Articles by Molly de Aguiar

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    Design thinking for better philanthropy

    April 27, 2016 by Molly de Aguiar

    Design thinking for better philanthropy

    Above: Terry Mazany of the Chicago Community Trust and Neha Singh Gohil of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation take part in a design thinking session for their projects.

    RELATED LINK

    "Lessons Learned from the Local News Lab" on Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation web site, 2/11/2016

    For the past two years, Knight has brought together four place-based foundations for human-centered design training to help them consider how their work in news and information can better benefit the community. Here, Molly de Aguiar, of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, writes about how the experience impacted her work.

    I was standing in front of a giant sheet of paper on the wall, trying to decide if I should bluff. I had a little sticker in my hand and I was supposed to put it on the sheet of paper to indicate how much I knew about human-centered design. Was I brand new to the concept, an expert already, or somewhere in between? I was sure everyone else was putting their dots close to the “Wrote the Book!” end. I thought I was the only one who didn’t know much.

    From 'Deep Dive on Design Thinking' session at Knight Foundation's 2015 Media Learning Seminar.

    That was a cold weekend in the fall of 2014, and those of us in the room didn’t quite know what to expect of that weekend or what lay ahead. Knight had invited four foundations deeply invested in community information initiatives – the Incourage Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation – to come together as a cohort and learn design thinking over the course of a year and a half. The idea was to use the process to advance our the information and engagement projects Knight had funded.  The training was a leap of faith for everyone, including Knight.