Category Archives: Courses and skills

Do Something Different 6: Give Something Different

This is an assignment for Creative Problem Solving course I’m taking online via Coursera and the University of Minnesota. Each week, students are asked to Do Something Different, and then reflect on the process.

Give something different. Plan in advance and implement a gift or giving activity; document your DSD in writing and in video/photos. This should be something you have never done before, or an act of giving to someone you never have given anything before. You might want to to a mindmap of all the words associated with “giving” to give you some ideas. What do you give, to whom or what, and why? How do you define what ‘giving’ is? How might you identify a person to give something to, and how can you identify challenge areas to create a meaningful experience through giving?


1. Background

This is a really interesting challenge for me. I’m from the UK, but I’ve recently come home after spending two years living in Japan as an English Teacher. It was an amazing experience for so many reasons, not least for the glimpse it gave me of the culture of Japan, and its differences from my own culture.

One of the many differences I enjoyed was the culture of gift-giving in Japan. Gifts, and the act of giving and receiving a gift, are a really important way to strengthen social bonds between people. It’s not just about the gift itself, but about the thought behind it that says, “I value you highly, and I am expressing this through a gift.” If a colleague goes on holiday, it is kind of expected that they bring back a souvenir gift for everybody in the office – it’s called omiyage. In my school there were around a hundred members of staff, so I would buy a huge box of sweets or pastries when I went away. Omiyage is just one of many different types of gift. You can read more about gift giving in Japan at this link (via Tofugu).

Gift bags for my neighbours in Japan.
Gift bags for my neighbours in Japan.

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Gamification for Collaborative Consumption (part 2 of 2)

This is my answer for the third written assignment of the Gamification class I’m taking through Coursera. The question in full can be found here.

You are approached by Rashmi Horenstein, the CEO of ShareAll, a prominent company in the hot collaborative consumption space. She knows you are one of the top experts on gamification, which she has heard can revolutionize business. She asks you to present a proposal for a gamified system to take her business to the next level.


Define business objectives

The main objective is “to take the business to the next level,” i.e. to generate growth for ShareAll in its market, and as a result to increase profits.

There are three sub-objectives to achieve this growth:

  1. Increasing the sharing activity of existing customers
  2. Attracting new customers to the service
  3. Attracting new business partners

Photo from Australian National Maritime Museum via Flickr Commons
Photo from Australian National Maritime Museum via Flickr Commons

Continue reading Gamification for Collaborative Consumption (part 2 of 2)

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

I was asked to watch this talk for the Creative Problem Solving course that I’m studying with Coursera and the University of Minnesota. Johnson talks about the importance of networks and sharing ideas as engines of innovation. There’s a condensed version on the Youtube video below, with some neat animation. Check it out.

Do Something Different 5: Do what your other does

This is an assignment for Creative Problem Solving course I’m taking online via Coursera and the University of Minnesota. Each week, students are asked to Do Something Different, and then reflect on the process.

Plan beforehand, and implement, something completely different that your roommate, sibling, parent or significant other (spouse, lover, BFF, etc.) does (always) that you don’t (ever)



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Do Something Different 4: As A Child

One frequent observation of creativity that is research and personally based, is that children are often more spontaneous and creative before they are socialized by the educational process. In other words, you played as a kid. Think back to some of your childhood experiences and for this DSD, do something you used to do as a child that you don’t do now. You will be evaluated based on your choice, your reasons, and your reflections of change between then and now.

DSD4-1

How could I do something as a child? I thought back to my own childhood. Growing up as the oldest of five meant that I was surrounded by toys and games. What I enjoyed the most was always free-form play – outside of rules, where unconnected toys took different roles in the same crazy fictional world.
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Gamification for Collaborative Consumption (1 of 2)

This is the question for the third written assignment of the Gamification class I’m taking through Coursera. My answer will follow shortly.

photo via National Archive of the Netherlands, Flickr Commons
photo via National Archive of the Netherlands, Flickr Commons

You are approached by Rashmi Horenstein, the CEO of ShareAll, a prominent company in the hot collaborative consumption space. She knows you are one of the top experts on gamification, which she has heard can revolutionize business. She asks you to present a proposal for a gamified system to take her business to the next level.

ShareAll’s mission is to make shared use of products and services as common as individual purchases. It follows the path of companies such as AirBnB, Buzzcar, and Uber, which allow sharing of particular products (cars, housing, etc). ShareAll’s patented technology makes it easy for consumers and business to share any product or service. ShareAll has also developed a global virtual currency, called Shares, which can be used to purchase access to any asset in the system. Shares can be exchanged for real money, and users can generate more Shares by sharing items or volunteering their time to complete tasks for others.
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Team Yuno Report: Smithfield Service Jam 2014

The Global Service Jam is an enormous festival of service design, like a vast jam session in music. People come together all over the world, bringing their skills and open minds. Someone sets up a theme, and everyone starts to jam around it. But it’s not music you are jamming – it’s change. (Find out more at the main Global Jam site)

badges2

The Smithfield Service Jam was part of this worldwide event, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it. The Jam was sponsored by Truth, and took place at their office in Farringdon, mentored by Erick Mohr. After pizzas and icebreakers, we found out the theme for this year’s jam.

The theme for this year's jam.
The theme for this year’s jam.
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Do Something Different 2: Wear Something Different

Wear Something Different is the brief for the second assignment of the Creative Problem Solving Course I’m studying through Coursera. I really enjoyed completing the Eat Something Different assignment, but I was concerned about finding sufficient time for the second assignment around my other commitments for the week. My thinking started with a mind map.

Mind map exceprts
Mind map exceprts

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Using gamification to improve health – (part 2 of 2)

This is my answer for the second written assignment of the Gamification class I’m taking through Coursera. The full question is available here.

Describe in general terms a gamified system that could effectively motivate behaviour change to improve the health of city employees. Specifically, explain how the system would effectively incorporate intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, or both. Your answer should address the fact that this is an internal gamification project, targeted at the institutional goals of the city government. The system can use any technology (or no technology!), so long as the resources required seem justified by the scope of the opportunity.

(via Cornell University Library archive)
(via Cornell University Library archive)

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Countdown to Global Service Jam Smithfield

How exciting! My welcome pack for Global Service Jam Smithfield arrived today. I’m really looking forward to getting involved a worldwide service design challenge at the Truth offices in Smithfield this weekend. There are a few places left. Why don’t you come too?

GSJSmithfield-2

What is service design?

“Service design is a method for improving the quality of your service. Those improvements are directed at both the users and staff of your organization. Innovating in services is not new. Every organization that provides services thinks seriously about improving the quality of its service at some point.
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