Tag Archives: design thinking

Revisiting Design Thinking: Pondering the process and principles

I have not written on design thinking in more than a decade. The era when I’d be cited in Fast Company or Rita Sue Siegel’s handbook on Industrial Design careers is long gone. Which one of these definitions should I use going forward? “Design thinking in business takes this problem solving aspect one step further […]

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Book Review: The graphic novel as a format for visual sensemaking and the change poets of ‘Unrig’

My local library – part of the Helsinki City system – had this book on display yesterday among the handful of English language books accessible for browsing within the current constraints of the pandemic. I devoured it in one sitting. As I wrote in a private paid-for social media platform where I’m part of the […]

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The power of sensemaking lies in its ability to reframe the challenge and its context

A key characteristic of participatory design is the use of physical artefacts as thinking tools throughout the process. This process is a key characteristic of the various participatory design practices emanating from the Scandinavian research-led tradition (e.g. Greenbaum and Kyng, 1991). As highlighted by Sanders (2006), users in participatory design serve as  “expert[s]of their experiences” […]

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Half a year, 2020 : The Remote Resilience and Recovery Project

I have umpteen drafts saved, of posts I began writing since the last published one on 29th February this year, and never finished. 2020 has outdone itself in its impact on all of human society, across our entire planet. I have been active on Twitter, where my literature reviews, in service of the pivot I […]

Posted in Africa, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Design, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, rural, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, urban, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Systemic design thinking and complex adaptive systems

Going back to first principles has been a refreshing exercise. Even as our work has taken us into some wholly new places, there’s comfort in knowing that others have thought deeply about the concepts, though not in our context. I’m a firm believer in not re-inventing the wheel. Consider it a working prototype to be […]

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Does the human-centered design industry believe in it’s own process?

Listening to users, and incorporating their feedback is considered the key differentiator for the practice of human-centered design. Yet, one wonders, if the design industry has understood that this philosophy must necessarily include the feedback from their clients as well. That is, while we are all aware of the navel gazing tendencies displayed by design […]

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“Unlearn the past to create the future”

The late Michigan University management professor, CK Prahalad, is best known for his last, and most famous publication, The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. But to MBA students, management consultancies, corporate planners, and regular readers of the Harvard Business Review, he is also known for a long and distinguished career in management thought […]

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5 examples of the breadth of African led human-centered design and thinking and planning

The other day I was searching for news on design from the African continent and noted on Twitter that it seemed as though only the South Africans were consistently talking about their various creative outputs. Having long been part of the crowd that believed in the indigenous creativity and innovation in the less visible parts […]

Posted in Africa, Design, Fashionomics, Innovation Planning, Kenya, South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, UCSD, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

People-centered systems design thinking out loud

This morning I was pondering the complexity involved in weaving together four separate threads of ‘innovation’ into one holistic system. They were not unrelated to each other, and the end users are more or less the same for each, but each is also a standalone solution to a pain point in an ecosystem. I was […]

Posted in Biashara Economics, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

@Prepaid Africa Connecting Dots – October 2015

October was a busy month for us – The African Development Bank hosted their first Innovation Weekend in Abidjan from the 9th to the 11th of October. Our contribution was thinking about the problems we face as the starting point for new venture design. Savvy young people from across Francophone West Africa gathered to conceptualize […]

Posted in Monthly Insights, Perspective, Photography, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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