P A R S O N S
Design Research Handbook
Conditions for collaboration to leverage diversity
John Yohan John Sergio Venegas Gamboa
Ta b l e o f Contents
E xe c u t i v e Summary
It is becoming more and more difficult to ignore the complex global challenges that surround us today. The effects of climate change, social and political polarization, economic and cultural marginalization, are now closer to our doorsteps than ever before. These are complex challenges that seem impossible to solve. Tackling such wicked problems require the coming together of actors from diverse fields, disciplines and backgrounds, to pool knowledge and resources and work towards solving various parts of a complex system.
What is the role of a designer in such a society? Over the past few decades we have seen â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;designâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; evolve from a craft to a practice to now, a mode of strategic thinking across sectors. Thinking through the frame of design requires mastering the art of deep listening to uncover unmet human needs, a creative outlook to prototype, test and develop solutions that address those needs and a drive of perfectionism for constant improvement. More importantly, designers are trained to suspend disbelief, break present paradigms, look over the edge and identify behavioral and cultural shifts required to create the futures that we aspire to live in. Therefore as designers, we are equipped to facilitate the coming together of diverse entities, shape collaboration and nudge interactions towards a more human(ity) centered approach.
Additionally, the advances in technology allow us to move forward from designing static artifacts to designing dynamic learning systems that constantly improve and benefit a wide range of people. To take a step towards this direction, it is essential that we first understand the conditions that foster such collaboration. Why are some communities more collaborative than others? Why are some organizations successful at leveraging diversity than others? How does our dynamics respond to shifts in circumstances and environments? These are just a few questions that inspired us to embark on a 15 week journey of design research. This book will take you through a study conducted with a wide range of individuals who have shaped and participated in collaborative groups across 17 countries, representing perspectives from the corporate sector, educational institutes, nonprofit organizations, government departments, international organizations and local, community groups. These insights collected from surveys and in-depth interviews, augmented with personal experiments and observations revealed 3 recurring challenges that hinder collaboration. Furthermore, the study also revealed a set of conditions that were important to overcome each of these challenges and foster effective collaboration.
The aim of this book is to inspire a n d k i c ko f f a c o n v e r s a t i o n a r o u n d the challenges and conditions for collaboration . We hope to invite practitioners in this field to share their ex p e r i e n c e s a n d h e l p g r o w a n d e v o l v e t h i s body of knowledge.
JOHN YOHAN JOHN Having grown up in multiple places across three different countries, making sense of communities and their cultural dynamics, has not just been a fascination but also a way of better understanding myself. My experience as a strategist in India taught me that culture is what unifies diverse groups of people, and the ability to decode culture can help better understand behaviours. The devastating floods in my hometown of Kerala in 2018, followed by the tremendous social cohesion in rebuilding the state, gave me a first hand account of what collaborative communities might look like. That experience led me to explore the conditions that help activate this underutilized capacity of communities.
SERGIO VENEGAS Being from Costa Rica, I take my countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motto, Pura Vida*, and try to apply it to all the projects I take on. My previous experiences in supply chain innovation at P&G and newly acquired strategic design experience at The Future Company has led me to develop an appetite for human(ity) centered design. I am also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and LGBT rights. Throughout my professional experiences I have faced many formal and informal facilitation spaces, both as the facilitator and the participant. I have experienced first hand the complexities of achieving collaboration while working with diverse groups, but also seen the tremendous power of such diversity to bring about novel solutions.
HOW MIGHT WE BRING PEOPLE
HOW MIGHT WE IMPROVE OUR FA-
WITHIN A COMMUNITY TOGETHER,
CILITATION PRACTICES TO LEVERAGE
COLLABORATE AND DRIVE SOCIAL
THE DIVERSITY WITHIN OUR GROUPS,
TEAMS OR ORGANIZATIONS? * Pura Vida is among other things, a symbol of the sim-
plicity of a good life.
JOINT EXPLORATION After spending a few weeks scratching the surface of these two topics separately, it became evident to us that both of these topics share similar underlying themes and patterns. It dawned upon us that regardless of the setting i.e leveraging diversity in organizations or building participatory practices in communities, the conditions that activate people to participate and collaborate stem from basic human factors. Therefore midway through our research, we took the decision to combine our study into...
