Fellows

Key Learnings from Cape Town

We just returned from three days in Cape Town testing prototypes for the Collaboratory with mySociety and the Open Democracy Advice Center (we posted a summary of the experience here).  Below are some of the big learnings we’re taking away as we continue designing the Governance Collaboratory this year: There is a different level of…
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Key Learnings from Cape Town

Testing the Governance Collaboratory in South Africa

We headed from Nairobi straight to Cape Town, South Africa for a second week of testing models for the Governance Collaboratory.  Our prototype in Cape Town was intended to test an incubator model: working with a pre-existing team that has an idea they are poised to execute.  We partnered with mySociety, a UK-based non-profit that…
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Testing the Governance Collaboratory in South Africa

Interviewing the Urban Poor of Nairobi’s slums

Last week we ran our first prototype design challenge in Nairobi, in collaboration with various local civil society activists and the iHub.  Our objective was to test applying design thinking to a governance problem in the field.  We composed a design team from heterogeneous individuals and selected problems outside the day to day focus of…
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Interviewing the Urban Poor of Nairobi’s slums

Key Learnings in Nairobi

After three intense days at iHub we were exhausted, but we also learned a great deal.  There were a number of key insights that will inform how we approach the Collaboratory going forward: Design thinking is tough to translate, but generates widespread enthusiasm when people experience it. The language of design thinking is very foreign…
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Key Learnings in Nairobi

Testing Collab Prototypes at Nairobi’s iHub

After a terrific fall quarter of need-finding work with governance innovators from around the world, both of us were itching to get on the ground to test our initial prototypes and begin to hone our ideas about how the Governance Collaboratory might work in practice. Our first stop was in Nairobi, Kenya at the much…
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Testing Collab Prototypes at Nairobi’s iHub

Five Governance Collab Prototypes

After delineating the variables to explore in our prototypes, Jeremy and I combined them in different ways to come up with five possible models for the Governance Collaboratory: The Consultancy: outsiders team with a client to address a broadly defined problem.  A consultancy model for the Collab could take two forms: a governance innovator embedded…
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Five Governance Collab Prototypes

Developing Prototypes for the Governance Collab

Prototyping serves multiple purposes in the human centered design process.  By constructing a prototype of an idea, designers are forced to think through details that help them understand how their ideas actually work in practice.  Prototypes create opportunities for users to experience an idea, which yields very different reactions than simply explaining a concept.  Designers…
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Developing Prototypes for the Governance Collab

The Needs of a Governance Innovator: The Technologist

This is the fourth of a series of blog posts summarizing recent need finding efforts for the Governance Collaboratory, an initiative to bring design thinking to governance challenges in the developing world.  See our previous posts here, here and here for further discussion on this work.   Technologists are distinct from Activists and Reformers not just because of…
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The Needs of a Governance Innovator: The Technologist

The Needs of A Governance Innovator: The Reformer

This is the third of a series of blog posts summarizing recent need finding efforts for the Governance Collaboratory, an initiative to bring design thinking to governance challenges in the developing world.  See our previous posts here and here for further discussion on this work.   Our interviews with government reformers underscore the unique challenges of the governance innovator…
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The Needs of A Governance Innovator: The Reformer