The idea of designing products with the end user in mind isn’t a new concept. Yet, it seems to be the focus of a lot of conversations these days. This “new” trend, more formally known as design thinking, is changing the way businesses come up with solutions to specific problems. Some individuals have even gone as far to say that design thinking is the next liberal arts. Although some companies may hesitate to adopt it, design thinking has its fair share benefits.
At Imagine Creativity Center, we believe that now is the time for entrepreneurs, business people, engineers, and the broader community as a whole, to stop thinking and start doing.
We like to to refer to design thinking as design doing, and believe that it should be governed by the following principles:
- Everyone is creative: Many people assume they are not creative. They often equate creativity with the ability to pick up some colored pencils and draw. If there is one thing that these past eleven years has taught our company, it is that creativity isn’t just limited to a select few. Everyone has the innate ability to design and make something, whether it’s through words, pictures or numbers.
- Surround yourself with those that are different: Before introducing our dreamers to their challenge, we help organize them into teams. Never is one team alike. One time we had a lawyer, architect and blockchain expert on the same team. Another time we had a psychology graduate and two engineers. In design doing, we believe the more diversity the better. In each edition, we also organize visits for the dreamers to hear from a wide variety of top players in various industries. In our Silicon Valley 2016 edition, they met with executives from Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter, Ford and others.
- Share your ideas with others: The entrepreneur in you may be thinking, “But why? That sounds counterintuitive. They will steal my idea, unless I make them sign an NDA first.” Imagine believes that the only way to create projects that leave a lasting impact on the world is by collaborating together.
- Take risks: Design doing encourages you to reasonably think things out, but at the same time, not be afraid to try something new. Mark Zuckerberg said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. “
- Explore the possibilities: At the end of every one of our editions, we meet with the teams and discuss next steps. We talk about the dreamers’ goals and aspirations, the viability of turning the project into a startup, and the option of applying to different accelerators. We don’t just let projects die, unless we collectively decide that is what’s best.
In just 15 days, three of our teams traveled from Chile to Peru to Colombia and developed solutions to encourage the use of portable water, reduce violence against women and measure social impact. In just four days, teams traveled from Barcelona to Paris to London and developed projects related to fintech, smart cities and improving healthcare. You can spend time thinking about how you’ll make a difference, or you can actually make it. If you can dream it, you can do it.
Are you a doer? Are you ready to change the world? If so, be sure to visit imagine.cc and send in your application to participate in one of our upcoming editions. Have a question? Feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine Silicon Valley