Creating positive change for communities using design thinking

How three community groups in the US used Sprintbase to tackle local challenges

Innovation consultancy Bridge Innovate brought three community groups together from across the US to use design thinking to tackle challenges that mattered to them.

The challenges

The first team came from the Jessie Ball duPont Centre in Jacksonville, Florida, which provides offices for nonprofits, and work and gathering spaces for the community.

The team wanted to develop a strategy for the organization, to help them better communicate who they are and their mission, and bring stakeholders together.

The second team, from Charlotte, North Carolina, runs Open Streets 704 – an initiative which opens up long stretches of city road to run events for local people.

They wanted to grow capacity and build sustainability within their organization, and develop richer programmes and engagement with their communities, including greater diversity and inclusion.

And the last team, from Saint Paul, Minnesota’s Metropolitan Council wanted to improve its internal HR process, focusing on issues such as diversity, professional development, and organizational culture.

The approach

Bridge Innovate used Sprintbase with each team to run their projects. All teams were participating in their sprints alongside their day-to-day activities, so the structure provided by the platform made sure they kept making progress.

Coaches at Bridge Innovate scheduled one-to-ones with each team to provide support and keep them on track. In virtual group meetings, team members had the opportunity to give each other feedback, and then each person would have time to work alone to reflect and submit their individual contributions.

What next?

Some of these projects are still ongoing, and solutions to each challenge are being informed by fantastic field research carried out with people in communities.

As a result of their project, the team behind Open Streets 704 has reinvented the way it plans events. Prior to this project, they had never included individuals outside of their usual planning team in their field research. Doing so during this sprint brought a new perspective and helped build a more diverse team.

The team has also introduced a ‘route walk’, which involves speaking to vendors and others involved with their events to find out about their needs and pain points to help improve their experience and the event overall.

“The Bridge Innovate Vibrancy Strategy really helped our team crystallize its thinking around how to best leverage our nonprofit center’s resources to both increase revenue and make it a more vital and engaging place for the community. The Bridge Innovate process helped make complex strategy easier to develop with manageable steps that naturally flowed together to create a wholly formed product. And, the Bridge Innovate team was great to work with, they really challenged our team to get outside our comfort zone. I highly recommend this process for organizations looking to take their work to the next level.”

Mark Walker

Director, The Jessie & Senior Program Officer, Jessie Ball duPont Fund

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