The creative revolution: using  service design to facilitate creative impacts in traditional organizations (English—live translation available)

We typically think of organizations like banks and hospitals as “traditional organizations” defined by rational, bureaucratic processes, rather than creativity. However, creativity—particularly  through design—is playing an increasingly important role in organizational prosperity. From incorporating innovation labs in government to hiring experience design teams at banks, traditional organizations are looking to use creativity to elicit new types of organizational impact. This requires creative workers, designers and traditional organizations to adapt their existing processes to fit within this new context. Despite this trend, few studies examine how suggested best practices translate into actual impact. Inspired by results from a qualitative research project, this presentation aims to provide a conceptual framework of the current state of creativity and service design in traditional organizations. This talk will discuss the outcomes associated with these approaches as well as offer recommendations to incorporate creativity in a way that fosters new sustainable impacts.


Anne Filion, GreenHouse (University of Waterloo)

Anne is inspired to reinvent traditional organizations in ways that better foster creativity. While pursuing her degree in Knowledge Integration, she worked in various social sector innovation labs, on freelance design projects and social entrepreneurship ventures. Inspired by this work, she set out to better understand the operationalization of creativity and design in organizations, particularly those that are large and traditionally-structured. In doing so, she undertook a year-long qualitative research project focused on understanding how creativity can be incorporated into traditional organizations and the challenges and opportunities surrounding these practices. In her current role, Anne works as the Discovery Lab Coordinator for GreenHouse, a social impact incubator and discovery lab at the University of Waterloo. There, she supports students looking to tackle social problems through venture creation and social innovation programs. In addition, Anne designs and facilitates discovery labs, facilitated sessions used to form meaningful connections between young social innovators and local organizations.