Human-Centered Story Telling
Opening the dialogue, and changing the narrative to open up the way we think about collaboration
Main stream media plays a pivotal role on what and how we think. When all we see on the news are U.S. shootings, we may think that the U.S. is plagued with danger. Today, we are almost unlimited in the amount of media we are exposed to, and anyone can be a "storyteller". We tell stories on youtube, on podcasts, and on the news. The problem is we tend to tell stories of us - ourselves and people like us.
There is little diversity in mainstream media and when there is, we often misconstrue the stories of others - these are stories of people foreign to us, unfamiliar, and seemingly distant. When we misconstrue stories, we do ourselves and others a disservice. The way we can combat prejudice and incorrect preconceptions is through human-centered story telling.
Human-centered story telling gives us the opportunity to step into the lives of others as equals and active participants from all sides. It is then that we can collaborate openly. By immersing ourselves in new places and leveling ourselves with active participants, we can open up path towards more progressive open innovation.
Global Network of Local Networks
Global ideas for local innovation
Media crosses borders and boundaries and has brought to our attention new topics and opened up conversations we may not have had. OpenIDEO has been a beautiful platform for sharing and bringing to our attention issues we may not have known or have ever thought about.
OpenIDEO encouraged me to further explore sustainable change in a global scale. This led me to a media project hosted by Designing for Social Innovation Leadership Global (DSIL) accredited by the United Nations-mandated University for Peace taking place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in conjunction with Studio DíLITT and Sarus Exchange Program. This project brought together social innovators from around the globe in a multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-generational cohort.
We came from different places, united in an effort to authentically share our stories, and the stories of local Cambodians. The result was an active participation from both sides in creating a story that would have otherwise been overlooked or inauthentic. Because of OpenIDEO and DSIL, my network and resources for social innovation has grown tremendously.
Open Collaboration to save the world
Open Collaboration for Open Innovation
Media today very rarely covers every-day stories that aren't as exciting, or success stories that don't seem as important, when those are the stories we actually need to be seeing. If necessity is the mother of invention, we must be overlooking possible inventions and innovation across the globe!
In her article, Why the Next Generation of Designers Will Save the World, Courtney Lawrence, DSIL founding director, sites that 80% of the global population live on less than $10.00 a day; that 40% of the global population lack access to sanitation services, and that 60% of the global population do not have internet connectivity, with 90% of them living in developing countries.
Most of us reading this probably have no idea how that feels. Lawrence designed the Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership (DSIL) program in anticipation for the future of open collaboration and innovation requiring both field immersion as well as continual virtual connectivity. The new generation of designers will undoubtedly save the world, but how we define open collaboration and how we relate to others will determine the success for future innovation.
A field immersion is not a work trip and definitely not a vacation. Field immersions are intensive, and can be strenuous or uncomfortable. However, field immersions allow researchers to understand our active participants better. Field immersions that last at least a week allow us to live as our participants live and struggle with the same problems that they deal with, for at least a week.
In the duration of a week living as a local, we begin to understand the everydayness of living there. We begin to see how difficult it is to get cheap food or clean water; how difficult transportation may be or how lacking educational institutes are. The point of the field immersion is to gain insights from direct observation and bring that knowledge back to their organization. Researchers may gain insights that they would have missed and insights that even locals may have missed.
My hope for OpenIDEO is to allow for open applications to field immersions with the OpenIDEO team. When people from diverse backgrounds come together, we get a diverse range of solutions as evident on OpenIDEO.com. If field immersions bring researchers better perspective, then we should open that opportunity up just like OpenIDEO opened up for greater collaboration.
OpenIDEO has an active and engaged audience, and we should call on that audience to do more than just participate online. I believe that a large amount of OpenIDEO's audience would like the opportunity to travel, experience, and actively participate the OpenIDEO projects first hand. I believe that the audience would want to gain further knowledge on the matter, gain some new hard and soft skills, and be more comfortable working with international teams both virtually and in immersive settings.
Designing for Social Innovation (DSIL) is experienced in field immersive training programs, working with both educational institutes and non profits. DSIL in conjunction with Studio DíLITT and Sarus Exchange Program trains both local and international participants in locations across the globe so that the entire cohort gains experience working in multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-generational groups towards the single goal of creating lasting change through human-centered design and storytelling.
As a member of OpenIDEO, and alumni advisor of DSIL, an immersive training program for social innovation, my wish is for us to work together to capture both of our audiences and guide participants towards better understanding and further collaboration towards sustainable change. By working to both organizations strengths, we could give OpenIDEO's audience greater access to creating greater open innovation.