Climate Change Design Thinking Workshop: A Powernoodle Success Story

Situation:

A diverse group of stakeholders came together to work through the first phase of a design thinking process to understand the behaviors that ‘climate-change-conscious’ people exhibit. The objective was to surface as many creative ideas and hear as many voices as possible, to ignite deep discussion and debate. 

Stakeholders:

Passion is ageless: From high school students to senior level executives with years of industry experience, 24 people came together to discuss and debate. Generations, locations, educational backgrounds, and areas of expertise differed throughout the group, bringing a diverse set of perspectives to the table.  

Stakeholders consisted of three core groups: 
Participants: Members of various communities with a general interest in the relationship between human behaviours and climate change. Responsible for participating in the discussion and working to identify the behaviours that climate-change conscious persons’ exhibit. 

Provocateurs: Responsible for kicking off discussion periods and facilitating the dialogue. Their objective was to challenge the group’s thinking and play the role of antagonist for the day. 

Listening Team: Responsible for capturing behaviors, thoughts, and key points that surfaced throughout the day. After the workshop, they were tasked with consolidating the data and deciding next steps. 

Approach:

This approach consisted of 2 phases; virtual engagement prior to the workshop, and the face-to-face workshop itself. 

Pre-workshop Thinking: In the week leading up to the workshop, participants engaged using the Powernoodle platform on their own time to introduce themselves to the group, and provide their initial thoughts on specific questions posed by the facilitators. This pre-work enabled stakeholders to share their concerns and beliefs in a safe virtual environment, setting the stage to jump into deep group discussion once meeting as a group.

Arriving prepared: Primed by meaningful pre-work, the group came together for a full day event consisting of 2 keynote speakers and 3 discussion periods ignited by the provocateurs. Participants and the Listening Team used Powernoodle throughout the day’s activities, to complement the live dialogue and discussion. It was used to capture insights and important take-aways, host sub-conversations, and stimulate deep discussion from the group which fed into the live discussion. 

Results:

Powerfully insightful: Over the course of the engagement, 24 stakeholders generated over 700 insights, and over 200 comments, which provided the Listening Team a tremendous amount of valuable data – in the unfiltered words of participants and provocateurs – to decide on next steps, and continue through the design thinking process.

Powerfully liberating: Gen Z’s and millennials started out the day by not talking much and only sharing their insights in Powernoodle. Once they realized their ideas were as valued as those of the boomers’, their confidence grew and they began engaging in the live conversation as well!

Feedback:

Powerfully effective: Participant feedback was very positive, with majority of stakeholders stating that this was their “most effective experience ever” in several areas:

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Powerfully igniting: Going into the event, there were skeptics who thought that the digital engagement would distract from the live dialogue and discussion, but participant and organizer feedback indicated the exact opposite- that Powernoodle in-fact ignited a lot of the live discussion. 

Participant feedback indicated that it gave everyone an equal opportunity to participate: “I loved it! I'm introvert and it made it easier for me to insert myself into the discussion”. Another stated that “It helped me to concentrate on what was being said. I need to do something with my hands to listen well!”

The event organizers “really enjoyed the de-centralized nature of capturing a digital record and me not having to write things on giant post-it notes during the session”, and noted that “It's the kind of tool that gets out of the way and lets the ideas come to the fore. It can provide a richer experience, which is hard to appreciate until you experience it.” 

Stay tuned for more as the group completes the second phase of the Design Thinking workshops.