Social impact of knowledge-sharing

Nieuws | de redactie
4 augustus 2011 | Nederland Kennisland organized a Social Safari bringing together designers, entrepreneurs and other specialists. Their goal: tackling five social challenges with the help of design thinking and rapid prototyping.


The think tank Nederland Kennisland aims at making theNetherlands a better place to work, participate, study and live.Recently, it invited a number of innovators on a one week Social Safariin order to solve five problems put forward by organizations inAmsterdam.

27 participants from 12 different countries and professionalbackgrounds gathered. In their diversity they had one thing incommon: the desire to share their knowledge and expertise in orderto come up with real solutions.

Design thinking meets rapid prototyping

Two methodologies were key when the participants formed groupsand encountered their clients.

First of all, they employed design thinking to gain a goodunderstanding of the context of the challenge: what stakeholdersare involved? What are their motives? Being aware of this, creativesolutions would be designed around these insights.

Secondly, the social innovators from the Kennisland Safari usedrapid prototyping. This meant that after having worked out a firstdraft to tackle their challenge, each group had to encounter itsclient and act out a first couple of interventions.

Five challenges , interventions andoutcomes

Among the five challenges was the Stedelijk Museum who aims atattracting a greater, more international audience after itsupcoming reopening.  For them, an open model was put forward.This meant for instance using social media to build brandrecognition and engaging visitors by having them curate their ownexpositions.

The City of Amsterdam itself joined as well looking for asolution to foster courtesy, communication and interaction innightlife. This group suggested letting the square engage inconversations with people via Twitter (@talkingsquare), Facebook, and small eventsorganized on the squares themselves.

Another client was Doen Foundation which asked for a way toscale up its programs to reintegrate outsiders to society viaentrepreneurship, labor and education. Here, the Safari innovatorscreated a strategy to have different initiatives learn from oneanother and help sustaining their success with longer lastingsupport.

Moreover, Network Democracy took part in the Social Safari withthe goal to create an online platform that encourages and helpsinitiate democratic participation. The concept which was presentedafter one week involved an interactive crowd-funding website.

Finally, education advisors from ABC brought up the question ofhow to design primary schooling in a way that children withdifferent intellectual capacities can learn together. Regardingthis project, the innovators from the Social Safari put forward thecreation of teacher networks together with new concept schools fortrue tailored education.

In that sense, even though the groups were all working ondifferent assignments, all shared one component in theirinterventions: tapping into what is already there (unusedresources, enthusiastic communities) to solve a complexsituation.

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