U N D E R S TA N D I N G T H E C O N D I T I O N S T H AT B R I N G D I V E R S E P E O P L E TO G E T H E R TO W O R K TO WA R D S A C O M M O N O B J E C T I V E
Context C O L L A B O R AT I O N A M O N G S T D I V E R S E A N D R E M OT E E N T I T I E S
This challenge is situated through two contextual lenses: 1) Work teams / Organizations 2) Communities
C o n t ex t WORK TEAMS/ O R G A N I Z AT I O N S
Picture this. It’s Monday morning, you arrive at your organization to meet up with your team about an upcoming project. Your team is composed of mostly multicultural people, it is gender balanced, and with equal representation of multiple racial groups that have been usually underrepresented in the past. Not only that but in your team, there are people from different generations and many different walks of life, some are freelancers and others external contractors. Your organization functions in a more agile and less hierarchical model. And yes, your team is not only expected to deal with the complexity of your project but also to deliver novel ideas. This hypothetical team is not far from the reality of many organizations today. In the last years, studies such as Deloitte Global Human Capital trends and others, have pointed out these changing trends in the organization landscape. The nature of the external environment and rapid transformation from technological advances are, as the Deloitte’s 2018 Report1 explains, demanding “an unprecedented level of cross-functional vision, connectivity, and collaboration” with the challenge being “how to appropriately address each individual’s preferences and priorities while engaging with a more diverse set of workers and workforce segments than ever before”. Along with these statistical trends, we also see new organizations being created to solve complex societal challenges, that by the same nature of their work require as well unprecedented levels of diversity and collaboration in their teams. 1 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2018, https:// www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends. html
The nature of complex, or wicked problems, calls more diverse teams to solve them. Paul Polman, from Unilever, once noted that “the issues we face are so big and so challenging that we can not do it alone, there are a certain humility and recognition that we need to invite other people in”. Crafting diverse teams is vital for the ability to solve complex issues, however as Edmonson, A. & Harvey, J.2, two organizational scientists from Harvard, had pointed out...
“ h o w d i v e r s e ex p e r t s c o m e t o g e t h e r, o v e r c o m e differences of understanding and create value, remain in need of both theoretical and practical advances. Pursuing these advances is both d a u n t i n g a n d w o r t h w h i l e”. In pursuing a practical advance in this areas, we crafted an initial hypothesis on the role of facilitation when it comes to effective collaboration amongst diverse teams. As Brandon Klein argues in his recent article for Fast Company3, “facilitation is becoming an even more important job skill going forward because organizations will need people who know how to harness all that diversity of thought and channel it productively”.
2 Edmondson, A.C., & Harvey, J.-F., Cross-boundary teaming for innovation: Integrating research on teams and knowledge in organizations, Human Resource Management Review (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2017.03.002
3 Fast Company, Retrieved from https://amp.fastcompany.com/40467377/what-facilitation-really-means-
C o n t ex t
In a recent study published in Organization Science1, Sujin Jang was able to demonstrate that culturally diverse teams can help deliver more creative outcomes in today’s organizations. However, as Jang points out, “it is not enough to simply bring together people from different cultures and expect them to produce creative outcomes… it is critical to have at least one multicultural insider or outsider in the group”. These insider/outsider roles are what Jang identify as cultural brokers or those facilitating interactions across parties with different backgrounds. Even 4 Sujin Jang (2017) Cultural Brokerage and Creative Performance in Multicultural Teams. Organization Science 28(6):993-1009. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2017.1162
though the study was conducted on cultural diversity alone, the parallels with other types of diversity could help inform the importance of effective facilitation to enable collaboration in diverse teams. So one of the initial questions was, how might we improve group facilitation as a driver for collaboration in increasingly complex and diverse groups? This exploration aimed to unveil insights that ultimately will help draft new ideas that will reshape the way we facilitate collaboration today and move us a step closer to a truly inclusive model of collaboration.
Ethical and Regulatory Context There are many potential areas of opportunity in an ethical and regulatory context of collaboration in diverse teams and organizations. Here are some areas worth exploring:
Generating more affirmative and novel ways for hiring and bringing onboard women and minorities that are currently underrepresented in the organizations. This also represents a great opportunity for companies/organizations to move beyond the traditional anti-discrimination training and to be more intentional in the integration of diversity in the core of the organization design. In other words, moving from helping diverse minorities adopt to corporate setting to create an organization settings, that is designed with diversity and inclusion at its core.
Once we are able to create a truly diverse group of people and craft the facilitation that is required for such a group of people to have novel outcomes, one should expect to face the question of ownership and appropriation of the innovation.
