When we say thinking outside the box is one of the principles of the Design Thinking, we are not lying! There are experiences in life that change the way you take decisions, that open your eyes and help you to learn and see things from another perspective. One type of these experiences that show you the world different is to travel. When we go on a journey abroad to a country with different culture, we find many things surprising, and thinking about them we can get to understand them.
Design Thinking Workshop at Campus London, a Google Space
Last 18th of May we gave a workshop in one of the most important Startup spots in Europe, in Campus London, a Google Space.
At first glance you can think that it is very difficult that your project gets accepted due the big offer there is for this type of places, especially in London. But, suddenly we got a surprise, we received an email from them saying that our proposal is very interesting, so all your suppositions fall apart.
Very happy we start preparing our workshop convinced that the audience was going to be very demanding and we have to give our best. So, you start focussing the theme to fit your audience as much as possible, to empathise with them quickly and make everything easier.
When you get to Campus London to give a workshop, being humble has to be a must. We were very surprised we got such a good welcome a tour around the facilities, so the day had started very nicely.
The participants arrived little by little and after 10 minutes almost everyone was in. We started counting and realised there were people from at least 10 different countries. Such a nice cultural mix for a Design Thinking experience.
So, with all set and ready we start by quietly explaining the program of the workshop. We try to show yourself close and tell some improvised joke to make the ambient more relaxed.
The attendee started working on teams and we could observe they do it very smoothly and naturally, sharing many ideas, identifying insights and giving constructive feedback. All that ease always surprise us, but if you dig a bit, the circumstances and the environment help to that to happen. On one hand, the multicultural profiles create many different points of view about the same idea, so make is better. On the other hand, a city like London, with so many possibilities kind of push you to make yourself understood, listen and explain as better as possible. And last, the fact you are in a place like this, where many very good startups are born every year, is a sign that the people attending are curious and eager to learn and share. It is at that point when you realise how important is the environment and how it changes how people behave.
Cuando llega la hora de presentar los proyectos realizados en equipo por personas de diferentes países, que se acaban de conocer hace escasas horas, te encuentras con proyectos de una creatividad excepcional, también con que se coordinaron a la perfección y que esas personas se dan las gracias mutuamente por lo bien que trabajaron juntas y lo mucho que aprendieron unas de otras, pero no sólo eso, sino que también de sí mismos.
When it is the time to present the team projects we found the projects were highly creative, the teams very coordinated and most importantly all of them were very happy and thankful to each other for the great work they created and how much the learned from their teams and even themselves.
But, maybe the biggest difference in respect to other workshops given in Spain or other locations, is the ease and high quality of their storytelling.
We finished the workshop very satisfied because we could prove how the Design Thinking methodology works very well in different situations and cultures, either during the process and development of the project and its communication. This talks about the big flexibility and adaptability of the Design Thinking as an innovative method.
But, with no doubt, the biggest surprise came when after giving thanks to all the participants and closing the event, all of them come to us and one by one, start congratulating us for the great work, for the dynamism of the workshop and because they really enjoyed and learned useful things. At that point, we just could smile :)
We can conclude then, that after all, getting out of you comfort zone and environment and putting yourself in other quite especial situations, help you understand the true value of what you do. But, we don’t like to just sit on that and say how good we are, because many other times we will find that these experiences will open our eyes to see what we are failing on and other things otherwise we could not see.
So, for all of that: travel, share, work on teams and of course, think outside the box, will be of great help.