Map Your World

June 2012

Role: Design Strategist, Facilitator

The Challenge

The Revolutionary Optimists is a documentary about children living in the slums of Calcutta and how, with the support of an organization that gives them tools for change, they had a profound positive impact on their communities.

One of the key things the kids did was create the first map of their slum. This map of formerly unmarked alleyways allowed them, among other things, to organize comprehensive vaccine drives and locate open areas that could be turned into public spaces. In the process of mapping and changing their own towns they connected better with their communities and gained confidence that they could play a meaningful role in the larger world.

The award-winning documentary filmmakers were so struck by the power of mapmaking and what a profound impact this had on the children and their communities, that they decided to explore how more kids across the World could be empowered to create their own maps for change. They were looking for a way to scale this kind of effort using technology.

It was with this kernel of a project, named “Map Your World,” that they approached Hot Studio for help with the digital strategy.

The Impact

We worked with them to identify their goals,  name the problem they were trying to solve and envision what that solution would look like:

Who would be using the service? (Kids in the Third World only? Kids in one country? Educators? Parents?)

Which technologies should be used? (Cheap cellphones and off-the shelf mapping software? Smart phones and look into a partnership with Google? Printable templates?)

How would they track progress in collecting data?

How people would interact with a community data collection service?

How do we create a larger sense of community for kids in various communities working on various projects? (Could the kids in India offer support to kids in the US?)

When we finished, we had a very rough sketch of the key components of a system and a ballpark idea of the design and technology effort needed to get there.

The filmmakers used what they learned in the workshop to craft a proposal for Gates Foundation which led to them winning a sizable grant from the foundation.

Key Tools

Task Analysis

Customer Journey Mapping