Session 4 The multi-method approach: applying design thinking and systems thinking

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In this fourth session we explore some key methods we employed in our Living Labs. Watch the following video for an overview of two of these before reading further.

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There are several methods that can be used to involve different stakeholders in the co-creation of innovative advisory services. We found the two widely used approaches provided the tools needed to develop our innovations and to consider the implications of what we did. The first approach is design thinking, which provided an iterative and structured process for developing a solution to a problem.

The second is systems thinking, which help you to look at the boundary of a problem, the connections between elements of the problem and solution, and the perspectives of the different stakeholders. This session explains how we used these two approaches in our six Living Labs.

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I briefly explained in Session 3 that there were three conceptual frameworks that we used to guide our actions – design thinking, systems thinking and reflexive monitoring. In each case there is a theoretical underpinning to them, but each is also very much about providing tools and techniques to ensure effective practice in managing complex situations.

In this session I am going to look at the principles of design thinking and systems thinking and leave looking at reflexive monitoring until Session 6 (Session 5 looks at facilitating design thinking and system thinking tools and techniques – that is, putting them into practice).

But it is important to note that these three frameworks have been used in a reflective and complementary way and not simply as a toolbox – although each has provided useful tools and techniques to be used in the Living Labs.

Now go to the next section.

Design thinking