Early February, some of our chapter leadership met with community members come together for our first community meeting of 2017 at Bravo Group in downtown Harrisburg. Inspired by a similar event put on by AIGA Chattanooga, Jared Adams, Drew Lawrence and myself led the group in a few design thinking exercises to brainstorm various issues that we felt as a creative crew, we could help solve in the Harrisburg area. The goal of the evening was to brainstorm one or two ideas that we could them formulate a plan around to serve one of our communities.
This was our initial brainstorming sheet after grouping our ideas into categories. The brainstorming was quick – every idea was written down, no idea was a bad idea, too big or too small, at least, initially.
After categorizing came two rounds of voting. Each contributor had two votes to spend on what categories we felt should move into the next session. Within the two chosen categories (we had a tie), each of us voted on which idea we felt should move to the final brainstorming session. These two ideas would get thought about, planned around & conversed about.
As we began to talk more about the community category, we discussed how to address the question of “why bridge diverse communities”. It’s no secret that there’s a push to create more diverse and inclusive teams and companies, but often times, the why is overlooked and goes unmentioned. One community member mentioned that she thinks the education behind the why is just as important as the action itself. So, we brainstormed around that: how do we explain why this is important and how do we educate and create empathy:
Our second category, youth development, revolved around the idea of teaching leadership skills to youth. Strong youth development creates community and invested leaders within our next generation and exposing younger folks to design now, creates opportunity that explodes in a number of ways. We began to think about what we, as an organization, can do to help our youth become future leaders, what can we teach them and do now to invest in the future of our communities?
Even if you were unable to make the community meeting, the chapter leadership would love to hear your thoughts on the above brainstormed ideas and what you think you can do to help make them a reality. Whether you’re inspired to head one of these ideas up, or have something in mind to help out, reach out! As a 100% volunteer run organization, we’re constantly looking to make a difference in our community can only make amazing things happen when we’re working together.
Shout out to Drew Lawrence for setting up the community meeting & Bravo Group for hosting us.