Getting to Better

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

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

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.

WHAT DOES OUR STRATEGIC PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOR STATUS MEAN FOR THE ORGANIZATIONS WE WORK WITH?

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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Overlap Celebrates 6 Years of Sharing the Power of Design

October 05, 2017

2017 has been a big year for Overlap.

We’ve been reflecting on our journey over the past six years - remembering our first little office above Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Kitchener with just one desk, three chairs and a big vision to make a positive social impact in our world through our new business venture.

We’ve come a long way since those early days. This past March, Overlap moved into a new office with over  6000-square-feet to accommodate our growing team of brilliant designers.  

And this fall we had the honour of receiving the Canadian Business Excellence Awards for Private Business.

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Overlap Wins Canadian Business Excellence Award For Private Businesses

September 21, 2017

Overlap is thrilled and honoured to announce our place amongst the 2017-18 Canadian Business Excellence Award winners for Private Businesses.

The CBEA awards are given out to businesses that demonstrate a successful approach to improving three performance areas: Delighted Customers; Engaged Employees; and Innovation. This prestigious designation is awarded by Excellence Canada and PwC Canada once a year.

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The 25th Team Sets a New Standard For Global Giving

September 12, 2017

UNICEF Canada’s 25th Team is a unique partnership that brought together 60 Canadian women to help women and children in need around the world.

Among these women is our very own Co-Founder Lisa Grogan.

Lisa and the other 59 members of The 25th Team, along with the Government of Canada, The Garrett Family Foundation, and Teck, have pledged a four-year financial commitment to change the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women and children.

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Why Overlap Offers Employees Balance Days

July 20, 2017

A Balance Day is paid time off in addition to anyone’s current allotted vacation days.

Overlap contributes to healthy, fulfilling lives beyond work by providing staff with five additional paid balance days off per year.

It’s important to recognize that there are certain days or certain times of the year that are busy. Balance Days are a way to acknowledge the dedication of all staff through these periods.

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Why I Left Fundraising to Work In Human-Centred Design

May 10, 2017

Overlap’s Head, Relationships and Problem Framing, Alison Portt, shares her journey from charity development director to entering the world of human-centred design.

I made the decision to leave a successful career in fundraising to join Overlap, a social innovation design firm in Kitchener, Ontario. This massive career decision was a difficult one to make, but it was ultimately a long-time coming.

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Everything You Should Know Before Attending Your Overlap Design Thinking Course

April 20, 2017

Design Thinking is not an exclusive skill, natural ability, fine art, or rocket science.

Design thinking is accessible to everyone.

In this post you'll find additional information and useful tips for attending your Overlap design thinking course.

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Overlap Expands Kitchener Office to Accommodate Growing Team

April 03, 2017

Overlap moved to a larger, more versatile workspace to accommodate its growing Canadian team.

Overlap is a social innovation design consultancy in Kitchener, Ontario that believes better is possible. Overlap helps organizations use human-centred design to create revolutionary products and services that make a better reality for people, organizations and, ultimately, the world around them.

As of March 2017, Overlap moved into a brand new workspace on King Street West in Kitchener, Ontario. The location is on the same floor as the former office, but it’s over two times the space with an open concept work environment, multiple project rooms and a large boardroom for public and private workshops.

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How to Create an Ideal Workspace Using Human-Centred Office Design

March 10, 2017

We reshaped our workspace using human-centred office design to meet the needs of our team. 

Taking a human-centred approach to design results in an office that works for your needs and not the other way around. A workspace designed for the people that use it can increase productivity, facilitate collaboration, and boost company morale.

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How a Social Worker Became a Human-Centred Designer

October 12, 2016

The Journey

I wonder what it's like?
I'm sure some people thought I was making a mistake. I had a great job with a great salary, a great pension and a great leader. I was doing work that I actually cared about. And yet with all of this, I kept thinking "I wonder what it's like to work at Overlap?"
 
But I'm not a designer, I'm a social worker!
I'm a clinical social worker and therapist by trade. I've worked in many different places and spaces doing clinical work and in leadership roles.  I've worked as a child welfare intake worker, as a network administrator, a sexual assault response team counsellor, as an LGBTQ public educator and recently as a 'system planner' in addictions and mental health. To me, it didn't always matter as much where I worked as long as I was having a positive impact and I was excited about the work.