Catapult Labs

June 2014

Role: Workshop Facilitator

The Challenge

This was Catapult Design’s third annual Catapult Labs: design tools to spark social change.

What is Catapult Labs?

A full-day of inspiration and ideas through back-to-back hands on design workshops from leaders with experience integrating design into social change initiatives.

Who attends Catapult Labs?

Professionals in design, government, the public sector, non-profit leaders, social entrepreneurs, and students studying design, business, and global development.

Feedback from 2013

“I feel like I’ve met my peers and like I’m ready to shift gears in my career.”
“I feel empowered and inspired. Thank you!”
“Blown away by the amazing people and organizations I’ve met that are right in my neighborhood.”

Sarah Nelson and I co-facilitated a workshop: You want to work on our most pressing global issues like poverty, education, healthcare, climate change and water supply? These are complex predicaments that defy the problem/solution mindset prevalent in design today. A systems perspective allows us to see these complex challenges from multiple viewpoints that help us check our assumptions and reveal our own biases to open up a much richer set of possibilities for making the impact we want to make and the impact the system needs to have happen. In this hands-on workshop you will learn how to map & model systems and identify places where you can make meaningful interventions.

The Impact

We were happily surprised by the number of people who attended this session! Nearly 100 people broke into small groups of 6-8 and model physical systems, following a presentation on complex adaptive systems – and a system model example taken from Star Wars that served to get the creative energy flowing. Each group shared out about the system they’d chosen to model; what were it’s components, their relationships, and leverage points for creative interventions. We had a robust group discussion on the challenges of working on complex social change projects over long periods of time – what makes them different than designing apps and products for one discreet use. It was a fun, engaging workshop.

Key Tools

Public Speaking

System Modeling