HR Data Technologies The digital arena, particularly that related to HR data technologies, is the area with the least legal regulation and understanding, which accounts for an opportunity in itself as to understand the implications of all the data that current organizations have and how it can be leveraged to improve collaboration.
The big opportunity is to explore the more non-traditional ways in which that outcome can be achieved, such as the application of creative commons. However, a more interesting opportunity lies within the exploration of new figures such as the joint inventorship for patent registration, or the Private-Collective Innovation (PCI) case of the U.K to identify ways in which the collective inventions can be used for commercial purposes to generate more financially sustainable business models.
C o n t ex t COMMUNITIES
Randall L. Schweller, professor of political science at The Ohio State University, once stated that our geopolitical society has moved from the age of order to the age of entropy. In an article written in 2014, he predicts that our future will be characterized by disorder and that in this future “..threats are much more likely to be cold than hot; danger will come less frequently in the form of shooting wars among great powers than diffuse disagreements over geopolitical, monetary, trade, and environmental issues. Problems and crises will arise more frequently and, when they do, will be resolved less cooperatively.”1 Polarization is undoubtedly amongst the biggest hindrances to the sustainable development in our present society. It is a common sight to see this rift between homogenous groups around the world, organized around a common ideologies and beliefs and with a desire for larger societal conformity. The narratives formed by these groups of like minded people generally lack diversity of thought and the general ability to understand other worldviews. This ‘groupthink’ phenomenon leads to irrational and often disastrous outcomes. We see the same trend in our online communities as well, we connect and interact with people who share our views. Algorithms and personalized searches have been amplifying this rift by intellectually isolating communities in an online echo chamber. However, none of this is to suggest that we face a bleak future. 1 “The Age of Entropy, or Why the New World Order Won’t be Orderly ....” 7 Jul. 2014, https://www.press.jhu.edu/news/blog/ageentropy-or-why-new-world-order-won%E2%80%99t-be-orderly. Accessed 11 Nov. 2018.
“C r e a t i n g o r d e r f r o m d i s o r d e r is, after all, humankind’s most essential and ubiquitous t a s k ” 1. We have been seeing a gradual rise in design efforts that seek to create order from the prevailing disorder. OpenMind2, for instance is a program, designed to bring people from various backgrounds and political orientations together in an effort to reduce polarization and to increase mutual understanding. The program takes community members on a five-step journey that prepares them emotionally, psychologically, and practically for constructive engagement across differences. In response to the growing polarization due to the dissemination of distorted facts through media networks, a global network journalists, editors, fact-checkers, designers, developers and others got together to build Civil3. A communitymanaged network for trustworthy and sustainable journalism. Run on blockchain technology, Civil is designed to serve the purpose of providing citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing, establishing conditions that minimizes interferences from external interests that influence the distortion of true facts.
2 “OpenMind.” https://openmindplatform.org/. Accessed 11 Nov. 2018.
3 “Partners - Civil.” https://civil.co/partners/. Accessed 11 Nov. 2018.
C o n t ex t
Design can also help us reduce the polarization in our online public discourse. Brooklyn based startup Kialo, has built a platform that fosters thoughtful discussions, where various points of views are neatly laid-out and eventually help us in collaborative decision making. It goes without saying that communities that are collaborative can be a powerful alternative to traditional centralized mechanisms for effecting change. The key challenge faced by centralized structures lie in their inefficient flow of information back and forth from the center i.e a delayed dissemination of ideas and innovations, while also receiving delayed responses through their feedback loops.
Porto Alegre in Brazil, on the other hand, is a great example of a collaborative community. In 1989 the city adopted a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;participatory budgetingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach to improve the overall quality of life and health of its residents. This decentralized, collaborative approach has helped result in key infrastructural development and reduction in poverty rates. By virtue of being free from organizational silos and decision making hierarchies, communities such as Porto Alegre tend to be highly adaptive, creative and sustainable. We have seen the trend of decentralization take multiple forms in our society, reshaping our communication platforms, information distribution systems and governance structures (Holocracy , Sociocracy 3.0 and CONE Network.)
How Might We... ... facilitate such collaboration within complex and diverse communities? ... create safe spaces in communities where its members can freely interact with each other, cross-fertilize ideas and collectively develop new bodies of knowledge?
Research RESEARCH QUESTION RESEARCH PROCESS
H O W D O W E B R I N G TO G E T H E R P E O P L E F RO M D I V E R S E B A C K G R O U N D S , A N D A C T I VAT E T H E M TO W O R K TO WA R D S A C O M M O N O B J E C T I V E ?
