OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Where did all the dads go?

Why are fathers so absent during such a formative time of their baby's life?

Photo of Sam
3 2

Written by

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

There could be a number reasons including individual and cultural values, gender roles in a relationship, financial practicalities (salary discrepancies between men & women), support networks & systems, work place & public policies. As a father myself, my experience was very different from what I imagined. The biggest surprise, were the barriers that prevented my wife & I from working as a team.

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

Fathers (The Unusual Suspect) play a hugely important role in supporting the mother. This is especially true for those who have no network of support (in my case, as a result of elderly grandparents, geographically distant extended family and financially restricted access to childcare). It is also a time when you are establishing and shaping a critical lifelong relationship with your child.

Tell us about yourself:

Designer at the Government of Alberta. I have 3 little boys.

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No

This inspired (1)

The Fatherhood Project


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Sam!

There is 1 week left to submit ideas to the New Life Challenge. It would be great to see you and your ideas there.

The deadline for idea submission is Sunday at 3 pm PST on September 24.

Please email me if you have any questions -

View all comments