Design for Diversity

Every organization – public agencies, small business, enterprises, non-profits and community groups – is challenged by diverse needs, complex problems, and confusing signals from the future that often don’t seem to form a clear pathway to success.

Learning organizations take advantage of diversity and complexity by valuing the strategic knowledge that is distributed across their network. Crucially, these organizations take advantage of the ‘wisdom at the edge of the crowd’ – the insights of those customers, clients, members or residents who are not successfully engaged with the common mission, program, or service.

These leading organizations don’t assume that experts know what to do – they use participatory design (often called ‘co-design’) to create more diverse (that is, inclusive) networks. And instead of making products and services to ‘deliver to’ users / clients / customers, they build platforms to enable all of their stakeholders connect with others to create their own value, according to their own needs and preferences.

These organizations know that a healthy network is the only sustainable strategy these days.

Look around this site to see how we apply inclusive design at the dynamic intersection service systems, open innovation, social change, and public policy.

Research & Evaluation

Design & Modeling


stakeholder engagement | customer discovery | public opinion & market research | strategic evaluation

participatory service design | business model innovation | knowledge-sharing communities | organizational learning

system change strategies | public policy innovation | advocacy & communications

Or find us on @TOjohnw or LinkedIn.

Sensitivity to context, to relationships, and to consequences are key aspects of the transition from mindless development to mindful design… Design mindfulness involves a determination to treat time, place, and cultural difference as positive values, not as obstacles.”        — John Thackara, In The Bubble: Designing in a Complex World (2006)cx997