11 Highlights for Our 11th Birthday

Happy birthday to us! This month, DI celebrated our 11th anniversary. We’ve grown so much over 11 years! It’s hard to believe that it was only 2009 when Kate and Ramsey started DI. We decided to recognize the milestone by sharing some highlights from the last year.

11 Highlights from DI

In no particular order 


1. Welcomed three new rock stars to the team

On their very first day, Sarah, Levi, and Robin were thrown into a 2-hour workshop on prototyping. A few days later, they were kayaking with teammates they barely knew. Thankfully, they’re still with us today!


2. Embarked on a yearlong project with our neighbors to explore how interracial relationships can build neighborhood resilience

The Madisonville Studio invited people who lived and worked in Madisonville to explore some key questions around improving connections across race while increasing residents’ power, influence, and representation in decisions about our community.


3. Graduated from Queen City Certified as a leader in gender equity

We know it’s not a competition…but we definitely won.


4. Tackled food insecurity with seniors across the country 

In partnership with Feeding America, we helped four food banks collaborate with seniors in their communities to brainstorm and prototype ideas to end senior hunger. We visited four food banks in five weeks…that’s a lot of air miles.


meeting notes as doodles from madisonville library meeting

5. Spent the summer imagining a more inclusive library with citizens all over Hamilton County

We spent nearly a year talking with residents about their vision for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. We helped design public listening sessions and held 15 focus groups to make sure that our community’s unheard voices were represented as our as our amazing library system evolves.


6. Helped Connecticut leaders imagine a more collaborative workforce development and housing system

How might we redesign the workforce system to support families in their journey to livable wage jobs and careers?


photo of ramsey smiling and looking at kate

7. Shared our story with Cincinnati Magazine 

We talked about the potential for human-centered design, our partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Kate and Ramsey got to update this photo from their first interview with Cincinnati Magazine in 2012.


8. Shared our thoughts and Post-Its on the creative process

Michelle helped demystify the age-old question: “Why is it so damn hard to be creative?”   


9. Celebrated our 10th anniversary all year long

Some of the ways we celebrated: We mailed out hundreds of canvases to friends and strangers all over the world. We held a 2-day retreat, complete with dancing and kayaking. We released an interactive 10th-anniversary reflection. And we hosted an epic birthday bash.


10. Turned our empathy into action

Right before we went into isolation from COVID, we trained nine parents and early childhood staff as community researchers. The researchers are working with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to learn what keeps parents from enrolling their kids in preschool, and what systemic changes can increase enrollment.


screenshots of different people holding mugs of coffee

11. Moved Breakfast Club online! 

Over 50 people joined us for first digital Breakfast Club. Turns out, you don’t just come for the doughnuts! P.S. Come to our next Breakfast Club on June 10.