• • • • • • •
Video footage watched
Journals Case studies Research studies Opinion pieces Books News articles Toolkits
Designing a workshop for The Global Collective; a participatory volunteer group run by design students from the New School along with Syrian and Afghani refugee women in Berlin. â&#x20AC;˘
Aim: To build a rapport between
Outcome: Our focus was to use this activity as a first
the two teams i.e design students in
step towards opening up and gradually building trust
New York and the refugee women
between both teams. We designed a storytelling
in Berlin that are separated by
workshop that highlighted past experiences that were
geography, culture, age and context.
common to all participants. This activity was designed to establish an authentic connection between the teams.
Chetan Bisht Community Organizer, Artisans in Katmandu
Akanksha Babbar Research Advisor, Dasra Adolocence Collaborative
Countries 35-40 40 +
Prefer not to answer
Isabella Gady Design Facilitator, United Nations Fund for Gender 48 Equality
Prefer not to answer
6.7% 8.9% 25-29 43.3%
35-40 40 +
Male Prefer not to answer
Prefer not to answer
Anaitha Singh Community Manager, Clinton Health Access Initiative
Male Prefer not to answer
Lara Galinsky Purpose & leadership coach, The Future Project
Chip Massey Ex - Hostage Negotiator, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Kathi Hendrik Director of Business Design & Ventures, Peer Insights
Jimmy Hagan Strategic Design Facilitator, New School
Sector Corporate Education Non-pro t Government / International Org Local/communal organization Other
Kathy Jourdain Co-Founder, Worldview Intelligence, Practitioner of the Art of Hosting
Stefani Hite Founder, Tigris Solutions
Mike Ritzius Associate Director, New Jersey Education Association
Insights CONDITIONS & CHALLENGES D I G I TA L S PA C E S
Over the course of fifteen weeks, we observed that while bringing people together many facilitation activities struggled with building trust, developing empathy, or increasing participation.
Im pro v fee e skil db ls b ack y c fro olle c m the ting pa gen Dev rtic ui o peo ipa ne ple te time nts to b t . uild o crea te s trus t ah pace ead s of t for ime .
pride that develop Plan activities ants cip rti pa e th in and courage rship ne ow sk ke ta capacity to ta nts to a ip ic t r the pa share the w o ll A rs who ship. h othe take owner ct wit conne assion and p same ly tive inc eeds t s ts. o in n n wh oke pan ers unsp artici b p m me d the the age rstan ms of g n r E nde no u and
Be respec tful wit h form al leaders to gain buy-in; assure them that they still hold power.
gi ar L ve e ist th NO en em T to s a s ayi wh pa ng at ce (a pa to voi rtic ta din ip lk g an ab ) a ts ou nd ti t.
Pla n to a lo bu ng ild de term ep er enga rel we ati gem l c rep om on en ing Crea res sh t ent ips t atio by all e a se . n o owin nse f ev o ge f e ry c qua (inc Prio lud ult l r ure writ ing vid itize fac e o) ten e t o and (tex f a c t) co v e mm oice ov e unic atio r n.
, ants rticip rself. e pa to th and you isten ely l the room se Activ tho m e s of eed t to th en c y th nd rea ntif Ide oom a r he
Here we have identified six conditions from interviews, surveys, and observations conducted in different facilitation spaces (community organizations, corporate facilitators, conflict resolution mediators, and others).
us rio rs cu he ly ot ine he nu d t ge an Be rself ou ty ou ab
We identified some essential conditions that allow for people to come together regardless of their differences.
A s k po i unp nted qu rodu e ctiv stions e c onve to shift rsati ons. Cho and bu ose calming ild med setting s ita to m a n age pa tive activities rticipa nt stre ss. Find wa ys to ad ap t current tool & methods to s digital environ ment.
p ou gr e g th in of nd ers ersta es. b m d tic d me un ac an es ergy all ared d pr c i e o r sh an g v its en k. su s on En ve a tool str ipate dbac e ha he e s g t led dis â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fe of ow s and ther n k Ac nion ing o v i op invol by
This is meant to be an evolving visual to inspire facilitators to reflect and create these conditions in their daily practices using their current tools, frameworks, and technologies. The idea is to start a conversation that will help create a collective understanding of the conditions that bring us together to solve for our local and global challenge.
Be an example (model) for the behaviors you want see emerge in the participants.
