The First Edition of Mozaiko

My work at Voel involves co-developing a social innovation platform called Mozaiko with the team, and we held the first workshop in a fantastic location called Centro Quatro in the middle of Belo Horizonte on 14th and 15th April 2012. In a previous post I talked about they WHY of Mozaiko is to gather responses to this question:

‘How can we help people in our local community to solve the problems that really matter to them?’

The workshop was set up to answer one question: how to occupy the downtown area with cultural and social initiatives, and we explored this question with people including designers, start-up businesses and representatives of government and NGOs – all of whom wanted to learn about design thinking, and saw value in applying its methods in their own fields.

The structure for the 2 days of the workshop was to first of all take the participants through an exploration of the context of the downtown area. The second day would then focus on synthesising those ideas into real business ideas or initiatives that could answer our big question.

I started the workshops off by introducing the group to my inner chicken.

Discovered in Amsterdam while I was at DesignThinkers, my ‘inner chicken’ is a symbol of finding ways to engage with people by helping them have fun! The chicken was born when I kept misspelling business KPIs as KIPs (which is Dutch for chicken). It became a fun office joke to talk about chickens after that, and when my friend Louise visited Amsterdam she turned me into a chicken using post-it notes! You can now see my inner chicken on my Twitter background and in the logo of the Design Doctor – it represents how important I think it is to find the right ways to engage with people, which usually involve having creative fun!

I shared my inner chicken with the Mozaiko workshop participants, and we all started out the day with a good laugh – which was very helpful when there was quite a language barrier between me and the mostly Portugese-speaking audience. As the day went on we captured lots of really fascinating stories, there were visits from people who had held successful cultural events and it was interesting to note that they really knew a lot about the downtown area because they occupy it sporadically but use the spaces everyday. Later we went outside to capture stories and create personas, and everyone came back really excited with lots of new stories to share. The day resulted in a ‘wall of possibilities’, a range of what-if scenarios to work on in the next day of the workshop.

The second workshop day began with sharing the key themes from the ‘what if’ scenarios. We grouped the scenarios together and identified four key areas that could be explored and prototyped. These key areas were:

  • Occupying local cultural spaces to relieve isolation
  • Hygiene facilities for homeless people, allowing local people to better see the movement of homeless people and think about their needs
  • Cultural events that connect with, and bring alive, local history
  • Skill sharing in public spaces

For the rest of the 2nd day people prototyped, created value maps and customer journey maps to develop and prototype the new services. At the end of the workshop everyone presented their projects, and it was really good to see that they had gained value out of the process and could see ways of applying what they’d learned in their daily lives.

The next step for the Mozaiko project is to capture the ideas from the workshop, find the projects and develop the business plans behind them, and start partnerships to start bringing these things together.

It was great to be with such a fantastic mix of people bringing so many viewpoints together, and that’s what made it such a fun and exciting workshop for the two days.  The fill write up of the event can be found on centoequatro’s blog – see the Portuguese version and English version, more picture of the workshop can be found here. Thanks everyone for making it such a great 2 days – the next edition will be in Recife.

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