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Inclusive Design - a people centered strategy for innovation

A practical introduction to Inclusive Design for Businesses & Designers - how to get started!

Descriptions of the Workshops 2014

What is missing from many design, research or development processes? What can make you more competitive and creative? How can you better understand what your users and customers want?

Find the answers at a two-day event delivering Executive Education for you in Inclusive Design. This people-centred approach to innovation can play an important role in your professional development  whether you are a designer, architect, urban planner, educator, marketer or business person. The two workshops are lead by people with a collective experience of working with over 300 companies. They build on the thinking, methods and tools as described in the book Innovating with People - The Business of Inclusive Design. One workshop focuses on giving you a practical grounding in Inclusive Design. The other looks at the barriers and benefits of embedding it in the corporate space.

Workshop 1: Bringing it to the Boardroom - a strategic approach to Inclusive Design

This workshop demonstrates the value of inclusive design as a simple, effective strategy for innovation. It outlines the benefits of a people-centred approach and will be relevant for anyone involved in strategic processes and decision making when developing products, services and environments – not just for designers! Inclusive design can help enterprises and individuals to identify unmet needs and define problems to solve. In a competitive and ever-changing environment where ‘community’, ‘co-design’ and ‘co-creation’ are becoming ever more important, this low-tech and low-cost strategy can enable you to innovate more quickly and better understand the perspectives of your clients and customers.  

The session will include international case studies showing how socially inclusive design is used globally – these include ‘sneak peeks’ at London’s Olympic Park, community initiatives, trains and hotels. We will outline how inclusive design has become an important business strategy – from management through to operational levels in organisations, in sectors that are Business-Driven, Public-Facing and Community-Centred.

This workshop is for you if you have ever asked one of the following questions:

  • How can I embed a people-centred approach within management and anchor it at strategic levels in my organization or within my client’s operation?
  • How can I ensure it becomes integrated with the overall business strategy?
  • How can an inclusive design approach be implemented at both decision-making and operational levels?  
  • How can I manage and develop a people-centred design strategy within my own organization and practice? 
  • I see the benefits of people-centred approach, but how do I demonstrate this to my customers, my boss or my colleagues?

A key challenge for people working with inclusive design is to convince others of the approach. Clients, colleagues, managers and co-workers often need to be shown its value regarding creative thinking and business development. This session aims to give you some tools and language to become an ‘inclusive design ambassador’. The session will be interactive, informative and inspiring … come prepared to understand barriers to inclusive design in organisations and then break them down!

The following topics will be covered:

  1. The role and value of inclusive design at management and operational levels.
  2. Using the language of inclusive design in the boardroom. Exploring tools, language and frameworks to develop a personal approach.
  3. Overcoming negative perceptions of inclusive design.
  4. Using inclusive design as a mediator discipline within a project or organisation for multi-disciplinary teams.
  5. Resources that you can use and start to benefit from immediately
  6. Learn from inspirational case studies from enterprises who have successfully integrated inclusive design in their business strategy.

Workshop 2: Inside and Out - a practical  approach to Inclusive Design

The workshop will give a basic outline of how to use inclusive design creatively including:

  • Why a people-centred approach is important especially for innovators
  • The challenges and rewards of working with people
  • Conducting one-to-one research with people
  • The link between inclusive design and ‘design thinking’
  • Tools and techniques to start using immediately

Design, when done inclusively, can save lives, save energy, save the environment, save money, save time, and improve our lives in ways many of us never consider. ‘Uninclusive’ design, of course, can have the opposite effect.

Historically the field of design has focused on the “thing.” Today, inclusive design encourages focus on the person. For many companies this transition necessitates a culture change that’s not always easy, or always successful. Many are adding designers to their workforce as “user experience centers” or “innovation centers” are all being created within company walls. It is important to consider the essential role that inclusive design can play as companies turn their innovation processes ‘inside out’ and bring users and designers into the organisation.

During this short workshop, we won’t exactly be saving the world – but we’ll start by looking at the positive change that a people-centred approach can bring. In order to innovate, many people look to “design thinking,” whilst this term has several interpretations, an underlying theme is a focus on the person, the customer being served, and this is central to inclusive design. The workshop will look at how inclusive design relates to design thinking, and will outline processes, methods and frameworks for you to apply.

One common trait among all successful companies, new or old, small or large, is that they know their customers. The most successful companies know their customers even better than their customers know themselves, and they consider them as individuals, not as a mass of people. Considering people on a one-to-one basis means that we design for a full spectrum of people, not simply the average. This requires that all departments within a company work together to nurture those relationships. In theory this sounds simple. In practice, it’s difficult.

This workshop will introduce you to topics surrounding that relationship – based on the principles and practice of inclusive design. We will also discuss a closely related topic – how design, by fully understanding people, can affect behaviour. That can open up significant opportunities in innovation in many product and service categories.  We’ll also discuss how, by focusing on the person, even disparate teams within an organization can come together for a common cause, and importantly, because the Innovation for All gathering is a chance to learn and work with others, we’ll include activities that will give you a chance to meet and work with other attendees, putting like minds together.