Design Thinking for Social Innovation
by Gareth Wynne
Designers are increasingly using design tools to tackle some intractable social problems. “Social challenges require systemic solutions that are grounded in the client’s or customer’s needs. This is where many approaches founder, but it is where design thinking—a new approach to creating solutions—excels.”
Article (available here) describes consequences of flawed design to well-meaning community initiatives and introduces the notion of ‘positive deviance’ which relies on local expertise to uncover local solutions. Essentially positive deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviours and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing similar or worse challenges.