• 17th Inspiration Session: Butterfly Works Toolbox launch!

    Join us on the 10th of December to co-create, inspire and share knowledge.

    We have been pioneering the use of co-creation and design thinking in international development for the past 20 years. We used and adapted our Butterfly method over the years and are excited to share this new and updated toolbox with you on our exciting new interactive website!

    We’d love for you to join our next Inspiration Session to try out new tools, share learnings and co-create!

    Make sure to login via a laptop or computer as there will be interactive activities between participants.

  • 15th Inspiration Session: Co-creating across cultures

    Butterfly Works

    None of us is as smart as all of us

    Different factors such as power dynamics, vocabulary, gender, or even the interpretation of colors can present barriers to multi-stakeholder collaboration, meaningful participation and the co-creation of relevant solutions to an issue.

    They can also influence how you work with cross-cultural teams, how you facilitate a workshop session and how you deliver a message.

    How can applying co-creation to your collaborations enhance their relevance and sustainability?

    In this session we will explore the enablers and the barriers of cross-cultural co-creation. Be prepared for a hands-on session full of empathy and creativity. We will work in groups on an assignment and leave the session with best practices to make the most out of our collaborations between different cultures.

    Be inspired

    Do you want to see what actually happens at these sessions? Have a look at a recap of one of our sessions, in July 2018: https://vimeo.com/280908994

    About our inspiration sessions

    Since 2014 Butterfly Works has been hosting inspiration sessions on different topics that engage. Each time we pick a different theme relevant to our work and that of our network. Join us!

  • 14th Inspiration Session: The Art of Celebration

    Butterfly Works

    Celebrating - whether by reaching a project milestone, capturing key lessons learned or acknowledging the hard work of your team and partners - is not just a moment. It's a momentum. Celebration represents progress and achievement. And there are unique ways it can be ritualized to boost the outcomes, the people and the partnerships that drive a project.

    Butterfly celebrations

    The year is coming to an end and we have a lot to celebrate at Butterfly Works. When we look back, the list of reasons to celebrate just keeps growing: we received 2nd place in The Spindle’s Innovation Award for our serious games in Yemen; we’ve been part of some truly transformational events in the past few months; we have some exciting additions to our team. And last but not least, we finalized our new toolkit after a year of testing and iterations!

    What do you want to celebrate? And how?

    What about you? What do you want to celebrate? We invite you to come to our 14th Inspiration Session where we’ll debut our brand-new, easier-than-ever-to-use toolkit to co-create celebration rituals.

    This is a time for your team to recharge, to complete old cycles and begin new ones, and – most importantly – to reflect and to ask some very important questions that are not often asked, like:

    -How do we harvest and share our learnings in a meaningful way?
    -How do we acknowledge the work of everyone involved?
    -Is celebration a party or does it have purpose?

    Confronting our fears

    It can be challenging: what if you have many people on the team? What if the team members are working from different parts of the world? What if there is no budget or time?

    These are precisely the ideas we will be grappling with at our upcoming Inspiration Session! You’ll be surrounded by curious and innovative people as you explore the art of genuine celebration.

    Be inspired

    Do you want to see what actually happens at these sessions? Have a look at a recap of our last one, in July: https://vimeo.com/280908994

    About our inspiration sessions

    Since 2014 Butterfly Works has been hosting inspiration sessions on different topics that engage. Each time we pick a different theme relevant to our work and that of our network. Join us!

  • 13th Inspiration Session: The never-ending project

    Butterfly Works

    You are nearing the end of your project - now what? How do you ensure that the fruits of your labour live on, that partnerships are nurtured to new levels and that you have something to show for it all?

    Join us at our next inspiration session: "The Never-Ending Project". This will be an especially casual affair with friendly vibes in order to encourage sharing and meaningful discussion.

    The afternoon will center around two themes we are all familiar with: ownership and sustainability. We'll be tackling some of the main challenges that you and others from the international development sector have in ensuring accountability lies where it should. And we'll be coming up with ways to ensure that projects are well handed over and long-lasting. You'll leave the session strapped with inspiration and a handy set of design thinking tools to help you apply - and share - what you learn.

    Curious about our inspiration sessions? Check out a short recap of our last session in April: https://vimeo.com/271627637

    About our inspiration sessions: Since 2014 Butterfly Works has been hosting inspiration sessions on different topics that engage. Each time we pick a different theme relevant to our work and that of our network.

  • Inspiration #12: setting the scene

    Butterfly Works

    Unlocking proposal development
    What do proposals, partnerships and treasure hunts have in common? You're warmly invited to join us at our Inspiration Session to play along and find out!

    We're going to flip the proposal process on its head
    Join Butterfly Works, our network of experts and end-users for our interactive 2-hour session. We'll be diving deep into the elements that make up your proposals, using a gamified approach to tweak and tinker with them and to pitch your results to a panel of expert judges to boost their success. We'll wrap up the afternoon with drinks, where you can explore your ideas further, build new partnerships or just sit back and marinate on all the tips & tricks.

