We are actively engaged in the dialogue and debates of our space: on issues of social justice, global development, and democratic innovation, and on the ethics and methodological evolution of design, mediation, and co-creation practice. More of our writing can be found at Medium.

Health Innovators in Nigeria Turn Ideas into Impactful Businesses

In August, Adam Talsma, Nonso Jideofor, and Nicole Anand worked with Nigeria’s Private Sector Health Alliance to design and facilitate  a bootcamp for the winners of the Health Innovation Challenge 2015. Our Storify recaps how over 40 health innovators honed their problem-solving skills in social impact and entrepreneurship, and pitched their business plans in a final competition day.

Redefining User Centered Design in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

Panthea Lee’s latest contribution to the design thinking debate, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, explores the need to redefine the perception of user-centered design, especially as this approach grows in popularity in the public sector.

Civic Hackers Creating Institutional Change in Government

On Thursday July 30, Zack Brisson will moderate a panel on “Making Structural Change in Government” as part of the Code for All Summit in New York City. Civic hackers from Code for Pakistan, Poland, and Australia will share their experiences building relationships with government partners and using technology to influence institutions. Follow along on the summit’s livestream from 3:30 to 4:45 ET.

The Ethics of Photo Use in Development Storytelling

The Reboot team will be joining a Twitter chat on the “Dos and Don’ts of Development Photography”, hosted by ODI, this Thursday, July 9, from 9 to 10 am EST. You can follow along with #DevPix as we discuss the responsibilities that we have as researchers, photographers, storytellers, and development practitioners, and how we practice these in our own photography policy.

Bringing User-Centric Design to the Caribbean Microfinance Forum

On Wednesday July 8, Nicole Anand and Laura Freschi will facilitate a workshop, “Customer-Centric Product Delivery and Design for Underserved Markets,” at the sixth annual Caribbean Microfinance Alliance, in Miami, Florida. Bringing together thinkers, investors, and practitioners, the conference will focus on strategies for capacity building in microfinance institutions and for the clients they serve.

Welcome to the Team Lauren Gardner!

Lauren is currently working on her MFA in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts, where she is honing her skills in designing for complexity. She brings a background in international development as an education research analyst at the World Bank, and has experience in both communications and graphic design. Lauren will support the partnerships and programs teams and is excited to put her passion for development and design into practice at Reboot.

Reboot Wins 2015 Core77 Award for Service Design

Congratulations to our team for winning this year’s Core77 Design Award for Professional Service Design! The jury chose Reboot’s SMS-based citizen feedback platform, My Voice, from among hundreds of finalists for its outstanding execution, insight, creativity and intent in the field of service design. Jurors commended My Voice for its comprehensive and thorough approach to design research, and called the project “a great example of service design that is simple, original, smart, democratic, and low­-tech.” Read more about My Voice in our case study and full report, and register your vote in the Community Choice Awards.

Reboot to Host First NYC LabStorm

Along with Feedback Labs, Reboot will host the first New York City LabStorm, a collaborative brainstorm session designed to come up with practical solutions for a feedback loops-related problems. Our June 2 session will focus on the work of rootvalue, which seeks to transform global supply chains into sustainable and inclusive value networks.

Smart Interagency Coordination with the Open Governance Partnership

At the Open Governance Partnership’s upcoming European Region Conference, Nicole Anand and Kerry Brennan will facilitate a workshop with government officials on strategies and operational tactics for coordinating across their agencies. The conference will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia on June 3 and 4. Follow @nicole_anand and @kerryjbren for updates.

Panthea Lee at International Open Data Conference

On Thursday of this week Panthea will join the 3rd International Open Data Conference in Ottawa. She is part of a panel conversation exploring what it takes to make open data have an impact on increasing public accountability.

Panthea Lee to Speak at Canadian Open Data Summit

This week Panthea is in Ottawa to talk ‘Open Data.’ On Monday she joins Tony Clement at the Canadian Open Data Summit for a keynote conversation on closing the gap between open data’s promise for progress and the challenges of delivering real world solutions.

