Human Centered Design

Lesson Seven. We underestimate the influence of our encouragement

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IMG_1687Crowdfunding might at first appear to be an exercise in raising money, but it has far greater utility to shape a conversation, test an idea, raise awareness, and build networks.

The willingness of people to support something that is risky and uncertain shows a real spirit of generosity. Without this support, together we could not have reached this point that has enabled us to look ahead to the journey that follows.

Every dollar raised has had a meaningful impact on this initiative. 137 supporters since 2010 have together contributed less than $12,000. This has been critical to develop this idea and commence the journey to this point. Every supporter deserves an individual special note of thanks here for making this possible.

More often than not, we underestimate the influence of our encouragement. Even seemingly insignificant actions such as ‘liking’ a post on Facebook, offering advice, or just checking in with a friendly word of encouragement, are all actions that have a big impact.

This might seem trivial, but it is not. More importantly. it shows that small interventions might be among those actions that are most important which we can do through our networks to improve the delivery of child survival. What are those interventions? The Design Forum will seek to identify those meaningful interventions that can lead to lasting impact.

Please, never underestimate the power of your encouragement. For everyone who played their role to date, thank you very much. Your support has had a huge impact on me personally, and together enabled us to weave this epic journey.

Lesson Six. Take the pressure off and change the conversation

Lesson Eight. Keep moving forward

Lesson Five. Get people to ask why

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IMG_1461Why is this stunt important at all? Why not just give up if it is too difficult in the face of another setback?

The universal response is that the stunt captures people’s imagination. The fact that it is difficult and we are now facing further setbacks is part of the narrative that captures the imagination. If we were to give up now, what would that say about our conviction that change is possible to improve the delivery of child survival?

The first question people always ask when the stunt is explained is: “why?”

This is a very important question for people to ask for opening a conversation. It is a question asking for motive. Through explaining the stunt, I have opened countless conversations about improving child survival because people are drawn to ask why I am doing the runs. Admittedly, a more substantial conversation is needed to improve the delivery of child survival, and this will be achieved through the series of Design Forum.

Many conversations are with people who have never really given much thought to the issue about child survival. Other conversations have enabled engagement with a thriving community of people already engaged in addressing issues related to child survival. Through generating interest from this stunt, the 10 City Bridge Run seeks to bridge these two groups during the series of Design Forum.

Opening the conversation is critical to having impact. The photo-essay of human bridges featured in the book ‘Life Bridge’ which crowdfunding to date has helped fund will further open this conversation as a segue between the running stunt and the Design Forum which follow. But first, we have to allow people to ask why.

Lesson Four. Lead by example by learning

Lesson Six. Take the pressure off and change the conversation

Lesson Four. Lead by example by learning

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IMG_0378Leading by example is not limited to being the tough guy that gets out in front. Feedback from others has shown me that stepping out into uncertainty and beginning this journey has provided inspiration for many.

This stunt is not really about achieving impressive physical feats through running long distances. Learning to embrace vulnerability by confronting fear, uncertainty, risk, failure are the things that inspire others.

This learning is important is because it emphasises the need to embrace a ‘beginners mind’ through a ‘Human Centered Design’ thinking process which will be required during the Design Forum to be open to new possibilities in asking ‘how might we use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival?’

Learning and innovation require us to make mistakes and sometimes to fail. It is ok to fall short, as long as we are trying with the conviction to keep moving forward. Learning how to try something new is the type of leading by example that is needed for this conversation, if we are to improve the delivery of child survival.