Parsons School of Design
The world is full of amazing ideas, talks and people, but often we are too stressed, distracted or tired to really take in (or remember) what is being said. We wanted to create something truly immersive and memorable for Parsons School of Design in New York and their annual Verge conference. By introducing participants to the DNA of Dialogue and what it means to give someone your full attention, we placed people in a state of presence where they would be more open to new ideas and people. The result was a reframing of the social norms and boundaries that often hold us back from fully experiencing and enjoying unfamiliar situations.
Stockholm School of Economics
The world is full of interesting people but surprisingly lacking in good conversations. Why is that? Is it because we lack time? Common interests? Cool friends? We believe it comes down to skills. We haven’t had any practice in the art of conversation. We wanted to test our theory on some of the most busy and time-pressed people around - The board of directors at the most prestigious business school in Sweden, The Stockholm School of Economics. We realized that dinnertime was a great untapped opportunity for creativity and came up with the concept of the Conversation Dinner. During a set of three occasions, each with a different theme inspired by Socrates’ ancient greek Symposia, we designed their conversations. With each new meal, we presented a conversation menu, with mind-bending questions involving everything from Kierkegaard and Virginia Woolf to Artificial Intelligence and the future of death. The process was carefully designed to increase engagement, trust and collaboration in a group that often has to make important decisions under stress. The concept was developed using the latest research in social validation, psychological safety, reciprocity, dialogue and innovation.
Global Expansion Strategy
What makes up the soul of an organization and how can we recreate a unique brand culture somewhere else? We were asked by Fotografiska (The Museum of Photography) to codify their culture as part of a global expansion strategy. In order to get beyond the obvious, we embarked on a long journey of interviews, observation and historical analysis - mapping out all parts of the organization, from the most concrete (how the coffee is made) to the most abstract (what are the prevailing values and basic assumptions driving people’s behavior). The result of our year-long process of analyzing the organization from the inside-out, was a complete “how-to” digital manual for franchisees, a model for leveraging employee-insights and know-how as well as a new global vision, mission and value-based strategy for the company.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
In order to create real change, we need communication across boundaries. But collaboration is difficult, and often results in misunderstandings, inefficiency and frustration. Problems are exacerbated when teams are spread out all over the globe. Luckily, silos can be busted using the right approach and toolkit. In collaboration with Open lab, we gathered 90 ambassadors from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a one-day intensive workshop, using Design Thinking to share know-how and create new ways of promoting a strong, broad and accurate image of Sweden abroad.
What is the purpose of art? And what does the museum of the future look like? We wanted to explore whether photography could be used as a tool to connect strangers and if we could turn a modern museum into a secular cathedral. In order to test this hypothesis, we created a concept called The Thought Salon for Fotografiska (The Museum of Photography). In a carefully designed immersive experience, we guided people through the exhibitions using different psychological primers (“follow the color red”, “pay attention to your boredom” or “look for patterns”). The idea was to “nudge” people into presence in order for them to shut off their auto-pilot and really experience the art in front of them. Later, we gathered the group for a speed-dating of ideas where strangers met over unconventional (and fun) questions designed to spark deep, satisfying conversations and promote new friendships.