Last Friday, we celebrated our chapter’s launch with about 80 people at the Peace Coffee roastery in Minneapolis. Our guests (mostly designers, but entrepreneurs and professionals from all backgrounds) sparked connections, talked about social inequities, told us what issues they care about solving and walked away with a prototype for what our first year in service could look like.
The seed has been planted; The event brought together like-minded individuals to celebrate our city and motivate our design community to join our cause and bring the chapter to life!
Here are a couple of things we experimented with..
A themed, immersive experience
Design thinking starts with empathy, we wholeheartedly believe in the OpenIDEO principle, “lead with empathy.” So, we designed an event around a certain topic (in response to our survey) to immerse our guests in the subject. The theme was equality, and included:
- An equality poster show
- An equality/human rights song list
- Multi-cultured food
- Speeches on equality
- Fair trade drinks from Peace Coffee, and
- Design-thinking activities on the topic
When we hold future workshops and events, we aim to lead with empathy. We’ll continue to experiment with different ways to immerse ourselves in a problem to discover innovative solutions.
6 design thinking activities
The drinks were flowing and vibes were up! We knew most of our guests wanted to network, but we thought we’d give them a taste of what types of exercises and activities we might try in actual workshops.
The creative challenges included the theme and asked for a storytelling, a service design, and a biomimicry innovation. Here’s a digital copy of the exercises if you’re looking for some practice. (Were you there? We'd love to see what you came up!)
Where your heart is
As we kick off we really want to get to know our design community, and that starts with empathy too, and knowing your passions, knowing what keeps you up at night. We asked, “What community issues do you care about?” and got diverse responses from our attendees and those who took our online survey.
We also created this globe inviting guests to put a heart where their heart is.. their family’s origin, a place they’d love to visit, or some place they’d like to help. And because we all want to change the world.. it was a great reminder of this year's mantra, change starts at home.
We hope our guests know, this chapter belongs to ALL OF US.
Get in touch to help lead future workshops, become a board member, or tell us what you'd like to see us tackle in our inaugural year. To echo our community rep and biggest fan, Scott, "Everything's a prototype."
While we're busy planning next steps we're always open to your ideas, just tweet us or email to get involved. Thanks to our guests, who showed up with your support, we hope you enjoyed yourselves!