Cont ro space l and use the p as a t hysic ool. al Care f u l l y ch que o s to s tions a ose op n urfa e ce u d trigg n ende e nde d rlyin r word s g fe ars.
or s t f rd en ua m ir g ol. on he ntr vir t co en rop de afe o d ce a s ts t to te an ng ea ip illi Cr rtic e w pa d b an
d homely warm an nts Design a for the participa ce experien as your guests) em (treat th
Make sure you show respect ing participants by explicitly invit ns. them to join the conversatio
Bu sit ild ua ac tio tiv n iti to es br th in at g pe sim op ula le te to cr ge isi th s er .
Context (in which the insight was found) Group/community Facilitation Facilitator Skills Digital Collaboration
TRUST â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How do you cultivate trust amongst a diverse cohort of participants who look, think, speak and behave differently from one another? When we trust someone, to a certain extent we are willing to rely on their ability and integrity to take an action that could potentially put us at risk. Trust is foundational to group collaboration, it creates a sense of safety and comfort that allow people to lower their guards. It enables teams to communicate openly and honestly and align around shared objectives.
Awareness Devote tim e to create people to spaces for build trust ahead of tim e.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;When things are going well and people are trusting each other and having fun structure tends to fade away and you have to go with the flow
Prioritize face-t o-face (including video ) and voice over written (text) co mmunication.
Amongst all the facilitators who we spoke to, 58% stated that enabling trust in was hard and/or very hard to achieve.
En h sur of ave e al th a s l m e t ha em oo re ls d u ber an n s o d de f t pr rs he ac ta tic nd gro es ing up .
r the el) fo (mod e emerge le p e m s exa ant Be an iors you w s. v nt beha participa in the
Control and use the physical space as a tool. Carefully choo se open ende d questions and trigger words to surface unde rlying fears.
“ Setting an example of what we are trying to do
was fantastic because it created some vulnerability, but that vulnerability led to trust.
ely s hom pant and artici ) p ts arm a w r the ues ign ur g e fo Des erienc as yo ct exp t them g espe a ow r ly invitin (tre u sh e yo explicit sations. r y e sur Mak ipants b e conve ic th part to join aders rmal le them with fo them that ectful Be resp uy-in; assure b to gain hold power. ll they sti
“There’s this deep hospitality that is engrained or felt on the people you are facilitating.
“You have to model it first.. but you don’t need
to model the end result, you need to model the connections building.
E M PAT H Y
Empathy is an emotional intelligence competency that allows you to view the world from another persons perspective. In groups, it builds the capacity to understand the many sides of a challenge, actively listen to different perspectives and collaborate with minimum friction.
, nts ipa elf. rtic rs pa you e the nd a os to m th m o en o of the r list d s to the ely ee ct tiv e n ea Ac th d r ify an nt m Ide e roo th
â&#x20AC;&#x153; How do you get participants with vastly different worldviews to empathize with each other and arrive at a shared understanding?â&#x20AC;? ab
t y Be ou ge rse nu lf a ine Lis nd ly c a giv re N ten th uri t et e o ou he OT sa o wh th s m a y er t i a s ng pa s pa ce (avoi rticip to din an tal t k a g) an s bo ut d it.
ly ive s ct ed s. n i e st n ant in n o oke ticip h w p r rs ns pa be he u the m f t e m nd s o ge rsta orm a n e g En und and
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have to be completely aware of myself and what impact I am having upon the world, without that, I cannot change my behaviors in ways that will drive people in other directions
Plan a to b long te uild r dee m enga per rela gemen tion t ship s. Create welco m a repres ing by allo sense of w entati on of e ing equal very c ulture
â&#x20AC;&#x153;They need to know each other because the abil-
ity for people to support each other in a facilitation, that is the magic we were talking about. The facilitation can foster the magic, but the magic are the people in the room.
Bu i situ ld ac atio tivit n t ies t o b ha Cr rin t sim e a gp pa te eo ulate an rtici a sa ple d b pa fe tog crisis n e w ts en eth er. illi to viro ng dro nm to p t en ce he t f de ir or co gua nt rd ro s l.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Building empathy is very important, because it
allows to be more present in difficult or challenging moments when you are facilitating
“How do you activate task ownership and active participation ?”
Participation refers to those conditions that help individuals take action. The ultimate goal is to develop agency and accountability in the group.
tings Choose calming set e activities and build meditativ t stress. to manage participan ent tools apt curr ys to ad environment. Find wa ital ds to dig & metho
PA R T I C I PAT I O N
Impr ove s k feed ills by co back ll from ecting g en the p articip uine ants.
