Making is connecting

Think back to when our prehistoric ancestors were trying to tackle two pretty systemic issues – how to avoid starving and freezing to death. All they knew was how to find more & bigger plants to eat and more & bigger caves to hide in.

While they were desperately trying different ways to provision themselves, they came across a method that created heat to warm themselves up and make particular types of food digestible. It’s what we now know as…fire..They then realised they could use fire to improve tools to hunt and fix things…and the rest is history.

But they would never have been able to find out how to make fire if they hadn’t started by rubbing two pieces of wood together to create friction.

Returning to the 21st century, making has been given a new lease of life from “stitch and bitch parties” to “maker faires“. Through making, you’re connecting, whether it’s rubbing wood together to make fire or putting different components together to develop an app.

As @davidgauntlett argues “making things shows us that we are powerful, creative agents – people who can really do things, things that other people can see, learn from, and enjoy. Making things is about transforming materials into something new, but it is also about transforming one’s own sense of self.”

As @stanforddschool states “if a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand pictures. It’s a great way to have a different kind of conversation and break a big issue into smaller problems & opportunities“.

Making outcomes

So when thinking about a session that you’d like to run at #outcomefest, if you don’t feel like facilitating a discussion, here are some other ways that you can “make” outcomes happen.

1. If you like to be more visual, then you may want to sketch out the issues, like this systems map about personal data ownership & privacy


2. If you like to work with your hands, you may want to make a physical mockup of the issue, like this representation of a user journey from the Service Design Summer School by @commonground

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3. If you like using technology, you may want to write some code to develop a solution to the issue, like this hack by @stef




4. If you like designing, you may want to design the layout and wireframes of a solution to the issue, like this prototype by @thesunshinebank