The Concern Canvas
… is a tool for transformation design
… is a diagram that helps to analyze complex socio-psychological dynamics
… makes you understand what drives stakeholder‘s minds and actions
… helps to find the best starting points for intervention, innovation and design
… builds a common ground for teams of designers and non-designers
… creates a »trading zone of knowledge«
… is based on experience from projects in transformation design
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How does the ConcernCanvas work?
The ConcernCanvas is centred around events and frames and organizes their context.
It fills the gaps between values and facts, concerns and issues. These categories are conceived as:
Everything you believe in (knowingly or not): god, love, happiness, health, trust, security…
Values are influenced by family, neighborhood and culture as well a personal growth.
Concerns are values in action. They drive people´s minds, preferences and decisions. The value health might drive different concerns for different stakeholders: Having access to clean water, being able to pay for healthcare or simply not eating too much. Concerns are not normative. They do not follow a hierarchy like Maslow’s pyramid of needs. People´s minds are specific sets of concerns of different scale: A loss of the local soccer team might be more important than a distant war.
Interactions in daily life and the way you interpret them. The same situation will be experienced differently by different persons. Frames are influenced by concerns and issues.
Topics you deal with on a daily basis, most of them influenced by media. Priorities may be on personal life, family and work, but the impact of media might also construct more abstract issues.
Facts are the material conditions of life: billions of artifacts, some of them might be helpful and neccessary, others are obstacles, superflus and junk.
10 Questions and Answers
1 What is it?
The ConcernCanvas (CC) is a tool for Transformation Design. It can help to identify crucial issues and find the best starting points for intervention, innovation and design.
2 How does it work?
The transformation of complex socio-technical systems brings together teams from diverse backgrounds. The CC is a tool to find out what drives people´s minds and behaviour. It helps to build a common ground for teams and organize trading zones of knowledge. Thus a shared understanding of the stakeholders mindsets emerges and agreements on the process for intervention, innovation and design can be created.
3 Where does it come from?
The CC is based on empirical data from Transformation Design projects and reflects experiences from the design process.
4 How to use it?
For each category the CC asks a question, e.g. What concerns determine the stakeholders behaviour? Try to answer the question by observation, interviews or speculation.
5 Is it just another design thinking tool?
The CC takes Design Thinking to the next level as it is more comprehensive and helps to find hidden agendas.
6 Is it a substitute for other methods?
The CC is a framework for other methods like cultural probes, personas and customer journeys.
7 Where can I get it?
The CC can be downloaded together with helpful casestudies that will be added continuously.
8 Is it free to use?
The use of the CC is free under the creative commons license.
9 Where can I get help for using the CC?
We offer introductions and workshops and there will be a growing community online that will be happy to exchange experience.
10 What’s next?
The CC is the first of a series of tools that we develop and publish online. The method tool box will be in continous development by a community. We also work on a stack of method cards and welcome cooperation, please get in touch.