A purpose-led Design-a-thon that activates young engineers and future leaders to apply Design Thinking in the workplace

Energy and Environment
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Empowering Engineers to design an inclusive space for a brighter future

A local Hong Kong energy company wanted to empower and inspire their team of young engineers to employ Design Thinking in a new and innovative way that would complement their existing Design Thinking curriculum.

They partnered with the team here at MAKE to deliver a ‘design-a-thon’ that would engage their team in a brand new way, with the goal of fostering their team’s confidence to employ Design Thinking in their day-to-day work practices. Through this design-a-thon we sought to inspire the team to develop and grow their skills in new and innovative ways.


MAKE’s ‘Heart, Head and Hands’ approach

We invited local NGO Love21 Foundation, a charity empowering the Down syndrome and autistic community in Hong Kong, to collaborate with us on the energy provider’s project. Through their involvement we sought to provide an immersive learning experience for the business’ engineers and to provide the Love21 Foundation with innovative solutions to their beneficiaries' core challenges.

Our approach to designing and facilitating the design-a-thon was one of collaboration, open sharing and team building, ensuring a cohesive and empowering workshop that achieved our noble objectives.

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MAKING solutions with impact

MAKE collaborated with the team at Love21 Foundation and our partner’s  senior leadership team to deliver research Informed workshops, outlining  real-life challenges the engineers could connect with by interviewing families connected with Love21’s beneficiaries. 

With this approach we could deliver a design-a-thon with a learn-by-doing atmosphere that was compact, intensive and tailored to the expertise of their engineers. The session was  designed to optimise immersive learning across a jam packed. one day session.

In ordero maximise the impact of the engineer’s creative inputs for design-a-thon, we implemented a rapid ideation and prototyping framework to encourage an environment where ideas and solutions could be delivered swiftly, and the strongest ideas were then chosen to prototype and test to determine the most suitable and impactful solution.


MAKING way for a collaborative future

Our ‘Design for Impact’ approach brought collaboration to the fore between business and NGO, and exposed the value in sharing knowledge and raising awareness to drive positive impact for both the Hong Kong energy provider and the Love21 Foundation. 

Participants of the Design-a-thon felt the workshop was very well organised and, on average, engineers felt the experience increased their knowledge,understanding and confidence in using Design Thinking. Overwhelmingly they felt confident they could apply what they had learned to more effectively solve challenges in the workplace.

The CEO and stakeholders of the Love21 Foundation similarly left the experience feeling inspired with new ideas for the future and innovative techniques they can apply in their day jobs.

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