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Source: Koerber Foundation “How can municipalities continue to promote innovative offers in the best possible way in the future?” The participants of the Stadtlabor Online got to know two methods from design thinking in order to be able to determine a starting point for innovative offers in municipalities. The Berlin ideas laboratory presented the methods “A day in a life of” and “Persona analysis”.

As the Körber Demography Symposium and the brochure “Communal Innovation” recently published by the Körber Foundation and the Berlin Institute show, many social and age-friendly innovations arose in the communes during the Corona period. These innovations will continue to be of great importance in the future. In a two-hour digital format with the Berlin Ideas Laboratory, the alumni of the “Age and Commune” program of the Körber Foundation learned which new methodological impulses can be helpful in their creation. Modules from the innovation method Design Thinking were presented. It is about the effectiveness of the change of perspective and two innovative methods to determine the starting point for innovative offers and to be able to create a tangible picture of the target group.Making the target group tangible At the beginning of every innovation there is an understanding of the problem and thus also the development of empathy. With the “A day in a life of” method, an understanding of the wishes, motivations and problems of a user group can be determined even in times of physical distancing. For example, with the help of photo diaries and “cultural probes” by the citizens. Exemplary and fictitious photo collections were evaluated in the workshop. The second step is the definition and thus the so-called »persona analysis«. Here, fictitious user profiles are created that help make the target group tangible. Personas do two things: They summarize and go into detail by reflecting specific needs.Reality for Karl-Heinz, Ralf and Kurt At the end of the workshop and as the result of small group work, there were three fictitious examples: the family-oriented Karl-Heinz, the sporty and meaningful Ralf and the lonely Kurt, all three retired or shortly before. All three personas are literally fictitious, but offer the opportunity to develop human-centered innovations with reference to them. Those responsible for demography in municipalities could possibly use the fictitious personas to sharpen planned new offers in their work with the elderly much more easily. For many large and well-known global companies, these methods from design thinking have long been helpful everyday. Now it is possible to work in a more innovative and target-group-specific way with “personas” in municipalities. The method also helps to consider citizens in processes at an early stage and to allow them to participate and thus also stands for the idea of ​​co-creation. “I have learned a lot and will incorporate persona into my work,” says Ulrike Jakisch, area coordinator in the Harburg district office, summing up the workshop. The Stadtlabor Online is a format for regular digital collegial exchange on the topics of the age-friendly city. In a small group, the participants receive thematic and methodical inputs from local practice, science and politics.


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