The Challenge


How might we all maintain wellbeing and thrive as we age? read the brief

Winning idea

Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pods embedded within the mature community (eg. ElderIDEO) UPDATED

Physical spaces within Senior or Community Centers, Assisted Living Facilities, etc. where retired/aging/mature individuals can participate in a structured, facilitated design-thinking process to design solutions to aging-related issues /challenges.

The initial inspiration for this concept came from a comment made by Barbara A. on this platform, in response to the Challenge Brief. Barbara wrote “Some good points - but the voice (the "we's" and "they's") and perspective of the pitch assume that the people engaging with this challenge are not old and that younger people will be coming up with the solutions. I hope this challenge is being promoted widely via channels with older audiences so we all get a chance to offer our insights, experiences and good ideas!”

Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pods is a simple concept: To bring the Design-Thinking methodology to the aging communities themselves; To empower aging men and women to build on a lifetime of experience, collaborate with others and help to create and innovate for themselves and for their communities.

In additionto the Design-Thinking process / toolkit, this would include a physical space (walls for sticky notes, white boards, flexible seating, storage for basic supplies / prototyping materials etc) and a trained facilitator who would jumpstart the Design-Thinking process until the community could take over for themselves.

Small groups of Seniors / Retirees or other able-minded aging cohorts and / or their caretakers/nurses/staff-members would be led though a structured process to: Define, Discover, Ideate & Prototype on a continual basis,solving problems they face, and challenges they encounter, large and small.

An online platform developed for this community of Elderly Design-Thinkers would allow them to share experiences, access resources and build a global community of practice.

Addendum: I had a great face-to-face meeting with many members of my Virtual Team yesterday: Thanks Kenny, John, Delia and Shashank!  As was also mentioned in some of the comments, we discussed the importance of including caregivers, and staff / professionals as well as designers in the design team / pods.  We also discussed the importance of having a strong structure / facilitator at the beginning to get these design-communities going, but that the goal should be for the facilitators, eventually, to remove themselves ie to inculcate / embed the thought-process, skills and methodology within the community center or home or hospital.  Toward this end we came up with a fun 'ice breaker' project to have the participants redesign they food tray (if they use a food service) or their pill dispenser, or something they use everyday. In other words, to start with a very concrete 'product' and work toward designing experiences or systems.  We plan to prototype this process with a local senior community center in the fall. 

UPDATE FROM REFINEMENT PHASE: During this phase there has been some nice momentum building for this concept.

First, we identified adults who are 'aging in place' (versus Senior Centers or Assisted Living Facilities) as the primary target for this initial prototyping phase for this concept.

Then we identified a large apartment building in Greenwich Village NYC that has a de facto aging community of diverse professionals (retired / semi-retired: professors, artists,writers, publishers, business men/women, lawyers etc.), all of whom have lived in the building for a long time. We approached one core member of this community with the ElderIDEO / Participatory Pod Concept and he agreed to enlist other members of the community to join in a prototype workshop around a challenge of the groups’ choosing. Some of these initial ‘challenge’ ideas are listed below.

There were two exciting outcomes from this initial foray into the field:

First, as our contact approached his community, he was surprised and delighted by the positive response. We had initially suggested that the prototyping group be comprised of 8 people from the building, we have now expanded that number as word-of-mouth has spread through the building and many more are interested in joining the session. We are planning to meet with this group in the Fall / October.

The second outcome was that word of the initiative spread to a thought-leader / domain specialist: Marion Swaybill, who, together with her collaborator, Joanne Roberts has been active in the ‘aging in place' space since 2008 (see comment below for details). As noted below, Marion will set up meetings with several innovation-oriented, aging-in-place-centric organizations with whom she has worked and for whom the Participatory Pod process / concept may beinviting and viable.

During these conversations, a number of potential challenges have emerged for the session(s). We will continue to solicit more, and will then focus on one for the prototyping phase: Here are a few examples of ‘challenge’ which have surfaced to date:

“How might we become more comfortable with technology."

