Getting to Better

Welcome to Getting to Better, our blog for stories, insights, and industry trends surrounding social innovation, capacity building, design thinking, and human-centred design.

Overlap Awarded New Ontario Vendor of Record Status in Strategic Public Engagement

Posted by Katherine Hannemann on October 23, 2017

After over six years of conducting broad-reaching and in-depth engagement, Overlap Associates is now an Ontario Vendor of Record in the brand new Management Consulting (VOR #OSS-00426611) Role: Strategic Public Engagement.


As an official Vendor of Record (VOR), we are pre-qualified to provide goods and services for select public engagement projects within Ontario ministries and certain organizations, per the conditions of the VOR arrangement.

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Tags: Overlap, Canada, Community Engagement

How to Use Community Prioritization Boards to Make Decisions

Posted by Overlap on September 06, 2017

Decision making is tough enough as an individual, and it's even tougher as a community.

You want to be as inclusive as possible when making decisions as a community organization, but at the same time, you likely don't have the resources to try a whole lot of new ideas. 

You can find out which ideas resonate most with your community using a tool we call Community Prioritization Boards.

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Tags: Tools, Libraries, Community Engagement

Are Street Teams the Right Research Tool for You?

Posted by Delaney Swanson on July 28, 2017

We're understanding more and more that including end-users, stakeholders, or customers of a product or service in the design process improves outcomes. So the next question is, how do you engage with them?

Street teams are one of the core research methods that we regularly use at Overlap to learn about people's needs. We use street teams in our human-centred design work when we need to gather insights from people in their communities.  

Continue reading to learn more about running street teams, when this method works best, and what type of research street teams are suited for.

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Tags: Community Engagement, Design Research, Human-centred Design

5 Ideas for Libraries as a Community Support and Refuge

Posted by Evaleen Hellinga on November 17, 2016

"I just got out of jail and the library is where I'm going to figure out the rest of my life."

One of the many virtues of public libraries is their accessibility. A library is one of few spaces that are truly open to anyone and everyone. That, coupled with the wealth of knowledge and resources that libraries offer means lots of people who are facing challenges in their lives seek refuge and support at the library. In our library community engagement, patrons express a deep appreciation for the library's sense of comfort and safety.
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Tags: Community Engagement, Libraries

Design Thinking, Belonging, and the Role of Libraries

Posted by Brock Hart on November 15, 2016

Our CEO, Brock Hart, gave the Keynote at the Kitchener Public Library Staff Day this month. Here's what he had to say:

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Tags: Libraries, Community Engagement

3 Occasions for an Empathy Map

Posted by Evaleen Hellinga on November 04, 2016

An empathy map is a way for you to understand the experience of an individual or a group. It’s a tool to help you empathize in a meaningful, useful way. You might have guessed, after reading about How to Use an Empathy Map, that the tool gets pulled out of our toolbelt often. We use them all the time in our work. Find three ideal opportunities for filling in an empathy map below, and scroll to the bottom for a free tool download!

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Tags: Tools, Empathy, Engagement, Human-centred Design, Community Engagement