attractive business model and framing it according to their set of values: the way of thinking influences the way you act. The added value of the business society changes as different benefits occur. As economic growth as reached its highest point, we have to look at indigenous people to find a natural balance.**

*A course conducted by Harvard Professor Srikant Datar
**Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein

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