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Intangible measures of success

Co-design leads to unmeasurable experiences that can deeply impact the community.

When publishing information from a co-design event, the public may wonder how the success of such a collaborative effort can be measured. In common practice, measuring success means ignoring small numbers, edge cases, immeasurables, and instead looking for large numbers that can statistically prove higher rates of success. However, these information sets are flawed, incomplete, and missing the uncountable and unique perspectives.

With an inclusive approach, we work with small numbers, with communities who have experienced marginalization and exclusion due to any form of human differences. We believe that it’s those rare, uncountable, and small numbers that have the largest capacity for disruption and true innovation. Co-design aims to invert these vicious cycles of exclusion and injustice. Every perspective is counted, valued, and given an opportunity to participate, and help to define what counts.

A co-design process leads to experiences that are significantly valuable for both participants and the community but in many ways impossible to measure. These experiences help us to be more respectful of our differences, find ways to better collaborate, and generate ideas that are more diverse and innovative. These are all small successes that should be documented, celebrated and shared with the community as an alternative way to measure impact.