Remote Design Thinking Sprint

Social innovation intense 4-day workshop 

Client: Can't Stop Columbus, Columbus Foundation & Star House

Team: (MDes 2020) Eugene Hoban, Bre Jacobs, Andrea Obradors·Puerto 

             (MDes 2019) Shielaugh V. Divelbiss, Priya MehtaJoe Owens

Date: Spring 2020





MDes students and alumni created the online dynamics and templates to conduct brainstorming and facilitated with high professionality.


The Design Sprint agenda:



       At systems level (stakeholders maps, interrelations, analogies with            other systems) and at human needs level (phone interviews, empathy        maps, needs emergence and analysis) 



       From facts to challenges (How might/could we…?) 1-2 brainstorming        sessions (MIRO) and 1 voting session (what could we do?) 



       From challenges to ideas 1 brainstorming sessions (MIRO) , 1 voting          session (what should we do?)  and action leads formation 



       From ideas to an action plan. Performed by the action lead and team,        ideally from other CCAD students from other departments. Facilitated        encounters. 


To address the fatigue and morale of social workers for homeless youth accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been some interest in doing more sprints like this. And by far – your team is the most efficient and productive with this type of exercise. I'll admit – I've done Google Sprints with clients and was a bit nervous for you with the virtual format. But you did an awesome job!


- Mackenzie King

Delivery Lead / Product Owner, Accenture



Design Sprint Results

Design Sprint



The concepts that are moving forward are:

  1. Targeted Activities. This concept wants to solve the need to have a sense of control and feel stability. The concept is about to curate a set of quick and effective activities that are helpful for both staff and youth as part of a strategic response plan. A collection of activities to lift morale, prompt inclusion, build self-confidence, create focus, nurture camaraderie, and affirm identity. Joe Owens (MDes 2019) is leading this project with Eugene Hoban (MDes 2020)

  2. Emotional Spaces. This concept solves the need of emotional  support. Wants to give youth and staff a way to share emotional space and anonymously share where the emotional state of the group is. Joe Owens (MDes 2019) is leading this project with Bre Jacobs (Mdes 2020)

  3. Wearable / Remote Hugs. This concept solves the need of affection. It’s about creating a wearable that produces a physical representation of a “hug feeling”. John Cairns (BFA Faculty) is leading this project with Andrea Obradors (MDes 2020)

  4. Strategic Resiliency. This concept solves the need to use what we have learned from this pandemic to plan for future uncertainties. Adapt from Strategic Foresight, used in corporate settings, a scalable methodology and practice for developing durable solutions within vulnerable populations. Mike Compton (BFA & MDes Faculty) is leading this project with MDes students tbd.

Find the presentation of the concepts here. 

These are great problem (HMW) statements and the activity is so well-organized! I've led a couple google sprints in the past and couldn't imagine doing it remotely. Your team is doing such a great job!


- Jordan Davis 

 Director, Smart Columbus



I’ve been blown away by all the interactions I’ve had with MDesign students and graduates at CCAD. I’m using quarantine to consider my personal next steps in life [..] and wondered if I would be a fit for the program.


- Merry Ellen Austin

 CTRS, writer & mental health advocate



“I've really enjoyed the experience. Are the other folks involved students of yours? Shout out to them for their excellent facilitation skills!


- J. Hoffman

 Product Manager, CoverMyMeds