Fast Company writes about IDEO's Human-Centered Design Toolkit which is available for free download and aims to "empower organizations and design firms by giving them their field-tested tools for social impact in a way that focuses more on sharing information than authorship."
The toolkit began as a conversation between IDEO's CEO Tim Brown and a program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who first broached the idea of creating some kind of common language around designing for social impact.
"Human-centered design has always been IDEO's approach to creating innovation," says HCD Toolkit project lead Tatyana Mamut. But it was the Gates Foundation's work in developing nations where IDEO saw an opportunity to apply their three core values for sustainable design: human desirability, technical feasibility and technical viability. "What we've done with this toolkit is taken the basic structure of that methodology and turned it into a process that makes it applicable to the developing world."
There was also the notion of sharing these tools with non-designers. "There's excitement around this notion of design thinking, especially within the social sector, but there's not much of a common understanding of what that means," says social impact lead Jocelyn Wyatt. "By putting the toolkit out in the world our hope was that we could help social sector organizations, which we think could really benefit from the approach." In addition, tools like this also increase the understanding of design among non-designers, which the team believes will elevate the work of designers everywhere.