• Ximena Matus

Election Year is the opportunity to co-create a new Guatemala City

Election year in Guatemala has become a chaotic event, where citizens hopelessly have casted their votes to candidates that are not even reliable. Citizens have lost faith towards our Government. But this is also an opportunity for citizens to take on action and walk to that Guatemala that we want to have.


One of the reasons I was interested in becoming part of the Chevening family, was the opportunity to build a local network of leaders that want to positively impact Guatemala. As members of Chevening Alumni Association Guatemala, we are able to host events that nurture leadership, designs action plans and impacts our country. 


Our event for 2019, was the perfect opportunity for me to share with my local community what Design Thinking is, and how it can bring value to our city. One of our purposes as an Association, is for us to have a platform where we can share our knowledge and expertise with our peers and key stakeholders. For that reason we decided to host a 2-day workshop event, where we invited key members of local civil organisations, government parties, Chevening Alumni and the UK Embassy in Guatemala.


Our main objective was to educate participants into what Design Thinking is, by doing a small project around the Embassy's priorities (Anti Corruption, Gender Equality and Plastics), but more than just remembering phases and double diamonds, we wanted for these different groups to sit down and co-create new ideas for our city, especially as we are undergoing Election year.


Here is a snapshot of what we accomplished in 2 days! It was so great to have participants from different organisations, sharing, learning, and connecting. Our next step is to refine the ideas, as we want to present them to the elected Mayor for Guatemala City.




DAY 01


The first day, we explored the first two stages of the Double Diamond: Discover & Define.


We started with three topics as a starting point: Anti Corruption, Gender Equality and Plastics. When participants entered the workshop they needed to locate in a map, their level of interest and knowledge in these topics. This helped us understand where our audience was and what are they interested in addressing. From the groups created, 2 groups worked around Anti Corruption, and 1 group worked around Plastics.


The groups needed to clarify the priorities around the two topics by focusing on key critical issues. For that reason, we utilized Nesta´s Problem Definition tool from the DIY toolkit. After the teams explored the key critical issues for their topic, we moved into framing the How Might We? statement, utilizing Board of Innovation´s tool.


The purpose of using these two tools was for them to have a visual framework on how to organize their thoughts around their problem, especially as all of them were involved in either civil organisations or local government, and everyone had a lot of things to bring to the table. Using the tools allowed them to handle the conversation with a purpose in mind, and enabling an environment for everyone to share.


With a question in mind, during the week (before our next session) the groups needed to create a WhatsApp group and share insights on what they've learned throughout the week about their topic. This is were we encouraged them to get closer to the user and the organisations around them.




DAY 02


After the teams spent the week understanding their users, organisations and the opportunity they are addressing, it was the time for them to Develop and Deliver (Design Council´s Double Diamond framework).


First, they did an individual exercise to brainstorm using the Crazy 8s technique, where they needed to write an idea per post-it. They shared the ideas with the rest of the group, and the purpose was for them to start identifying patterns by organizing the ideas by clusters. Once the ideas were shared, they needed to set evaluation criteria to filter the ideas and select the top ideas.


It was the moment to converge the ideas by using a Desktop Walk through approach. This tool helped the teams discuss, while refining the idea, the possible scenarios around the idea they were crafting. It helped them understand what were the strengths and possible areas of opportunities, by exploring different scenarios. Once they had it ready, they worked as a team to prepare a pitch to share it with the greater group.




Next steps


We are taking this initiative to a second phase, where we will refine the ideas created during the workshop. After the ideas have been refined, we will present them to the elect Guatemala city Mayor, to initiate an opportunity for further collaboration.


Stay tuned!







© 2019 by Ximena Matus