Design literacy for development

09 Jun 2014

imageLooking for creative solutions

“Somebody should do something about it!”

Perhaps, “somebody” should…  But why don’t we do something about it?

So we did.

Last week we were joined by the Waag society, one of Europe’s foremost social innovations incubators.

Waag was in Armenia to develop design literacy.  This means empowering citizens to influence their environment through structured design processes.

The methodology was developed by Ideo and refined by the Design School at Stanford University.

UNDP has been testing new approaches to development for most of its history.  More recently, you may remember our Social Innovations Camps or Social Innovations Lab (soon to be relaunched).  The work with Waag is our most recent experiment.

We have applied the design thinking methodology in the past to the problem of mobility on Bratislava’s public transport network, but this workshop was the first time that citizens led the process.

Together with a handful of youth and the team from Waag, we tackled problems that were meaningful to the group.  Problems such as unemployment, pre-university exams and public transport.

In tune with the philosophy of “we can do something about it”, the workshop was intended to design solutions to these problems that did not require action by the state or other social institutions.

Watch this space for opportunities to engage in the next event.