How Design Can Save a Reputation

April 15, 2014

A few months ago, I wrote a post about five technologies in need of design makeovers in 2014. I’m happy to report my colleagues at, working with a group of NGOs and health and tech industry collaborators, have taken a shot at redesigning the most newsworthy item on that list, and the one wi...

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How to Become a Social Innovator in 7 Weeks

March 28, 2014

We say we practice human-centered design at IDEO, but what does that really mean? Our friends at +Acumen and have designed a free online course to answer that question. Open to anyone anywhere in the world—no prior design experience needed— the class is called “Human-Centered Design for Soc...

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Why Better Listeners are Better Innovators

December 9, 2013

An IDEO researcher practicing "creative listening." What would an Argentinian car mechanic know about childbirth? If you’re Jorge Odon, father of five, quite a bit. Or at least enough to design a low-cost, low-tech instrument that could revolutionize how doctors assist mothers during difficult birt...

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The Secret to Redesigning Healthcare: Think Big and Small

October 2, 2013

A little empathy goes a long way in an overcrowded emergency room. You don’t have to be a medical professional to know that affordable healthcare in America is complicated business. The system is so sprawling and intractable, only the biggest and boldest of innovations will make a difference, yet o...

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The Secret of Great Work: Play

June 4, 2013

Part of maintaining a thriving creative culture is giving people time and permission to play. One of the ways we encourage creative play at IDEO is through Designs On—, a semi-annual internal design challenge started five years ago by my colleague Blaise Bertrand. Each edition of Designs On— centers...

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Inspiration for Innovators: OpenIDEO and Grameen

April 4, 2013

In 2011, OpenIDEO launched a social business challenge focused on improving the lives of people living in places like Caldas, Colombia, where one in four people live in extreme poverty. During the challenge, The Grameen Creative Lab provided local insights by interviewing the community on the ground...

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A Lesson in Empathy

March 13, 2013

My friend Delos “Toby” Cosgrove is a fellow blogger for LinkedIn. He and his wonderful organization, the Cleveland Clinic, deserve a massive shout-out for their recent video entitled “Empathy.” I challenge you to watch it without a few tears forming. Empathy is at the heart of design. Without the u...

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5 Inspiring Social Design Pioneers

November 19, 2012

Recently I spent an evening at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design attending the awards ceremony for the Curry Stone Design Prize. Founded in 2008 by Clifford Curry and Delight Stone and curated by Chee Pearlman with Emiliano Gandolfi, the  prize is awarded to designers who are developing and implem...

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Jamie Oliver's TED wish

February 16, 2010

For avid followers of the TED conference it will not be new news that British chef Jamie Oliver won the TED Prize this year. The result is that he gets $100,000 plus the chance to make his wish in front of the TED audience. These days that audience consists of millions (so far there have been over 2...

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Re-designing healthcare

September 23, 2009

I spent last week at the Mayo Clinic symposium on health care innovation called Transform. It was excellent. A great group of speakers and an audience populated by some of the most important players in health care innovation. You can check out the videos from many of the speakers at the Mayo Transf...

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