Last week, CAP was excited to welcome the IDEO.org team to Tulsa. Since the kick-off meeting last Tuesday, they have been getting to know more about CAP programs, the families we serve and the city of Tulsa in general. (Also of note: I hear our visitors have been introduced to Oklahoma BBQ, which as most of you know, is an important piece of our cultural heritage.) But most importantly, over the next several weeks, they will be analyzing the needs of CAP’s clients to help us maximize the likelihood families will take advantage of the opportunities we offer to tackle inter-generational poverty.
By taking a two-generation approach to breaking the cycle of poverty, CAP not only seeks to provide quality early childhood education but also actively engage parents and offer services that benefit the entire family. Through services such as Free Tax Preparation, CareerAdvance ® and the First-Time Homebuyer’s Program, CAP has already become a leader in maximizing earned income and building assets. However, there is always more we can learn, which is where IDEO.org comes in.
IDEO.org was born out of a desire to better serve clients in the social sector. IDEO, an innovator in human-centered design (HCD), had been working on social issues for over a decade. In 2011, they established IDEO.org as a separate 501(c)(3) organization, so foundations and non-profits can better fund and utilize their services. Their human-centered focus has proven to be adaptable to any number of challenges, including designing better homes for wounded veterans and overcoming barriers to clean water in the developing world.
Among their many resources is the HCD Toolkit, made possible through funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is a free tool designed to help people, non-profits or NGOs in developing countries. It takes them step by step through the HCD process so organizations can better understand people’s needs and develop innovative solutions, always keeping in mind the issue of financial sustainability.
As the IDEO.org team uncovers the underlying needs, aspirations and attitudes of low-income families here in Tulsa, we at CAP will be eagerly awaiting their insights. After it is all said and done, it will be exciting to use this new information to adjust current offerings, or use their recommendation when designing new services and products for our clients.
To read more about the IDEO.org team’s experiences here with CAP, click here to visit their story.
To learn more about IDEO.org you can also read Core77’s interview with IDEO.org leaders, Jocelyn Wyatt and Patrice Martin.