Our Approach

We are a team of curious, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative problem solvers. We love listening, building relationships, and co-creating solutions that improve communities and institutions.

All of our work is centered in the practice of Public Impact Design, which integrates the principles of self reflection, human-centered design, and systems thinking.  Through collaborative work with our partners, we recognized the need to reimagine design methods, tools and techniques that drive innovation in the private sector to the greater complexities and higher stakes of governments and nonprofits.

CM-Approach

We believe that personal connection to our work (reflective practice) leads to interpersonal collaboration (human-centered design), which in turn supports sustainable, systemic change (systems thinking). In practice, this approach has the power to grow trust in our public institutions by radically transforming the relationship between public service providers and those they aim to serve. 

We have applied this approach to help our partners

Here are some of the ways this approach shows up in our work

Reflective practice.
A commitment to continuously learning from and growing through our work.

  • We begin by examining our own experience, position, reactions, behaviors and tendencies, and cultivate an awareness of our own interaction with our work and the impact we may have on those we seek to serve
  • We aim to thoughtfully and intentionally integrate self-reflection and critical evaluation into daily decision-making so we may better understand and learn from our work
  • We see our role as conduits and conveners who help surface local knowledge and community-driven innovation, rather than entering communities or engagements as outside experts

Human-centered design.
Designing programs, policies, and services WITH those who are directly impacted.

  • We believe that truly impactful and sustainable solutions can only be achieved if the people directly impacted are part of the problem-identification and solution-design process
  • We practice collaborative problem solving (or “co-creation”) because we recognize that this process promotes understanding, reduces conflict, and engenders lasting ownership and agency across all stakeholder groups
  • We believe in the power of creative experimentation, learning-by-doing, with  frequent iterations and a focus on breaking seemingly intractable problems into manageable pieces

Systems thinking.
Seeing problems holistically and recognizing the ways in which everything is interconnected.

  • We strive to break down silos and promote cross-disciplinary collaboration, which almost invariably leads to the emergence of better (and unexpected) solutions
  • We recognize that everything is interconnected and therefore consider problems and their solutions holistically, so as to avoid unintended consequences and move closer to addressing root causes
  • We accept that progress is circular and dynamic, not linear, and work iteratively so as to consider new insights as they emerge and new circumstances as they arise

Featured Projects