And from Marion: “Other ideas for test workshop in the fall. I think the sense o fisolation comes much later in life, if you live long enough and all yourfriends are gone. A younger, more of-the-moment idea might be how do we keepour individual communities vital…make new friends…find new activities so wecontinue to flourish as we get older / retire?

In a similar vein, how do we remain relevant? Technology might be part of this rather than a subject unto itself.

Can I go it alone? How do widows and widowers keep moving…or falling forward as a friend of mine says.

Something around resourcefulness…how can we become more resourceful as we get older.

All these ideas reflect my beliefthat one of the hardest things to face as we get older is that our worlds shrink…whether in the transition of work to retirement, downsizing life, kids moving away, friends moving away, becoming diminished or dying. People don't talk about it much…all of a sudden you realize it's happening. It's a later-in-life challenge that can be met with creative thinking and willingness to seek out new companions and opportunities.” (end of quote from Marion)

The goal of the prototyping session(s) planned for the fall is NOT necessarily to come up THE big idea or THE solution, but rather to experience the ‘DesignThinking’ process, and to give us feedback about the process?

- Was it fun? Productive? Engaging?

- Does it seem like a process we could use as a community going forward?

- What other challenges could weaddress using this process?

We are excited about the momentum that is building for this concept and we will use this platform to update the OpenIDEO community with our progress by adding photos, videos and reports from the prototyping sessions. We hope others who have indicated in the comments that they are creating their own Participatory Pods within their communities and organizations will do the same.

One Final Update from Virtual Team Member William Snyder: 

2 Comments re ongoing facilitation and monetization: 

"Quick comment on the idea: don’t plan on facilitators/coordinators passing on the torch to local community, because it may be important to keep such a role. I would suggest planning to have someone there, because a coordinator is likely always needed if there is going to be ongoing participative design…and, it could be a resident or staff member (or multiple of them) who get certified, and who become members of a Community of Practice across participating centers doing this work.

Further, you / we should find way to monetize the work of these innovation-coordinators so there is stream of sustained funding for them, and for an overall organizing entity to help scale the effort, grow the discipline, coordinate institutional partnerships (which in turn, provide new funding and application opportunities), etc. this is down the line, of course, but there are implications for thinking through the design and business model now."

How might your idea scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?
In addition to Design-Thinking Process toolkits which already exist, a turnkey manual would be developed to help organizations such a Community and Senior Centers to carve out space for a Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pod: Size of room, wall surfaces, furniture, supplies, etc. A network of facilitators would be on identified who could work with a Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pod to get the process going. As these communities take-off, members of active pods can begin to facilitate new pods in new venues.
How might your idea attract and involve partners from health care, business, government, nonprofit or other sectors?
The Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pods Design-Thinking process could include an emphasis on bringing outside experts / stakeholders into the process, including health care, business, government, nonprofit, etc.
How might you design an early experiment or prototype to further develop your idea?
I have identified a few small senior community centers / groups in NYC and hope to contact them in the next few weeks to see if we can conduct a pilot Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pod exercise. I am hoping to include members of our NYC OpenIDEO team, included as Virtual Members below.

Evaluation results


How well does this idea enable people to maintain wellbeing and thrive as they age?

Really well. There's clear value in this idea for people of all ages
This idea is getting there but the connection to healthy ageing isn't quite clear
Not so well – there were other ideas that provide more real value for people as they age

Does this idea outline a clear mechanism or strategy that would enable it to scale and spread around the world?

Yep – it's really clear how this idea would get diffused and adopted by people from all over
Seems like the mechanism for diffusion still needs some fleshing out
No, it doesn't really look like it takes scale and spread into account.

How attractive is this idea for partners from health care, business, government, nonprofit or other sectors to get involved?

This idea is ready for partnership! It's easy to see how and why different sectors would want to get involved
There's some opportunity for partners here but it would need more refinement to really attract other organisations or people
It's not clear to me how or why partners would be motivated to get involved

How easy would it be to pilot an early version of this idea for continued iteration and learning?

