• Meeting by Design: Using Human-Centered Design to Create Awesome Meetings

    [Interactive event: come ready to design things together!] Do your meetings suck? If you're like almost everyone else, everywhere, the answer is probably yes. The hard truth is that most meetings are pointless interruptions of our productivity: spirit-sapping, soul-crushing, time-wasting exercises in tedium and distraction. Why, then, do we continue to hold meetings? Because as bad as they often are, they're still the most effective way for teams to reach important decisions, coordinate complex activity, and connect. Simply put, collaboration without meetings doesn't work. Users of design thinking know this perhaps better than most. Creative problem solving is inherently collaborative, and when we use the right human-centered design thinking methods at the right time, we get incredible results. But have you considered that the same is true for the meeting itself? And not just for brainstorming or prototyping sessions, but for every meeting? There is an underlying design pattern that makes every meeting better, and 16 distinct types of business meetings that -- when we use the right kind of meeting at the right time -- can generate incredible business results. On April 23, we'll: - Learn the underlying structure for every effective meeting - Get a peak at the 16 types of meetings - Investigate a common meeting challenge together (real-time contextual inquiry!) - Prototype a 5-minute meeting exercise to address the challenge - Experience methods from traditional design thinking, complexity facilitation, and traditional facilitation we can use in our own work This interactive session will be led by Elise Keith, the founder of Portland-based Lucid Meetings, where their mission is to make it easy for teams to run successful meetings every day. Elise is also the author of "Where The Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization," and the founder of Meeting School, the world's only online educational marketplace dedicated to meetings.

  • Join a Team for IDEO.org'­s 9-Week Course for Human-Centered Design

    In May, IDEO.org and +Acumen will once again be offering their highly regarded free 9-week online course, Design Kit: Course for Human-Centered Design. As we do regularly, Portland Community Design Thinkers will be hosting a special meetup on May 6, where we'll explain what the course is about and what you can expect from it. And for those interested in participating, we'll help you form teams of local colleagues with whom you can work, which we've found vastly improves both completion rates and the experience as a whole. Created by IDEO.org for those who are relatively new to design thinking, +Acumen's free Design Kit: Course for Human-Centered Design is probably one of the best and most immersive resources anywhere for getting up to speed on the nuts and bolts of HCD. This meetup is specifically for those interested in learning more about the course and helping to form working teams. Please note PCDT is *not* managing this course -- you'll be on your own for that. But we're keen to give anyone interested a leg up in getting off to the best possible start with a group of other eager local participants, and you're welcome to use our own Slack channel for course communication and organizing, as many groups have previously done. Read more about the course at the below link. In brief, it's a nine-week online FREE curriculum that will introduce participants to the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions. During those nine weeks, you'll work online (and off) with a group of 2-6 people, learning the HCD process by applying it to one of three pre-crafted real world design challenges. (You'll also have a choice to craft your own challenge.) Each week you will explore the fundamental concepts through readings, case studies, and short videos. Then you'll meet in-person with your design team to get your hands dirty practicing the relevant human-centered design methods. Let's get as many teams together as we can for the next course! Read more at this link: http://www.plusacumen.org/courses/introduction-human-centered-design