Risky Business: Designing for a Culture of Collaboration + Innovation in Philanthropy
MA Design Systems
Funders in the US philanthropic sector have tremendous financial wealth, resources and power to impact systems change. They are also mostly risk averse and their preferred method is to work solo and stick to the standard. But how might we transform the culture and practices in philanthropy to better address both emergent challenges and root issues? My work and research examine the role of collaboration, risk and innovation (and their intrinsic connection) for funders working for social justice. I propose a human-centered, participatory-based design thinking approach to enable collaborative innovation and greater impact for the long haul.
As a design strategist, I focus on bringing creative strategies to my work and optimizing collective learning. I aim to curate inviting spaces and facilitate meaningful interactions to understand and explore challenges, and ideate on solutions in service of equity and justice. I use design research and other design methods to realize dynamic collaborations for innovative solutions.
My thesis project is a culmination of my work in the philanthropic sector which can fill a unique position in supporting systems change and community building for social justice. A key component of the work is to interrogate the role of risk in learning, experimenting and innovating.