design thinking

Accelerating innovation for the city of San Francisco

Accelerating innovation for the city of San Francisco

(Mary Anne Masterson and Jay Nath co-authored this article.)

The San Francisco Mayor's Office of Innovation recently piloted an "unhackathon" which attracted over 80 designers, technologists and business pros, all collaborating quickly and intensively to create viable solutions for the City's taxi distribution and transit communication problems. This process, built on the central tenets of design thinking, proved as successful in innovating city management as it has for private industry. » Read more

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Does hosting an innovation summit mean you're innovative?

Does hosting an innovation summit mean you're innovative?

Last January, the City of Raleigh partnered with the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina State University, and local businesses to host the inaugural Innovation Summit. The purpose of the summit was to bring business leaders, entrepreneurs, marketers, investors, city officials, and thought leaders together for an afternoon of discovery. Open source was at the heart of how the organizers were looking to achieve consensus from those invited to participate.

There were four main topics organizers focused on to kick off this initiative: funding, partnerships, branding, and space for an innovation center. The summit started with two keynote speakers that helped set the stage for the day. » Read more

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Code for America: CityCamp is seriously local

Code for America: CityCamp is seriously local

Saturday December 3, CityCamp Honolulu packed the student center at the University of Hawaii. The one-day event brought together nearly 150 locals to discuss and plan for updating the interface for Honolulu’s city services. Forest Frizzell, director of the City’s department of information technology and Burt Lum, a local activist and the man behind ByteMarks Cafe, a Hawaii Public radio show, are responsible for hosting this important event. Burt emceed the event, and moderated the two panels that discussed everything from current city initiatives and records requests to the forthcoming 2012 Code for America fellowship program. » Read more

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Restoring trust in government

CityCamp Honolulu

The theme that emerged from the first CityCamp Honolulu, held on December 3 (the 17th CityCamp held worldwide), was restoring citizen confidence in their government. In a very collaborative and participatory atmosphere, organizers looked to citizens to generate ideas for the City of Honolulu's upcoming Code for America project and to harness the power of design thinking to rapidly prototype ten topics generated during the unconference. » Read more

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Designing open collaboration in Red Hat Global Support Services

Red Hat's Global Support Services (GSS) organization is accountable for customer loyalty. In that capacity, we're in the business of solving complex technical problems experienced by our customers. In February of 2009, the GSS management team began a journey to determine if we could serve our customers better, and ultimately increase customer loyalty, by improving the ability of our highly trained technical support associates to collaborate with each other. The fundamental idea was that if we could take away certain structural, cultural, and procedural barriers that separated different groups of associates, we could increase the flow of knowledge, reduce the duplication of efforts, and ultimately provide customers with more accurate, more consistent, and faster results. » Read more

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Six ways to build a solid community

Recently, fellow opensource.com writer Chris Grams remarked that our collection of articles and tips on community-building was getting rather large. Perhaps we had the material to write a set of best practices for building communities. So here’s my stab at it. » Read more

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Studio H: A real-world experiment in design-based education

As 2010 comes to a close, I thought I'd write my last post of the year about a project that has really moved and inspired me. The project is called Studio H, and is the brainchild of two brilliant designers, Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller, who have found a new calling as teachers in one of the poorest, most rural counties in my home state of North Carolina. » Read more

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Discovering desire lines: How to break down barriers and let paths emerge

The story is told like this: A university constructs several new buildings on its campus. But rather than build sidewalks between buildings, they plant grass, let people walk, and wait. Pedestrians choose the most efficient paths--and over time the lines worn in the grass reveal where sidewalks should be.
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We work in public

My conversation with our newest MIX Maverick Andrew McAfee yielded all kinds of bracing insight when it comes to how we set strategy, structure work, unleash talent, and measure success. But I haven’t been able to shake one idea in particular he threw out at the end of our conversation as a provocation.

First, we spent a lot of time on how the job of a leader changes in a world that is increasingly open, powered by social technologies, and morphing at warp speed. Andrew calls this world Enterprise 2.0. In this world, says Andrew, “If you want good things to happen, get out of the way. Let people interact and collaborate and communicate in the ways that are most natural to them. Then your job as the leader of the organization is to simply put in place the environment that lets them do that, encourage them to do that, and then harvest the good stuff that comes from all of their interactions.” » Read more

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OpenIDEO: a new experiment in open innovation

This week, those smart folks over at IDEO launched a new project they are calling OpenIDEO. If you aren't familiar with IDEO yet, you should be—they are the poster children for design thinking specifically and 21st century innovation more generally. » Read more

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