Really easy – ways that we might test this idea in a pilot are already springing to mind
A pilot would be doable – but we'd need to spend quite a bit of time to figure out how to do it
An early pilot doesn't seem too easy at this point

Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world
I liked it but preferred others
It didn't get me so excited


Crystal's profile photo

Crystal Campbell

A note from Sylvia about Crystal's participation in this Team:
Your post is very helpful. Great systematic approach.  thanks so much!
Matthew's profile photo

Matthew Moore

A note from Sylvia about Matthew's participation in this Team:
Curious to hear about your progress / realization / implementation! 


Join the conversation and post a comment.

Dawn Galletly

January 25, 2014, 11:39AM
Hi Sylvia and group - great idea - can I help with the piloting please?

I am working on community engagement designs for Dementia Friendly Communities. The process is cross generational, capturing input from people with any phase diagnosis and their carers, friends, families & neighbours, as well as local businesses, schools, colleges and public services.

Rachael Barrett

December 01, 2013, 04:52AM
Hi Sylvia,

You may want to check out the Intergenerational team in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Funded by Tides Foundation, seniors living in Brownsville public housing are giving talks at WHO conferences on age friendly cities in Canada See

Richard Caro

September 16, 2013, 20:57PM
Hi Sylvia:

I and some colleagues have an interest in getting involved in some prototyping of ideas like this. We are based in the SF Bay Area and have deep roots into both the tech industry and the aging services industry.

Are you open to discussion / collaboration?
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Sylvia Stein

September 16, 2013, 21:09PM
absolutely! Looking forward to connecting.

Nathan Waterhouse

November 11, 2013, 10:51AM
Richard, thanks for helping to encourage the impact of Sylvia's idea in SF!

Ashley Jablow

September 12, 2013, 19:42PM
Hi Sylvia and team – congrats on your winning concept! If you're interested in pursuing your idea further, you might want to check out the Knight News Challenge. They're focusing on the topic of health and the winning entries will receive grant funding to bring ideas to life. You can check it out here Congrats again!


September 05, 2013, 21:55PM
We're excited that many OpenIDEO collaborators on this challenge have been talking about prototyping their ideas going forward. Awesome! If you take things further, be sure to let us know at key milestones via our Share Your Story feature: so we might help celebrate your progress and inspire others to transform ideas into action and social impact.

Vishal Jodhani

September 02, 2013, 12:04PM
Congratulations Sylvia. It's amazing to see how this idea has evolved online AND offline. And all the momentum that's building up especially with the prototyping is definitely an inspiration for the OpenIDEO community!

Vikram Lokhande

September 01, 2013, 07:11AM
Congratulations Sylvia. All the best with the final realization.

Paul Reader

August 30, 2013, 05:04AM
Congratulations Sylvia - as Katerina says it contributes to healthy minds and at the same time allows (us) seniors to explore solutions to our own challenges. I will be interested to see this going through the implementation phase.
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Sylvia Stein

August 30, 2013, 13:01PM
Thanks Paul: We will be prototyping a very basic / simple version of this concept with a few groups in NYC in the fall and I will update this post. If you are inspired to organize a session in Australia!! perhaps I could collaborate with you (via email) to help you get the team / resources you need to start the process. feel free to contact me at

Katerina Prokopiou

August 29, 2013, 18:37PM
Sylvia congratulations on your winning idea! I loved it straight away! I believe in it because I believe that to keep ourselves truly alive we need to keep an active mind and your idea does just that :)
Sylvia's profile photo

Sylvia Stein

August 30, 2013, 13:05PM
Thanks Katerina: I'm glad that you highlighted this aspect of the concept. I agree 100%. I will update this post as we begin prototyping in the fall to keep you posted.

Katerina Prokopiou

August 31, 2013, 09:30AM
That will be wonderful, I am looking forward to see how this will grow now :)
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Sylvia Stein

August 19, 2013, 14:01PM
A few further developments on the prototyping front.

Recruitment for the fall session in the building described below is going very well. The concept seems to have broad appeal via word-of-mouth and it now looks like the session will be over-subscribed (we will be happy to included up to 20 participants).

