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.

How You Can Prepare for the Future Using Strategic Foresight

Posted by Overlap

You may not be able to predict the future, but you can prepare for it. Foresight uses research to map out educated possibilities for the future. The more you consider these possibilities, the more you can prepare yourself, and your organization for what’s to come.

This post will introduce you to using strategic foresight, outline examples of signals and trends, (including the rise of Netflix), and get you started with an exercise that will help prepare your organization for the future.

Change may be a constant, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Consider all of the technological, social, economic, and political changes that have occurred even in the past ten years. Get your organization on the path that’s the most likely to lead to success using strategic foresight.

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Tags: Design, Human-centred Design, Design Thinking, Foresight

We Asked Kids Age 2 - 12 What They Want the Future to Look Like

Posted by Jordan Nottrodt

On Monday, November 20th, UNICEF is helping #KidsTakeOver for World Children's Day. Kids around the world will deliver the news, share ideas, sit in parliament seats, and more.

It's a day for children, by children, to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights, and help them fulfil their potential. Learn more about World Children's Day.  And join UNICEF Canada's One Youth movement to help make child and youth well-being a priority across the country.

This is a day of fun with a serious message, and we wanted our community of kids to participate too. Below is a blog written by kids. To participate, we asked:



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Tags: Canada, Social Innovation, Foresight

The Pros and Cons of Chatbots and How to Use Them to Gather Rich Data

Posted by Dave Dowhaniuk

Chatbot technology and user experience have come a long way since the days of Microsoft’s Office Assistant named Clippy. When designed well, today’s chatbots can help businesses automate, assist with user experience, and gather rich data from its customers.

Overlap’s design team uses chatbots for certain types of design research because they can access user data in a way surveys or person-to-person interviews cannot. Chatbots can produce phenomenal results, but to get there, they take plenty of planning, thoughtful design, and continual monitoring.

Overlap’s Senior Designer Dave Dowhaniuk participated in a Twitter chat with Startups Canada that dug into the pros and cons of chatbots. You can view the full chat on Storify and continue reading for Dave’s expanded answers on taking a human-centred approach to chatbot design.


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Tags: Design Research, Human-centred Design, Foresight

What We Want Canada to Look like 150 Years from Now

Posted by Overlap

150 years ago, could we have ever imagined owning a car that would drive itself?

In just the past decade, new technology has made it possible to affordably map your own genome and to set your vehicle to drive itself. In 1867, prototypes for lightbulbs were being tested, the population of Canada was roughly that of Toronto today, and the average life expectancy was less than 50 years old.

July 1, 2017, marks 150 years since Confederation. Like a lot of Canadians, we have mixed feelings about that milestone. We don’t want to party it up while we still have so much work to do on acknowledging and repairing the damage done in our past.

At Overlap, the theme of this July 1st is how we hope to do better over the next 150 years.

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Tags: Canada, Social Innovation, Foresight