Skillful Engagement Series

Design Thinking for Facilitators

During the third installment of the Skillful Engagement series – Design Thinking for Facilitators – you’ll learn about design thinking, a human-centred, systems-based approach to problem solving that encourages you to step back and explore a problem space with an open mind and an expanding set of methods. Design thinking is an iterative, generative and collaborative process that aims to deeply understand and reframe  complex problems into tangible opportunities for social and sustainable innovation. Similar to engagement practices, design thinking is transdisciplinary and optimistic.

This introductory workshop invites you to participate in a hands-on design jam, in which design thinking theory and methods are put into practice, to generate, capture and share unexpected solutions to your community engagement challenges. Through this experience, you will have a better understanding of the Design Jam process and framework, how it can flex and adapt to different contexts, and see why it is a successful tool for civic engagement and collaboration.

Come with an open mind, expect to have some fun, and walk away with new tools and approaches for bringing people together to better understand and address complex issues and engage in collaborative problem solving.

Read more about the Skillful Engagement Series

Skillful Engagement is a community of practice for engagement practitioners. The series showcases innovative projects and speakers, provides a forum to share knowledge and challenges, and acts as a catalyst to inspire and support the growing engagement sector. This work reflects a shared understanding that improved engagement of communities, organizations and stakeholders leads to better decisions and stronger, more resilient outcomes.

Skillful Engagement is a partnership between the SFU Centre for Dialogue’s Civic Engage Program, SFU Public Square, and SFU’s Dialogue and Civic Engagement Certificate program.


Wed, 22 Jun 2016 1:00 PM


2:00PM – 5:00PM



Room 1400
SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings St, Vancouver



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About the Facilitators

SARAH HAY holds a Bachelors of Industrial Design from Carleton University (2003) and a Masters of Applied Arts in Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2007). Armed with these and 10 years of experience in the sustainability + design space, she founded Slow & Steady Design, a studio focussed on creative strategy, branding and typography for small businesses who dream big and share her desire to protect and nurture our creative, natural and local capital. She is a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University in the faculty of design + dynamic media and long standing member of Vancouver Design Nerds where she leads and facilitates workshops (design jams) on a wide range of urban and civic issues. Clients and collaborators include City of Vancouver, Museum of Vancouver, Fraser Health Authority, Metro Vancouver, Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition, SFU Public Square, City Studio, HiVE Vancouver, Civic Renewal Lab, Gen Why Media, Strathcona BIA, Downtown BIA and many more.


JESI CARSON is inspired by compelling stories, engaging spaces and discovering cultures through travel. She is currently the Design and Communities Coordinator for Participedia, an international research network documenting cases of participatory political engagement. With Participedia as her basis of research on the intersection of democratic innovation and design thinking, Jesi will begin her candidacy for a Master of Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design this fall.  Jesi holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Interaction Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she undertook interactive systems design and sustainability studies in addition to human centered design and research. Jesi co-founded Basic Design, a social enterprise with a passion for upcycling, and sits as Board Chair of Cultivate Projects, a non-profit focused on building collaborative food gardens. As a Project Lead and member of the steering committee for the Vancouver Design Nerds, Jesi strongly believes in the power of design as a tool for activism.