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The twice annual Social Innovation Summit which takes place in Washington, DC and Silicon Valley is an event that you shouldn’t miss, as it represents a global convening of black swans and wayward thinkers. Not only has it helped explore the next big idea, but to build it.

What I didn’t miss and my favorite part of the summit, is the design thinking workshop for Social Innovation.

Why?

My experience before Atlas Corps fellowship focused on community-based participatory governance and development, which involves a lot of interactive workshops by using many meeting methodologies such as Open Space, World Café, Consensus Conference Methods, and future Search Conference etc., to get people organized and help them solve their own problems by themselves.

All of those meeting methodologies were invented in the U.S and European countries such as Germany. While what confused me was that I’ve never seen them used in any events that I’ve been to during my fellowship until I participated in the design thinking workshop.

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Through storytelling, interview, feedback, and brainstorm, design thinking helps people/organizations understand the issues and find out solutions and suggestions of each other in a short period of time. Just in less than 40 minutes, a participant and I shared our work projects and made suggestions to each other.

I was so excited to be sitting and talking in one of the groups with colorful tools and participants. I always believe that interactive workshops are the best format of meetings to help participants share ideas and inspire one another. As they are the real experts.

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