Design thinking + innovation

A week ago my colleague Gary and I went to Forum for the Future’s and IDEO’s i-team debrief at the Design Council on some of the work they’ve been doing with UK councils on using design thinking to address climate change. Intriguing and energizing – very much enjoyed the presentations by the council representatives, who were shifting Post-Its and throwing out “how might we”‘s like seasoned IDEOers.

My favorite take-away: “Pitch, don’t preach.”

The session was chaired by sustainable design and innovation expert John Thackara. I was so impressed by his chairing that I wanted to find out more, and realized he writes Doors of Perception (among other things). Delighted to find that he does not have formal design training – he studied philosophy (me too!).

John Thackara’s Power Laws of Innovation

Power Law 1: Don’t think “new product” – think social value.
Power Law 2: Think social value before “tech”.
Power Law 3: Enable human agency. Design people into situations, not out of them.
Power Law 4: Use, not own. Possession is old paradigm.
Power Law 5: Think P2P, not point-to-mass.
Power Law 6: Don’t think faster, think closer.
Power Law 7: Don’t start from zero. Re-mix what’s already out there.
Power Law 8: Connect the big and the small.
Power Law 9: Think whole systems (and new business models, too).
Power Law 10: Think open systems, not closed ones.

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