Today we publish the Social Design Methods Menu. Written and edited by Lucy Kimbell and Joe Julier, it is a resource for social innovators and entrepreneurs who want to use approaches based in design and ethnography at the early stage of creating new services, projects and ventures.
Sharing this menu is an intervention into current debates about the extent to which toolkits can really help communicate practices based in design and ethnography and make them available to non-specialists. Other recent toolkits and resources to support design and innovation include Frog Design’s Collective Action Toolkit, and NESTA’s Prototyping Framework, and IDEO’s Human Centred Design Toolkit, as well as other resources which focus more on products such as the d-school’s Bootcamp Bootleg.
Where the Social Design Methods Menu is distinctive is
– its combination of approaches from design, management and the social sciences
– its testing and iterating in the field in particular through teaching MBA students at Said Business School as well as social innovators and entrepeneurs
– its view that a toolkit probably can’t do much on its own, without new behaviours, cognitive frameworks and new values, and an attention to leadership and collective action, accompanied by a recognition that using tools changes the user and vice versa, and
– (perhaps) its modesty.
This document is in perpetual beta – we welcome feedback and may eventually release a future version, should resources allow. In the meantime please share with us your uses and modifications and criticisms.