Prototyping with +Acumen & IDEO.org
Two things that work well for entrepreneurs are Prototyping & Accountability Groups. London+Acumen and Impact Hub Islington partnered to help Londoners do both!
We recently finished hosting the Design Kit – Prototyping course at the Impact Hub Islington. We had a great time with individuals from all over London who came together to form 8 groups and met every Tuesday night for 5 weeks to work on their prototypes. At the end, we even had a mentor from IDEO who came to listen to the groups pitch their prototypes and offer feedback.
A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one.
An Accountability Group is a small group of people who gather to share share their goals, report back on their progress and hold each other accountable.
Ideas and challenges ranged from helping chefs in the kitchen, to cutting out the middle man for farmers in India and linking the elderly community with young people to battle loneliness and pass on traditions and skills.
Each group also had the opportunity to present their ideas and prototypes to IDEO designers and their peer group for valuable feedback. We all had a great time, met amazing people and learned a lot about prototyping and the different issues that afflict communities all over the world.
The course really widened my perspective and understanding of prototyping, since it covered such diverse fields like physical products, services, environments, and field testing. The course was clearly structured and offered some exciting tools and practices as well as an interesting topic (health in everyday places).
I hadn’t met any of my team members before and they all came from a different background, both cultural and professional, which was great.
The course was all in all a great experience for me, because it didn’t only help me to understand the value of prototyping, but also taught me what it means to collaborate with team members having different backgrounds and expectations.
So thanks again for making this possible!
Martha Eierdanz, London
The effort proved so successful, the plans are to replicate the experience for the upcoming course Design Kit: The Course for Human Centred Design starting 6 September.
Can’t wait to see you at the next one, we’ll post more details on @London4Acumen!