Moderator at a design thinking workshop.

The Amsterdam Creative Industries Network had its fifth General Assembly on november 5th. A design thinking day with about 60 people and 13 moderators. I was one of them. I had the chance to join the moderator-team! A great (and long) day full of new methods, insights and contacts.

The day had a morning and an afternoon program. The first part was about the participants’ businesses: why do they exist, why do they get up every morning, what is their passion? How do they achieve their goal, with which methods? What is the output, what do they produce? They had to work with a canvas: the ‘Golden Circle’. A canvas where these questions could be answered. Quite difficult! Thinking about the essence of a company’s or your living is not easy. But thanks to question the moderators ask them, the participants managed to go back to their essence. Very interesting to see how their journey went during this session. A nice result.

The afternoon program wasn’t about the participants anymore, it was all about three subjects: health, climate and people. And it was about one street in Amsterdam: Wibautstraat. Three clients came with a problem, looking for new ideas, new concepts. Six teams: working each on one problem. A kind of competition since the client had to choose which of the two teams working of his/her problem had the ‘best’ idea. At the end of the day, the winning team was chosen by a jury and their idea got a budget so it could become a real project with business plan and all. One tool used during this session was ‘Today’s Tweet’. It’s about thinking of the tweet you could write tomorrow (the day after you find this great concept), in the near future (when you achieve a milestone) and at the end of your project (when you achieved your goal). It’s a tool to think about how you communicate the concept/goal to the world. Who’s going to tweet about it? How? Picture, short movie, quote? And should it be funny, serious, exciting?

The team that won? ‘Sponge’. The problem was about making the Wibautstraat more rainproof. They want to give out 10.000 sponges to the residents. Why? Sponge absorbs water, why not use it in the infrastructures of the street? A competition can be hold: the residents can post pictures about the sponge they got to show where it should be used. New buildings are going to build in the street, maybe sponge can be incorporate into the concepts? A project I’d like to follow up to see what the results will be. From a design thinking day, to an idea, to a concept that can be realised.