IDEO is committed to making an impact through all of their work. In particular, they are increasingly working with NGOs, government agencies, social entrepreneurs, and many others, in addition to their corporate clients, to focus on making a positive social impact. IDEO is committed to creating greater awareness of the impact of design thinking and innovation processes in the social and governmental sectors, as well as directly participating in leading projects which set credible examples of impact and can be implemented and scaled by them and other design firms. They also plan to provide leadership in catalyzing our industry to collaborative action through meetings, publications, and direct project support.
IDEO's social impact team will be responsible for implementation. Their activities and impact will be communicated on a weekly basis across their organization. As an innovative organization utilizing their own methods internally, they will constantly prototype new approaches, testing and modifying them as they proceed. IDEO plans to directly interact with approximately 100 NGOs and for profit social ventures, as well as two dozen design and innovation firms. They will expose their concepts and methods to hundreds of design students and will provide teaching and mentorship to them in the form of lectures, workshops, classes taught, and publications such as the recent one with the Rockefeller Foundation, Design for Social Impact.
The first milestone was the creation and pilot testing of an interactive workshop for social entrepreneurs on design thinking. This was completed on August 26, 2008. 16 social entrepreneurs from developing countries participated in the annual Global Social Social Business Incubator at Santa Clara University.
First Milestone(s): Creation and Pilot Testing of an Interactive Workshop for Social Entrepreneurs on Design Thinking
Summary of Activity: Implemented a workshop
Participants in this Activity: 16 social entrepreneurs, mainly from developing countries participating in the annual Global Social Business Incubator at Santa Clara University
Measures of Success:
Participants were able to rapidly brainstorm new approaches to rural health in developing country settings. They learned about design thinking, brainstorming, and the innovation process. Impact will be a result of their implementation of these methods as they return home and work on scaling their social ventures. In general, the measure of impact of our work with NGOs, foundations, and other design and innovation firms will be measured in the number of new projects which utilize a design thinking approach, the number of people trained in design thinking, and the impact of specific programs in regard to achievement of their original objectives. The perceived innovativeness and effectiveness of the social sector is the ultimate goal. Since their goal is to work with a variety of client organizations to catalyze the use of design thinking and subsequent social impact of the products and services they co-create, their success is indirect, by definition, and not easily determined until they engage with their partner and client organizations.
Current plans include social impact labs twice a month in Palo Alto, learning labs, and various workshops.
A complete list of our currently planned commitments include:
Social impact labs twice a month in Palo Alto plus 6 times/year in each of the following locations: Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Global Social Incubator (Santa Clara University) August 2008
Skoll World Forum workshop - March 2009
A major foundation organization annual meeting workshop - May 2009
Family foundations meeting workshop - March 2009
Good Capital's Social Capital Markets conference design assistance and participation - October 2008
Cornell's BoP Learning Lab - participation 2x/year - November 2008 and April 2009
Acumen fellows workshop - September 2008
Woodcock Foundation workshop - September 2008
Rockefeller follow-up convening of design firms and NGO's - Q4 2008
Humanitarian design workshop sponsored jointly with the Industrial Designers
Society of America in 2009
Provide sabbatical opportunities to one or two IDEO employees to enable to them to work with organizations in developing countries (Q4 2008)
Work to find partnerships to commercialize our Aquaduct mobile water filtration prototype which was a winner in a social impact for development contest sponsored by Google and Specialized Bicycles (Q1 2009)