social movements + innovation lab


Before generating ideas, it is essential to start with a clearly defined problem. Problems have many facets to solve for and identifying what you are and are NOT solving for helps to prioritize the problem. Creating a problem statement provides a team with a clear and agreed upon starting point when idea generation begins.

What This Means for Social Justice Activists & Designers

Social Justice Activists Social justice folks can often define problems too broadly which prevents them from generating ideas that are innovative AND actionable. By taking a step back and clearly defining the problem in a solvable statement, social justice folks can generate better ideas. Social justice folks also feel a heightened sense of urgency around their issues. This causes them to settle for the first proposed idea, which is rarely the best one. Focusing on defining the problem allows you to pursue the best option rather than settle for the first one.
Designers Social designers have the tools to generate creative and innovative ideas, but they often lack a deeper understanding of the root causes of social justice issues. The process of clearly defining their problem helps social designers understand the wider context of their issue. Having a better understanding of the systems that contribute to their problem provides social designers with the knowledge needed to create impactful change.


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