Through one member of this group I was introduced to Marion Swaybill [a new member of OnlineIDEO]. Marion and her collaborator, Joanne Roberts have been active in the ‘aging in place' space since 2008. Among other things, they've been exploring how leading edge boomers and others will redefine our notions of aging, how we'll live and the choices we'll make as older Americans. Marion will set up meetings with several innovation-oriented, aging-in-place-centric organizations with whom she's worked and for whom the Participatory Pod process / concept may be inviting and viable.

Further, Marion provided and number of ideas for possible design challenges for these groups:

From Marion: “Other ideas for test workshop in the fall. I think the sense of isolation comes much later in life, if you live long enough and all your friends are gone. A younger, more of-the-moment idea might be how do we keep our individual communities vital…make new friends…find new activities so we continue to flourish as we get older / retire?

In a similar vein, how do we remain relevant? Technology might be part of this rather than a subject unto itself.

Can I go it alone? How do widows and widowers keep moving…or falling forward as a friend of mine says.

Something around resourcefulness…how can we become more resourceful as we get older.

All these ideas reflect my belief that one of the hardest things to face as we get older is that our worlds shrink…whether in the transition of work to retirement, downsizing life, kids moving away, friends moving away, becoming diminished or dying. People don't talk about it much…all of a sudden you realize it's happening. It's a later-in-life challenge that can be met with creative thinking and willingness to seek out new companions and opportunities.”

I’m excited about continuing the conversation with Marion and Joanne, and all the other independently-living, “design-thinking trainees” in the fall.
Matthew's profile photo

Matthew Moore

August 19, 2013, 14:26PM
Marion's insights are very thought provoking, interesting—helpful views into recurring themes we read about and observe. The idea of a shrinking world, of narrowing options is very powerful for me as I think of people I know or who I have interacted with through observational research. Shrinking sphere of our life, shrinking of options looking forward, shrinking options in the moment to moment—none of these feel like good things..

Semi-random thought:
We've been looking a lot at the concept of autonomy rather than independence—we value inter-dependence, connections—we do not much like not being in control, of having stuff *happen* to us. Marion's thought of resourcefulness seems to get at this. How can we help people be resilient, have the wherewithal to proactively push back against or make irrelevant the changes that happen *to* us by developing workarounds or going in new, interesting directions.

Meena Kadri

August 20, 2013, 01:42AM
Loving it when you throw in 'semi-random' gems like this, Matthew!

Meena Kadri

August 20, 2013, 01:49AM
And a tip for Sylvia: might be worthwhile updating your post to make it more obvious that you guys are really committed to prototyping this in fall and have started setting things in motion – including with the help of domain specialists. I didn't quite realise the (super exciting) extent you've got to till I read your comment here. Could be good to get some highlights of this into your post before Evaluation?

Meena Kadri

August 20, 2013, 01:50AM
that should have read (***super exciting***) ;^)
Sylvia's profile photo

Sylvia Stein

August 09, 2013, 15:51PM
As I mentioned in another post, there is quite a steep learning curve required for administrators of Senior Center / Asst Living Centers to grasp this concept.I have contacted a few and am in conversations with them. It has become clear that it will take weeks, if not months to schedule a session with these communities. Once we have a few stories to tell / impacts to demonstrate, it will become a lot easier.


Holly Gewandter, a virtual team member, had a great suggestion that is much easier to plan, and will provide a great 'pilot' experience. It involves a group of very accomplished and active seniors who we know, and who all live in an apt. building in NYC. While not a formal community, many of the retired members of this building have created rich a social community. I am in conversations with one member of this community to plan a session with ~ 8 of them in the Fall. We may also include some students from Parsons or Pratt (thanks for the suggestion Jane / Anne-Laure).

Challenge TBD - but for now we are focusing on an issue 'close to home.'. One suggestions so far: How might we become more comfortable with technology."

 The goal of this session is NOT to come up THE big idea or THE solution, but rather to experience the ‘Design Thinking’ process, and to give us feedback about the process?
- Was it fun? Productive? Engaging?
- Does it seem like a process we could use as a community going forward?
- What other challenges could we address using this process?

We hope to photograph / video the session and I will post a write-up / report after we hold the session.

