IMPACT Design Lab

2018 Design Lab

Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2018

The Design Lab brought into conversation leading thinkers and practitioners in the arts, culture and conflict transformation field.

In preparation for the Design Lab, various working groups within IMPACT (Executive Committee, Steering Committee, researchers team, data analysis team) sketched out a picture of the arts, culture and conflict transformation field: its strengths and its needs, its internal differences and points of consensus, the opportunities that are emerging and the factors that threaten to limit its efficacy. They listened to the hopes that people have for a stronger regional and global infrastructure for the field, as well as the cautions and concerns that people have expressed about this idea. The working groups have been in conversation with practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and funders, and organized the ideas and questions that had emerged from all of these conversations in the "Emerging Story of the Field."

Following the Design Lab, IMPACT translated the bold ideas surfaced into a proposed design of an emerging platform to support the arts, culture, and conflict transformation ecosystem, laid out in the Imagine IMPACT report (available by completing the online publication request form). This proposal of an emerging platform includes a web of teams crafting virtual and in person spaces where knowledge can be shared, ethical dilemmas can receive sustained attention, advocacy strategies can be developed and advanced, risks of harm can be minimized, and relationships of reciprocity can be formed.

Design Lab: Planning for Youth Leadership in the Emerging IMPACT Platform

design-labTop: Youth Design Lab participants
Bottom: Aviva Davis, Design Lab participant
Photo Credit: IMPACT, Ethics Center

Recognizing the importance of the voice and leadership of young people, one IMPACT working group facilitated a collaborative space for youth to design strategies to support young people in the arts, culture, and conflict transformation (ACCT) ecosystem.

Drawing on human-centered design techniques, a youth-focused design lab in November and December 2018 engaged young people around the world in assessing the particular strengths and needs of young people in the ACCT ecosystem. Then, through a "Creativity, Arts, and Social Transformation" (CAST) course at Brandeis University, students developed strategies IMPACT could adopt in order to leverage these strengths and address the needs articulated by young people:

  • "Virtual Platform" — A platform for ACCT that incorporates many different social media elements, including: spotlights of human experiences in ACCT, networking, digital marketplace, mapping and highlighting ACCT efforts, telethons, ability to categorize and use many languages.
  • "Inclusive Learning Spaces"  — University-based yearly conferences that rotate among regions and aim to reduce divisions between people in the ACCT ecosystem through reciprocity, homestays, and access to university resources.
  • "Transformative Consciousness"  — A weeklong, holistic retreat/festival that rotates among regions, is live-streamed, and plans for follow-up small-scale local replications.

The PDF of the Youth-Focused Design Lab Report may be requested by completing the online publication request form.