Map a Problem Area

Index Skills
August 27, 2014

Map a Problem Area


At the 2013 Winterhouse Symposium we asked: How can we address childhood obesity?

A lone designer may redesign a cafeteria tray to suggest portion sizes (A stand-alone design).

She may collaborate with the cafeteria staff to change the display of food, drawing on behavioral psychology (a system innovation).

She may engage a celebrity to help bring public attention to the larger cultural problem (a cultural transformation)

That same designer may integrate staff efforts in a single school so that food grown on site can be eaten by the kids that grew it (a system innovation requiring a team).

Or work across schools to link farm-fresh produce to cafeterias (a system innovation requiring cross-sector approval).

Moving from a single school, the designer may work to change district food purchasing policies (a cultural transformation driven by an interdisciplinary team)

And perhaps, work with her state government to implement an organic food standard.