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case study

Slc Human-Centered design

ROLE

Founder, Facilitator, Organizer

CCF

CLIENT

Public, SLC Gov, University of Utah

AGENCY

Introduction
The SLC Human-centered Design community, founded by Chris between 2016 and 2020, aimed to provide a platform for designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, managers, and consultants in Salt Lake City, Utah, to connect, practice, and learn new methods for creating and sustaining change through Design Thinking. The community conducted numerous public workshops and innovation challenges, fostering a safe environment for creative leaders to grow and develop their skills.

Human-centered design (HCD) is an approach to problem-solving and product development that places the needs and experiences of people, particularly end-users or customers, at the core of the design process. It involves understanding the everyday thinking, emotions, and behavior of users and actively involving them from the start of the design process. HCD seeks to empathize with users, identify their real needs and challenges, and create innovative solutions that address these needs effectively

 

The Problem

Before the establishment of the SLC Human-centered Design community in 2016, Salt Lake Valley lacked a design-inspired innovation program or community of practice for creative leaders. This absence meant that designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, managers, and consultants did not have a dedicated space to connect, practice, and learn new methods for creating and sustaining change. The absence of such a community limited opportunities for collaboration, skill development, and knowledge exchange in the region.

Why Was This A Problem

The absence of a human-centered design community in Salt Lake Valley posed several challenges for professionals and practitioners in the region. Without a platform for interaction and skill development, individuals lacked the opportunity to explore innovative solutions to complex challenges effectively. The absence of a community-led to limited creative confidence, reduced perspective diversity, and constrained impact.

Solution

The SLC Human-centered Design community, initiated by Chris, addressed the problem by providing a dynamic platform for creative leaders to engage in innovation challenges and workshops. The community tackled "big picture" challenges, such as healthcare, education, and government-related issues. Workshops offered opportunities to practice various design thinking methods, including Design Sprints, Liberating Structures, Gamestorming, Career Development, and Futures Thinking, among others.

The community's focus on fostering different perspectives and skill sets was instrumental in attracting over 1600 members. Participants joined the community with the common goal of personal and professional growth, seeking to enhance their creative confidence, influence, and impact. The community provided a supportive environment to help members develop new skills, drive innovative solutions, build bridges, and foster enjoyable interactions.

Outcomes:

As a result of the SLC Human-centered Design community's initiatives, several successful outcomes were achieved:

  1. Launch of New Community Initiatives: The community launched several new initiatives, with one of the most well-known being The New American Dream Lab (NADL). NADL empowered New Americans, including former refugees and immigrants in Salt Lake City, Utah, by providing them with entrepreneurial skills and a platform to present their businesses to a participating audience.

  2. Increased Community Engagement: The community's workshops, challenges, and events fostered increased community engagement among professionals, contributing to a sense of belonging and collaboration among participants.

  3. Innovation and Collaboration: By providing a safe and supportive environment, the SLC Human-centered Design community promoted innovation and collaboration. Participants were encouraged to explore and test creative solutions to complex challenges, resulting in practical and impactful outcomes.

Conclusion

The SLC Human-centered Design community, founded and hosted by Chris between 2016 and 2020, successfully addressed the absence of a design-inspired innovation program or community of practice in Salt Lake Valley. Through workshops and innovation challenges, the community provided creative leaders with opportunities to practice various design thinking methods and grow their skills. The community's focus on human-centered design principles, collaborative learning, and problem-solving led to several positive outcomes, including the launch of new community initiatives like The New American Dream Lab, increased community engagement, and the empowerment of New American entrepreneurs. By nurturing a culture of innovation and creativity, the SLC Human-centered Design community played a pivotal role in fostering positive change and social impact in the region.

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