“Why ‘Design for Development’ is Failing on its Promise” Published in Fast Company

In our latest article, Panthea Lee writes in Fast Company about the tensions and limitations of “design for development.” Real impact is possible through a design approach grounded in teamwork, humility, and willingness to tackle thorny issues.

Nina Kiernan Joins Reboot

We are delighted to welcome Nina Kiernan as our new Operations Manager. For the last seven years, Nina worked as part of UNICEF Staff Well-Being Unit, where she helped to implement well-being policies and interventions to support staff around the world. Prior to UNICEF, Nina taught elementary and preschool children, and continues to volunteer with a local literacy program. At Reboot, Nina will design tools and policies to keep the Reboot team happy, productive, and growing.

Manila Workshop: “Doing Development Differently” In Practice

Zack Brisson and Dave Algoso will facilitate a series of breakout groups exploring the “Doing Development Differently” principles in practice at a workshop hosted by ODI and The Asia Foundation, April 27-28 in Manila. Practitioners from the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mongolia will share their efforts to be problem-driven, work iteratively, engage teams and coalitions, and produce solutions that are “fit to context” and politically smart. Suggest “burning questions” for the group via this form, and follow the conversation at #differentdev, with Dave’s updates at @dalgoso.

What Can Design Intelligence Do?

Panthea Lee will be a featured panelist at the Second Annual Design Intelligence Conference at Parsons The New School on April 25, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM in New York City. The panel, bringing together design practitioners from IDEO, Reboot, Public Policy Lab, and elsewhere, will address the question “what can design intelligence do?” from different sectoral perspectives. The event is open to the public; register for tickets here and follow along online with #SDMDesignIntelligence and @PantheaLee.

Exploring Storytelling in Program Design at UCLA

Husna Ali-Khan will discuss how Reboot used user personas, data, and brand identity design in the design and implementation of My Voice, a social accountability project in Nigeria. Her plenary talk will take place on April 24 at the UCLA WORLD Policy Forum, at a conference to explore ways that technology and comparative data can strengthen monitoring, accountability, and civic engagement.

Debating the Role of Data in Development at Cartagena Data Festival

Zack Brisson and Kerry Brennan will travel to Colombia from April 20-22 to participate in the Cartagena Open Data Festival. Zack will present on My Voice as an example of a data-driven feedback and accountability tool, and join a panel on embedding new ideas in institutions. The festival’s aim this year is to bring together data leaders, from civil society to government, to shape the role data will play in supporting the post-2015 UN Development Agenda. You can register to watch a livestream of key portions of the conference, and follow @kerryjbren, @theReboot, and #data2015 for updates.

Exploring the Impacts of Civic Technology with mySociety

Kerry Brennan is speaking today at the Impacts of Civic Technology Conference in London, hosted by mySociety. Her talk, “Learning from Mexico: What Works in Public Sector Innovation and Civic Technology,” will draw upon our ongoing work with Mexico’s Office of National Digital Strategy. Follow her at @kerryjbren and the conference conversation at #TICTeC.


Reboot and The World Bank Co-Host Panel on Designing Technology for Citizen Engagement

On Friday, February 27, Reboot and The World Bank welcomed a diverse group of design and development practitioners to our office for a discussion of “My Voice,” a tool to collect citizen feedback and improve public services, piloted last year in rural Nigeria. The World Bank’s Matthew McNaughton and Paula Rossiasco, along with our own Zack Brisson and Nonso Jideofor, reflected on lessons from the launch and discussed with audience members the constraints of working within large development organizations, the practical challenges of creating durable citizen feedback loops using new technologies, and future opportunities for more learning, evaluation, and scaling up. 

Welcome Hani Kfouri and Jenna Steckel!

We are happy to have Hani and Jenna join the Reboot team as Programs and Communications Interns. Hani is currently an MPA candidate at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, where he is studying public finance and international development, and working to develop NYU’s global network as Wagner’s student senator. Jenna brings experience in event curation, communications, and the tech world. Beyond Reboot, Jenna works as a Research Assistant at NYU’s SPAM Lab for perception and motivation and organizes Action Design, a speaker series on designing for behavioral change.