The challenges that governments, business owners and communities are facing due to COVID19 cannot be solved with existing strategies and management. As a framework for innovation, Design Thinking can assist both the private and public sector in tackling both small – and large-scale issues, such as those we are now facing. This is particularly important in a country like South Africa, where traditional public service processes can take years to design and implement viable solutions (at which point, they are often no longer relevant).
Design Thinking offers a different paradigm for complex problem solving that takes a human-centred approach. Ensuring that solutions are developed with and around the people involved, Design Thinking first seeks to understand their needs, motivations, frustrations and behaviours. With this understanding, the team then takes an iterative, learn-as-you-go approach to build the best solutions to meet the users’ needs.
When working to create a lasting social impact project, one should consider the following criteria:
- Community – enriching those around you
- Ecology – not harming, but rather benefitting the planet
- Dignity – valuing and respecting people and ensuring they feel a sense of worth
- Profitability – the ability to make money
Using Design Thinking, we can create high-impact solutions that address all 4 of these criteria.
Design Thinking In Action
To help empower and encourage entrepreneurs and SMEs in creating innovative change for a post-COVID world, we recently launched a collaboration with The Craft and Design Institute (CDI), a non-profit company, and the City of Cape Town to launch the Re:solve Challenge. Fifteen teams or individuals will have the opportunity to build and prototype their business idea with the help of highly skilled business consultants, design-thinking facilitators, product developers, and creative experts.
The four-month programme will focus on uplifting local entrepreneurs who seek to solve current issues in transport, hygiene, food, security, education, medical care, retail and micro-enterprises.
Impact Week – SouthAfricaVsCOVID19
RE:solve followed shortly after our recent partnership with Impact Week, which also called young creatives from all over the world to solve COVID-related challenges using human-centred design toolkits.