Shifting to Co-Design


Released: June 2024

Since our earliest days, we’ve been known as a social innovation firm that uses human-centered design to address complex problems. But the truth is, we’ve been going beyond human-centered design for a long time. We saw how much farther and deeper our work went when communities brought their wisdom and expertise to every phase: defining the problem and seeing it from their perspective, making sense of what we’re learning, connecting it to the past and present, imagining new possibilities, and testing new ideas.


Two years ago, our team began redefining our process to better reflect our evolving practice, values, and commitment to shifting power, disrupting systems, and designing with, not for, community. We found that practice in co-design.


We’re not abandoning or rejecting human-centered design. But we recognize its limitations. To disrupt harmful systems, we must intentionally share power so those marginalized by these systems can directly participate in their redesign (or design something new altogether). Co-design helps us translate those intentions into action.


We’re thrilled to share this deeper dive into why we’ve made this shift, how co-design compares to human-centered design, and what this means for our work and partners.

Read Our Shift to Co-Design on LinkedIn