Meena Kadri

August 11, 2013, 22:20PM
Great thinking to start with something more achievable, Sylvia and co. – plus also to think of this as a starting point on which to build from feedback and observations for further iterations. This is the power of prototyping! (and I like that it acknowledges that the path to impact is often not as straight forward as we first imagine) Meanwhile you might like to think about outlining a workshop process for your Close to Home theme. What kinds of specific ice-breakers and activities might you include?

Meena Kadri

August 13, 2013, 22:05PM
And thought you might enjoy looking through the updates and stellar learnings on this: So exciting when folks go from thinking about their OpenIDEO ideas to putting them into action and we appreciate the efforts that you all take and learnings that are made when you do so. Prototypers unite!
Crystal's profile photo

Crystal Campbell

August 19, 2013, 13:33PM
For early stage workshop planning, we work with a simple GLDS cycle -which is just Give, Listen, Do, Share. We divide the entire workshop into these mini-cycles.

We make sure that we:
Give: talk the workshop participants through the process we are talking them through
Listen: this represents the space we give them to listen and understand the information we are giving
Do: now it's time to complete the activity
Share: now it's time for the participants to feedback and share their insights on the activity

We have found that it works very well.

Meredith Hennessy

August 08, 2013, 18:21PM
I really like this concept and in line with conversations that are occurring among local foundations and nonprofits in Memphis when thinking about how to serve and support aging in place for our older adults and their caregivers. I would love to see the results of this work made available so that many communities could benefit from some of the design solutions. It's also important to think about how to engage the local designers and builders so that they're engaged and understand the benefits of incorporating the proposed solutions.
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Sylvia Stein

August 09, 2013, 15:18PM
Thanks Maureen. I will write a post soon about my plans to prototype this idea. I will be holding a few session in the Fall, and I will let you know how it goes. In the meantime, it looks like Matthew will be conducting some session to design a better transition from hospital to home. I expect we can all learn a lot from his experience.

andrea schneider

August 07, 2013, 19:07PM
The design process is geared towards thoughtful action. Perhaps you could launch elder design challenges addressing things like housing in communities. We need really great ideas to solve this one.
The best ideas could find partners through public/private support with government, philanthropy and private sector, such as architects, interior designers, maybe a reality TV show on the home network, etc.

I think there are seriously compelling issues that effect older people directly and are hard to solve. You could ignite the public imagination, make a real difference and it would be fun and meaningful. The key is being able to act and implement.

If you hook up with design centers, as suggested, you would concurrently build capacity in the process, as well as demonstrate how innovative ideas go from planning to action. Perhaps Kickstarter could get involved, as well as the civic tech community. Creating a Hub, diverse teams and finding solutions.

Taking design thinking beyond the process is a good challenge in general.
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Sylvia Stein

August 09, 2013, 15:23PM
Andrea - this is a great build. Very inspiring. Thanks. One of the questions we plan to ask our test group in the Fall, after we take them through the design thinking process is "Does it seem like a process they could use as a community going forward? What other challenges could they envision addressing using this process? I agree, it would be great to have a trained / more advanced 'elderIDEO (for lack of a better name) team with very diverse backgrounds and experiences, tackle issues such as housing, and more. thanks for the post!
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Crystal Campbell

August 07, 2013, 10:08AM
I would like to add some thoughts Re: How might your idea attract and involve partners from health care, business, government, nonprofit or other sectors?

It would be very important to have a very clear value offering for each of the partners that you might like to have involved.

But for starters, this project requires support networks in many parts of it's chain. Let's see:
1. Building knowledge and awareness of the value of this program within the instituions themselves
2. Designing, testing and iterations of the program
3. Training of facilitators
4. Community engagement activities
5. Methodologies for running successful participatory pods
6. Evaluations of the program that will allow future growth

Partners can be involved from a wide variety of industries as long as they have aligned interests - ranging from healthy living (food, body & mind health, financial ...) to services, to interior and industrial design, to tech. (quantified self, self aware objects ...)

