DC and Silicon Valley are thousands of miles apart - in more ways than one. But when the two connect, good things happen. Voter Participation Center (VPC) is a DC institution that has helped register almost four million voters since 2003. It just conducted two Design Thinking workshops in Silicon Valley to brainstorm new ways to find unregistered voters. East meets west at its best!
Design Thinking is a problem-solving approach popularized at Stanford that brings together people with varied skills (marketing, programming, artists, activists, writers…). It encourages deep empathy and creative thinking that can typically yield viable new solutions and approaches. In these facilitated workshops, VPC presented the challenges faced by their stakeholder groups, and participants working as small teams brainstormed new ideas. Each team winnowed down its ideas to their best one and built a simple prototype of it, which they presented to all attendees for feedback to refine their prototype. The challenge posed was to find unregistered voters in the Rising American Electorate (RAE) of single women, minorities and millennials.
“All of us at the Voter Participation Center benefited from the Design Thinking Experience. There were so many creative ideas offered and new relationships developed. It was an important experience for all of us”, said Page Gardner, VPC founder and CEO. "DemLabs is an invaluable resource to progressive organizations, providing a bridge to those wanting to develop new tools and use new technologies in their work."
There's no better way to get smart people engaged than presenting a challenge for them to solve. Drop us a line if you’d like to tap Silicon Valley talents to brainstorm (pro bono) on your challenge.