    Who will be there?
    We'll have business developers, proposal writers and experts, human-centered-design gurus and innovation connaisseurs there to rub minds with and share ideas.

    What's the buzz about?
    Proposals and budgets are often created in isolation - or separation - from other partners and the people they are developed for. We have seen that many organisations are looking into ways to change this approach through methods like co-creation that bring stakeholders and partners together from the very start of the proposal development process. Through our unique approach that combines design-thinking and co-creation, we're inviting you to join us in flipping traditional proposal writing on its head - to experiment and explore new approaches - and to unlock the power of co-creation and partnership-building in proposal development!

    I'm intrigued - tell me more
    Great! For an idea of what our inspiration sessions are like, check out this video:

    About the inspiration sessions
    Since 2014, Butterfly Works has hosted inspiration sessions for our network. Each session explores a different theme that is timely and relevant and that we hope sparks new thinking and creative approaches to our work and yours.

  • New Year’s drinks: Digital solutions for social change

    Butterfly Works

    2017 has once again placed ICT as a key actor of social innovation worldwide. No doubt about it: 2018 will be a digital year for us. That is why we have decided to invite our partners Bits Global and Tunga to our New Year’s drinks.

    Join us and learn how they use ICT in general, and web development in particular, to promote social change offering skill building and job opportunities to youth all over the world through Bits schools and Tunga platform.


    15:00-15:15: Doors open
    15:15 : Welcome and introductions
    15:30-16:30: Tunga and Bits Global presentations and discussions on how to implement social change in emerging economies with new technologies
    16:30-18:30: Toast, drinks and networking

    About Bits Global and Tunga

    Bits Global is founded by Butterfly Works and co-created together with the Bits schools. The Bits course is a one-year hands-on training in the field of ICT and multimedia. So far Bits schools have benefited more than 9,000 youth in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Pakistan, Somaliland, Zanzibar, Ethiopia and Ghana. http://bitsacademy.org/

    Tunga is founded by Butterfly Works and Ernesto Spruyt. Tunga builds software and software teams using African developers for clients worldwide. Tunga is based on Impact Sourcing: the integration of disadvantaged workers from low-employment areas either through outsourcing or by setting up remote or virtual teams using digital technology. https://tunga.io/

  • Inspiration #11 Ideation

    Butterfly Works

    Join us at our 11th inspiration session on Ideation. Learn about new inventions, how to build up your creative confidence and become inspired by how others come to new ideas!

    Why ideation?

    Through research we understand a problem, which does not always lead to a solution. For this we can benefit from ideation. Ideation is the process of generating and visualising new ideas. It is an excellent way to get yourself in the creative mindset to come to new solutions. The best ideas might not be the most obvious ones from the outset, but they are the ones that make the most sense in hindsight.

    Why join?

    In this inspiration session we will demystify creativity and show that creativity is not reserved for “the creatives”. New ideas actually come from postponing judgements towards others and yourself - also known as 'creative confidence'. Join us in learning about ideation and creative confidence.

    What to expect
    The afternoon consists of two parts. The first half focuses on coming up with new ideas. You will learn how to push boundaries and connect existing ideas to form new ones. The second half of the afternoon is about creatively sharing your new ideas. You will learn how to do basic sketching to quickly visualise ideas, and how to use storytelling to make people excited about your ideas.

    For an impression of our inspiration sessions, check out this video (https://vimeo.com/237907062?utm_source=Inspiration+session&utm_campaign=68d15fbc4c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_11_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4232f4005d-68d15fbc4c-357602581).

    About the inspiration sessions
    Since 2014 Butterfly Works has been hosting inspiration sessions for ourselves and our network. Each time we pick a different theme relevant to our work and that of our network.

  • Invite: Inspiration #10 Making social solutions

    Butterfly Works

    September 21st we will host another one of our inspiration sessions. This time we are collaborating with the Global Goals Jam to protoype new ideas.

    During the 2015 Social Good Summit, world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. From the 15th to the 17th of September

    MediaLAB (University of Applied Sciences) (http://butterflyworks.us9.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=080532116d7d8859635f85bdd&id=f276360b20&e=987064a8d9) and the United Nations Development Programme (http://butterflyworks.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=080532116d7d8859635f85bdd&id=14c51428b0&e=987064a8d9) are hosting the 2nd edition of the Global Goals Jam (http://butterflyworks.us9.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=080532116d7d8859635f85bdd&id=ed19e26996&e=987064a8d9) to Design 2030 today. On the 21st of September we will build on those ideas through prototyping with the help of maker coaches.