They become part of the support network without a monetary exchange by:
1. Providing connections to organisational networks
2. Distributing information through their networks
3. Endorsements
4. Providing space and materials
5. Providing drinks and refreshments
6. Sponsoring trainees
7. ...

Partners propose themes and provide a context into which the Pod investigates.
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Sylvia Stein

August 09, 2013, 15:32PM
Crystal - Thank you so much for this thoughtful and very systematic post. I am finding there is a steep learning curve to communicating the value proposition to the various stakeholders, but you offer a very logical process for building the momentum.

We had not thought about all the partner possibilities, but this makes a lot of sense. As we introduce this concept to different communities. we'll be thinking about a wider community of partners who could be involved. Great build. Thanks!


July 30, 2013, 22:14PM
Congrats on making the Healthy Ageing Challenge Top 20! We're really excited that your idea brings older adults through a participatory process to design for their own needs and challenges. During Refinement, we hope you'll bring this kind of training to the senior centers you mentioned in your idea and prototype how this might work. We can't wait to hear what you learn from it! From there, we'd love to hear how this idea will become sustainable and replicable over time – will it be a packaged learning program that senior centers might purchase and run themselves? Would teams of designers offer this training pro-bono? Something else? For more tips on how to iterate and prototype your idea during the Refinement phase, read here and check this Lowdown:
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Delia Kulukundis

July 30, 2013, 04:09AM
Sylvia, I think this is a great concept! I think it could work especially well in an assisted-living or a continuing-care community. That way you could start by training a group of people who could later become facilitators for ongoing projects in the community. The participatory pods could provide a good catalyst for intermixing between generations in those types of communities. (see this inspiration for a discussion of the need for that:

Mel + Frank

July 30, 2013, 13:32PM
hey delia - i totally agree. the assisted living folks could first become the elderIDEO facilitators-in-residence. this would also greatly help with the real need for more interplay between these two typically more insular groups within the nursing home communities.
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Sylvia Stein

July 31, 2013, 17:49PM
Delia & Mel: Thanks for this. I agree that a small asst. living facility or continuing care community would be the best place to start. I'm looking for just such a facility in the tri-state (or Long Island) area to prototype and very focused Design Thinking workshop to redesign the pill dispenser box or cafeteria tray or walker or shopping cart or some other product they use on a regular basis... as a way to lead into designing experiences, activities and communities. From the few discussions I've had thus far, it a big learning curve to get the staff/ administration on board. Ideally there would be some one (or ones) connected to both the OpenIDEO community (ie versed in the concept of Design Thinking) who is also connected to an asst. living facility or continuing care community in the area. Any ideas welcome. It would be great to do some small prototype activity, perhaps together with other stakeholders (staff, administration, insurance, design students etc as per builds below) in the next 19 days!!

Meena Kadri

July 31, 2013, 23:08PM
Bring it on, guys!
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Matthew Moore

August 06, 2013, 20:29PM
Your idea has inspired us to try something similar in a continuing care facility (independent-assisted and full nurse under one roof) connected with Mayo. Our thought is to present some observational research findings around particular problems seniors (and their caregivers) undergoing transitions from hospitals to home encounter. We are hoping this will give two benefits: help provide a meaningful activity for the participants and solutions we can implement to help support transitioning patients. The thought is by focusing the work a bit we can engage people successfully who might not be used to a more open ended innovation environment.

We are thinking either weekly or biweekly 1 to 2 hour sessions with encouragement to work in between. We'll be starting soon (I think/hope) with our pilot! Updates to follow.
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Sylvia Stein

August 06, 2013, 22:18PM
Matthew - this is really exciting! Just fyi - I found this video of a session & and materials:

Scroll down for 'Go For a Ride, Virtual Crash Course Video' ... you can skip through most of it) I thought it might be a good structure for these sessions. I hope you find this helpful. While the challenge in the example in the video was to ‘design a better gift giving experience’ yours would be, as you suggest, ‘How to create a better transition from hospital to home.’

I wish I could join you for your sessions! Really looking forward to hearing how it goes!

I am trying to plan a session in NYC as well, but mine will be somewhat artificial (I will post about this soon). If you have any contacts in your field in NYC who might be open to such a session around any problem / issue / design challenge, please let me know.

