IDEO Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation

“The Design thinking process is best thought of as a system of overlapping spaces rather than a sequence of orderly steps.”
Tim Brown & Jocelyn Watt, Design Thinking for Social Innovation

Recently, I completed the +Acumen and IDEO course Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation with three recent graduates from DD27, Sarah Gillis, Denise Villanueva and Daniel Quintero.

For the seven-week course, our team tackled the design brief “How might we enable more young people to become social entrepreneurs?” We felt this topic was hyper-relevant to Vancouver’s entrepreneurial and start-up culture. Our team went through a rigorous UCD process that moved through the three spaces of Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation outlined by the IDEO.


We gained contextual insight through a solid foundation of user research. By speaking to a diverse group of users, entrepreneurs and experts we were able to drill down to some core values about entrepreneurship. And we had a lot of fun along the way.


In true UX fashion, making sense of our data involved some wall-space and a lot of stickies. After each stage we gained valuable insight through sorting, organizing and displaying our findings. As a team we discussed how to best move forward.

Research lead us to narrow down to two main opportunities:

How might we build safe environment that encourages Young Crafty Entrepreneurs to share ideas and support each others ventures?


How might we help Young Crafty Entrepreneurs establish their business through creating a business plan, including branding, marketing and financial strategy?


After walking through a wild and innovative ideation process, we concluded that the best way to help our target audience of Young Crafty Entrepreneurs (YCE) was a week at camp. Built on the idea of an intensive start-up incubator, we designed Camp Spark.


Using knowledge gained from user interviews, we built a full schedule for the week-long workshop. This promotional brochure and motion piece highlight our vision to help 19-25 year-olds design and launch their creative small businesses.


Camp Spark from Daniel Quintero on Vimeo.


Tri-Fold Brochure Cover


Tri-Fold Brochure Initial Spread


Tri-Fold Brochure Inside Spread

In total, the course was a nice affirmation and continuation of the User Experience and Design Research process we teach here in Digital Design. There was a familiarity to the IDEO methods. We each had a great time expanding our innovation tool belt and working through the process to ideate and prototype Camp Spark.

We love the final outcome and wish we could make Camp Spark a reality. I would go in a heartbeat!

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