    Proto- / ˈprəʊtəʊ/ original, primitive, first or earliest

    Type / tʌɪp/ a person or thing showing the defining characteristics of something

    As soon as the first idea is there, designers start making. Prototypes, whether they are quick sketches or intricate website mockups, turn an idea immediately into reality. Ideas become physical, tangible things that can be seen, touched and experienced.

    Why prototyping?

    Prototypes ensure that everyone talks about the same idea and that any question or feedback is concrete and relevant, rather than hypothetical and abstract. This is especially important within international development where it is easy to talk for a long time, without getting clear on what people mean by what they say. Visualising ideas also helps them to travel and gain support. And by prototyping and testing it is possible to fail cheap and early to come to concepts that stand the test of time. The direct result: a lot less waste and more chances to make something people want.

    Why join?

    People often think out every detail of their idea before moving on to making the product. Prototyping turns this logic on its head. Prototyping, in a way, is about failing. It is this mindset shift and this skill that needs practise. What will you test, how will you test it and what are quick and easy ways to prototype? This is what we will be working on. Come and practise with us!

    What to expect

    The group will be divided into three groups. Each group will work on one of the ideas generated by the Global Goals Jam. Each group will be guided by one of our maker coaches to prototype the ideas.

    Marco van Hout

    Marco is the Lead Design & Research at MediaLAB Amsterdam and initiated the development of the Design Method Toolkit and SCREAM.He is an expert in understanding, measuring and designing emotional impact in the context of products, services and systems. Marco will tell us more about the Global Goals Jam.

    Laura Doorneweerd

    Human prototyping, playing out a design challenge and building towards a prototype. For many challenges around global issues we need to interact with different stakeholders. Laura will use interactive exercises to explore a situation from within and see it from different perspectives.

    Tamara Pinos Cisneros

    For more of a tech perspective, we will have Tamara as a coach. Tamara is a creative coder and an expert on protoyping in creative technology. She will guide us through testing and prototyping with and for creative tech solutions.

    Butterfly Works
    www.butterflyworks.org (http://www.butterflyworks.org/)

    Merel from Butterfly Works will guide a group in using low-resource rapid prototyping. As we are often in countries, areas, regions where there are very few resources available, we will explore how to test in these kind of situations.

  • Inspiration #9 Creative Research

    Butterfly Works

    Explore and become inspired by the world of creative and participatory research! In this pressure cooker workshop you will find out how people could research their own lives, their context or even themselves. We will do this on the basis of the Exploration Lab; a form of participatory research that makes use of the insider’s perspective to explore a research question.

    Creativity involves the free, personal and imaginative while research is supposed to be systematic, objective and all about gathering facts. Combining these seemingly contradictory terms results in an alternative approach. It allows for unexpected insights that can inform effective solutions to complex social problems. Butterfly Works hosts a yearly creative research inspiration session to explore new tools and methods.

    To give you an idea, have a look at last year's session on creative research: http://www.butterflyworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Recap-inspiration-session-creative-research-methods-@ButterflyWorks.pdf


    The Exploration Lab is truly participatory design research; conducted by the target group and stakeholders and about their own experiences. Depending on the research question, a set of creative research activities are chosen. In this session we will practise with a number of different activities to see how these can be used or adapted to be part of an Exploration Lab. How do they complement each other and how can they be used as a participatory method?

    Preparatory homework

    One week before the session you will get the assignment to make photos of your environment, which will require 5 minutes of your time, every day for 5 days. This gathered data will form the basis for the first activity.

    Activity #1 Pattern finding – Butterfly Works

    Different photos offer different observations. By finding patterns in the photos it is possible to bring those observations together into a coherent story and understanding of someone’s environment. In this activity we will discover patterns in seemingly unrelated images and discuss what this means for our understanding of daily life experience.

    Activity #2 Understanding human technologies – Iskander Smit, Info.nl (http://butterflyworks.us9.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=080532116d7d8859635f85bdd&id=8caab747b5&e=e9a41a5b7e)

    Iskander is innovation director at internet agency Info.nl and managing LABS, researching and experimenting with the near and further future, looking at how technology changes our lives and impacts society. He is founder and chairman of ThingsCon Amsterdam and visiting professor at TU Delft IDE. At TU he is setting up a research programme into citizen led and things centred platform for air purificating city scapes. Iskander will guide us through an activity they use as part of innovation research.

    Activity #3 Games as research - Gabriele Ferri & Genèviéve Korte www.gabrieleferri.com (http://www.gabrieleferri.com/)

    As postdoctoral design researcher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Gabriele focuses on games, especially those connecting citizens to real places through technologies. He conducts Research through Design and draws on ethnography to understand urban spaces and to create geolocalized narratives, playful interactions and "games for cities". Genèviéve is a research assistent, has been working on a project called SUBMERGED (submerged2017.wordpress.com (http://submerged2017.wordpress.com/)) and is particularly interested in crossmedia storytelling, applied games and wicked problems. Participants in their session will play with a game he has developed to conduct research.