Meena Kadri

August 06, 2013, 22:40PM
Exciting to learn about Mayo's trials and Sylvia's! Looking forward to hearing how things go on both.
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Nick Dawson

July 16, 2013, 15:58PM
ElderIDEO - too cool!
As an additional way to engage hospitals and other organizations, what about hosting elder hack-a-thons?

Hospitals, payors, insurance companies, etc could propose challenges, much like what we are doing here, and invite elders to help solve them.

For instance, what if a local hospital asked "how might we make the cafeteria more accessible for elderly visitors?" What a great chance for co-design!

T. Annie Nguyen

July 30, 2013, 06:13AM
Great hat everyone was able to help build this idea in person, Sylvia :) I like Nick's idea to engage organizations to be sponsored or host events that get people together to come up with quick fixes/solutions. Definitely some great opportunities for prototyping!
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Sylvia Stein

July 31, 2013, 17:51PM
Agree Annie and Thanks Nick! It would be wonderful to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the process. Annie, I believe you are in the NYC area. If you have any ideas about where we could prototype this idea (see comment above) in the area, please let me know. thx

T. Annie Nguyen

August 06, 2013, 02:08AM
Hi Sylvia,
Yes, I'm in the area. Would love to see if we could try to prototype some concepts together. I'm looking into seeing if I can find a space. Let me know if you find a place and we can organize another meetup soon!


July 15, 2013, 15:28PM
I love this idea of co-creation and participatory design. I think you could also consider partnering with a design school to get design students to help facilitate these workshops (for example, Parsons School of Design in NYC).

The design students should be familiar with participatory design activities, so they can help you by providing knowledge, ideas, and volunteering their time. As these students will be our future designers, it would be great for this younger generation in school to gain insights about this important topic from the older generations.
Anne-Laure's profile photo

Anne-Laure Fayard

July 15, 2013, 15:54PM
Thanks Jane! I like the idea of connecting with a design school: Parsons is indeed an option. Pratt is another one... SVA also has a social innovation program... ITP @ NYU also has interesting classes in the context of this idea.
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Sylvia Stein

July 15, 2013, 17:29PM
Great build Jane / Anne-Laure. Perhaps we could try to include some students from Parson's Pratt, ITP/NYU or SVA when we conduct the pilot.
Anne-Laure's profile photo

Anne-Laure Fayard

July 15, 2013, 21:26PM
Definitely worth inviting them!
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Anne-Laure Fayard

July 15, 2013, 08:08AM
Thanks Sylvia for including me in your virtual team.

I really like the idea of going beyond the we vs. they and to think in terms of co-creation and participatory design involving the users of the services and products. It is indeed key and I sometimes feel we might make wrong assumptions about the needs and desires of the elderly. We could also think of having some of these workshops involving families to create some conversations and co-create and develop solutions.

I really like the physical aspect of this idea also: first because I am not sure an online platform is very attractive the current generations of elderly (that might change in the future); second, while using technology as a connector, I think it'd be great to create opportunities for people to go out and meet.

I agree with Meena that it would be a great idea to develop a few personas and scenarios.
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Sylvia Stein

July 15, 2013, 17:31PM
Anne-Laure - I love the idea of including the family-members and other caretakers. Perhaps part of the 'toolkit' should include how best to design the 'design team?' Including a range of stakeholders is a great idea.
Anne-Laure's profile photo

Anne-Laure Fayard

July 15, 2013, 21:30PM
I like the idea of making suggestions on the design team.
I think it is important to involve all actors in order to increase the possibilities to implement the solutions. Moreover, a second output would be to create conversations across generations.

Meena Kadri

July 14, 2013, 23:04PM
Super excited to hear how things go on your pilot!

Meena Kadri

July 14, 2013, 23:26PM
Tip: As your idea grows, you may want to describe some example scenarios which illustrate user journeys through the concept you've outlined. Check this example: where I used a few simple scenarios to help folks understand how the idea might work for different people. ( For this idea it might include some of the experts, stakeholders, etc that you mention)
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