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

Design Principles


Let’s maximize resources
During our research, there was a rich discussion about how parents in low-income areas often have unstable livelihoods and many competing demands on their time. For example, women who work in markets often have to take their young children along with them. How can we design solutions that acknowledge this reality and take advantage of the places, people and institutions that already play a significant role in their lives?
Let’s design for action
When it comes to early childhood, we know that there's a lot of information for parents to learn and keep track of, but that's only the first step. How might we develop tools that help parents use this knowledge in their daily interactions with their children? 
Let’s think about non-traditional implementers 
Examples from our research demonstrate that resources and programming that support early childhood development do not need to be provided in isolation. Instead, there may be opportunities to combine early childhood solutions with the delivery of other services or within existing supply chains. How can we keep an eye out for unusual but effective combinations of information and services? 
Let’s be culturally sensitive
People from around the world are participating in this challenge. Our research reminds us that parenthood can't be separated from the cultural context that families are a part of. While we know that some facts about health, brain development and hygiene are universal – the practices that support them don't have to look the same. How can the solutions we create fit into the different cultural contexts that we are designing for?

Let’s start small but think about scale
While we definitely want to consider the elements of an idea that can easily and quickly be tested in the real world, we also want to keep an eye on the bigger picture. Which pieces of your idea can be scaled and adapted to other communities and which pieces of will always need to be tailored to the local context? 

Let’s leverage the talents of others
Human centered design is all about incorporating a wide range of perspectives, skills and resources. In the Ideas phase, we'll be asking about what support the OpenIDEO community can provide. Could an engineer help with an idea designed to foster creativity? Could a graphic designer help create a diagram to explain your idea? Consider  assembling teams to strengthen your ideas.
Inspired to contribute your idea? Join us in the Ideas Phase