Co-Created Solution Design Workshop at Chicago Bioneers

I hope you will join me November 2nd in Chicago for a workshop on Co-Created Solution Design at Chicago Bioneers.

This workshop is for you if:

  • you work with others that you don’t have total control over to come up with new ideas or actions
  • you want to tap into the wisdom of a group and go beyond what any could do alone
  • the same old problems are present and you know you need to approach them differently to get better answers

My goal for the workshop is two-fold:

  • give people ways to redirect conversations to be more co-creative
  • offer several different approaches to achieving co-created solution design

Why Co-Created Solution Design?

Since January 2011, a small group of facilitators working on social entrepreneurship and international development have come together to find ways to impact the system of social innovation globally. We call ourselves ci2iglobal, which is short for Collective Impact and Innovation Institute. With a collective 100 years experience in the area, we pooled our experiences together to figure out where we can be most useful. We believe a crucial part of the difference we can make is spreading the work of co-created solution design.

Collaboration might be the hot word of today, but we believe co-creation gets closer to our intent to help solutions arise from group creation. Too often gatherings come together and the path or outcome has been pre-determined. And it limits the engagement of all stakeholders, which is vital to successful social innovation. Co-created solution design provides a method – a process – to create solutions, but it does not presume answers. It opens questions to be answered by the group.

While much of what we do is about getting something done together, what actually gets done depends heavily on the relationships between the participants and their commitment to action.

I remember very vividly learning first hand the difference between advice and self-generated solutions. On the second day of my coach training, we were asked to provide advice to our partners on how to achieve one of their goals. We talked at them for 30 minutes. Then we were asked to listen as they thought through another challenge.  The difference startled me. I am a quick thinker and prided myself on my ability to offer useful advice. However, the solutions my partner came up with had deep understanding of all the forces at play. Most importantly, my partner hesitated in implementing my solution, whereas the partner eagerly looked forward to testing the self-generated solution. The difference in engagement and commitment was tangible for me.  I have tried to listen more and advise less ever since.

Co-created solution design is just like that, except it is working with groups and even groups of groups on larger systemic issues.


I will be highlighting three different strategies for doing co-created solution design:

  • Engaging Exploration – Use when there is not much of a time limit and a need to see and act within a large landscape of possibilities.
  • Flash – Use when there is very little time and a strong base of existing knowledge and awareness.
  • Creative – Use when you need a very well fit and very novel solution.

So, how do we do it?

Come to the Co-Created Solution Design workshop to find out! After the workshop, I will share some of the materials from the workshop here for those of you who can’t make it.