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Featured Ideator: Hao Dinh

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Hao Dinh, a self confessed experience junkie, was born in Vietnam and currently lives in North Carolina. We've selected him to work alongside our OpenIDEO Team for the next few months as our Challenge Community Champion. Hao has worked across the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia in the financial services sector, energy segment, extreme sports arena and entertainment industry – performing various roles such as a financial auditor, IT manager, product development leader and his favorite job, as a professional skateboarder. He is passionate about nurturing his creative confidence and utilising innovation to solve complex issues. Hao is currently spearheading an initiative to transform GE, where he works, into an innovation powerhouse. Additionally, he has started a non-profit called Grow by Design that is focused on helping K-12 students nurture their creative skills and spark their innovative fire.


What first drew you to get involved in OpenIDEO?                                            

The opportunity to partner with OpenIDEATORS from around the globe to collaborate on solving social issues was the main driver for me to participate. I also wanted the chance to learn more about the design thinking process and an IDEO-led venture seemed like a great way to do this.


And how's the ride been so far?
My experiences with OpenIDEO have been extremely rewarding. During the Connecting Communities Challenge, I partnered with OpenIDEO collaborators from three countries and five states within the US to develop the Dish In – Dish Out (Potluck for a Cause) winning concept. What a great journey! During the challenge I learned how to effectively work with people virtually, led inspiring OpenSTORM sessions and gained experience using OpenIDEO principles and tools that help drive innovation. I am still in contact with some of the team members as we all further develop our creative confidence. I’m looking forward to leveraging my awesome experiences in my upcoming role as the next Challenge Community Champion.
What relevant passions, skills & experience do you have to be our next Challenge Community Champion?
I’ve personally experienced the power of finding one’s creative confidence and how that self-assurance can help you grow personally and professionally.
Two years ago, I was exposed to the design thinking framework which includes inspiration, collaboration, rapid prototyping and refinement to help develop innovative ideas to solve complex issues. (aligned to OpenIDEO’s own process: Inspiration, Ideas, Refinement, Evaluation and Realisation) I’ve successfully partnered with peers in using the design thinking approach to help generate revenue for a struggling Fortune 10 business, improve sustainability efforts at a local university and a Fortune 10 firm and help K12 students build their creative confidence.
Every discussion I’ve had relating to helping children develop their skills of creativity and innovation have ended with parents, students, colleagues and friends stating that nurturing these skills is critical for a child’s success. My goal, purpose and drive, as the Challenge Community Champion, is to be a creative confidence evangelist who will passionately support the OpenIDEO community as they think insanely outside-the-box to generate awesome solutions.
Do you have any advice for newcomers to OpenIDEO?
Bring an open mind to the challenge – there are no bad ideas
Invite friends/colleagues/family to the challenge – the more diverse ideas generated, the better the solutions
Learning from others plus building off ideas and discussions generates fresh thinking
Make the most of the opportunity to experience the OpenIDEO process  (Inspiration, Ideas, Refinement, Evaluation, Realisation) since this framework can be used in many solution-seeking situations – both professional and personal
Build connections with fellow OpenIDEO collaborators – an inspiring global   network of people who want to make a difference
Have fun – creativity blossoms when people are happy in what they are doing!
What are your future plans around design + social impact?
Further developing my creative and innovative skills is paramount. I’m particularly interested in utilising these new capabilities to help solve local social issues.
I plan to take my social startup, Grow by Design, to the next level. Today, it focuses on providing services and tools to help K-12 students nurture their creative confidence and kickstart their innovative zeal. We’re also exploring how we can develop curriculums and programs to assist university students, corporations and industries in finding their creative and innovative powers. Grow By Designs’s long-term goal is to use the approach of design thinking to bring together students of all ages and companies from various industries to collaborate on solving social issues relevant to their environments.
I'm also pumped to be the Creative Confidence Challenge Community Champion – and look forward to seeing you there!
Hao's Community Champion posts:




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Further developing my creative and innovative skills is paramount. I’m particularly interested in utilising these new capabilities to help solve local social issues: super smash flash 2