Tipping Point T Lab

February 2014

Role: Workshop Facilitator

The Challenge

T Lab is an initiative of the Tipping Point Community, dedicated to granting money to non-profits fighting poverty in the San Francisco bay area. T Lab’s inaugural group of 9 problem solvers are using a human-centered design approach to tackling affordable accessible child care, extending benefits of pre-K education to low-income children, and supporting prisoner re-entry into society. I had the pleasure of joining them in February to lead a half day workshop on business and financial models. Starting with the basic business model canvas, I added in six elements of importance to social innovators to consider. As part of the teaching team of Stanford Change Labs Large-Scale Sustainable Transformation Class in Spring 2013, I’d used this BMC hack and I wanted to iterate on it:

System Dynamics: What are the roles in play in the system you’re designing an intervention for? What are the system stuck points? What’s already working?

Capabilities: What existing capabilities can you leverage? Where can you co-design your intervention?

Behavior Change: What behavior(s) do you want to change? How will you do that?

Diffusion and Scale: How will your idea grow in the world? What type of diffusion or scale is appropriate?

Outcomes: What social, environmental and economic outcomes do you want to achieve?

Impact: What impact do you want to make?

We had a super productive afternoon working with the canvas. I encouraged them to use the canvas iteratively; going back to update it as they prototype, test and refine their interventions.

The Impact

It was the first time the teams had to think about a viable business model, and some were initially reticent, but each team finished the day with a first iteration of their canvas.

Key Tools


Curriculum Development