Awareness e prid s lop eve icipant d t a t s th he par nership e i t i v n t sk ow s to acti ge i ant e Plan coura take ta icip are th ip. t r and city to pa o sh rsh a e he cap h w t ers w own o l l A oth take ith and n tw nec passio n o c me sa
“A good facilitator need to be quick on their feet, they need to adapt to what’s happening in the room rapidly.
Insights Ask poi nte d que stio ns to shift unproductive conver sations.
nd y s a rg ce ene . i vo its ack ng e b rt o ipat eed e s iss ’s f dg d er le nd oth ow s a g kn on vin Ac pini vol o y in b
“You anticipate everyone’s needs before, down to the room set up, everything is vital.
“by listen I mean I can sense the things that are
happening in a room so that I can adjust either my behaviors or the approach or the space
D I G I TA L S PA C E S Our research also shone light on the dominance of digital collaboration spaces today. In fact the overall market for collaboration tools is projected to reach $8.4 billion by 20201.
“There is a need to develop technology designed for better human connection..
However, through our observations, interviews and experiments we were able to discover a hidden challenge faced by facilitators -
- Chip Massey
How do you create the optimum conditions for collaboration in digital spaces?
“Technology can help transcend conventional barriers of participation..
- Anaitha Singh
“Digital collaboration is more prevalent today
..and projected to dominate the way we collaborate in the future. - Kathy Jourdain
1 “Why have collaboration tools become so popular? - ClickZ.” 15 Nov. 2017, https://www. clickz.com/collaboration-tools-become-popular/202807/. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.
OUR D I G I TA L S PA C E S
For instance, to cultivate trust within an online group “How do you create a digital safe space that enables participants to be vulnerable to each other?, How do you create authentic connection between online participants?” “How would you pre-empt and be aware of the needs of the online group?” “How do you ensure that there is a common understanding between all participants?”
Opportunity E X P LO R AT I O N S PA C E
H O W D O W E M A K E O U R D I G I TA L C O L L A B O R AT I O N S PA C E S M O R E H U M A N ?
There is a big disconnect in the way we use our current collaboration tools than what is needed for people from diverse backgrounds to come together. While Face-to-face interactions are a lot better at bringing people together (creating trust, empathy, or increasing participation), technology helps us transcend traditional barriers of participation. How do we bridge this gap?
DESIGN DIRECTION E X P LO R AT I O N So back to our question, how do we make our digital collaboration spaces more human? Our initial directions were around: • • •
Building a more friendly digital collaboration tool Developing a framework for digital collaboration Creating a virtual reality led collaboration space that mimics physical interactions.
When we observed the current landscape of collaboration, we realized that what is missing is a cohesive unit binding these existing areas together and collectively define how to interact and integrate our technologies.
However, revisiting our interaction with various stakeholders in this space, we were able to arrive at three criterias that would guide us in exploring a direction.
With a high saturation of collaboration tools in the market, people were more keen on learning how to use their existing tools for better collaboration.
Rather than developing a standardized framework, people were more keen on learning how to adapt it to their context
And while virtual collaboration spaces were exciting, it was more important to create a safe space to experiment and learn how to better collaborate online before we get there.
CONCEPT E X P LO R AT I O N
A dynamic peer to peer learning platform for facilitators, Co:nexus aims to kick-off a global conversation to collectively humanize our digital collaboration spaces.
How does it work? Through an initial onboarding process, Co:nexus conducts a contextual inquiry by identifying the userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s domain of expertise, their current digital tools and the challenges that they face. Once onboarded, a set of conditions is provided to the user to overcome the challenge that they are facing. To further understand how to contextually adapt each condition to the challenge at hand, the user is invited to partake in one of three options for inspiration; An online discussion with other facilitators, similar case studies and a set of best practices. Members of the Co:nexus community are encouraged to share both their successes and failures on the platform for the benefit of the larger community.
Next Steps M OV I N G F O R WA R D
N ex t S t e p s
M OV I N G F O R WA R D, H E R E A R E S O M E Q U E S T I O N S T H AT W E W I L L B E LO O K I N G AT A N S W E R I N G
“How might we design a global (intercultural & multilanguage) community?” “How do you build a self-organized, self-regulating online community?” “What would a meaningful user experience look like in this space?” “What are other ways to approach this opportunity space?”
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