Symposium Sessions

All our sessions are available for everyone to attend, however some will be better suited to those with or without prior knowledge and experience in co-design. You can use the filters below to find the most relevant sessions to you.
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Why great storytelling is more than a gimmick
Brigid Canny
Stories help us make sense of our humanity, our challenges, our values and our shared beliefs. Stories make the complex simple. As Jean Luc Godard says "Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form." In this workshop we’ll work together to rapidly develop skills in narrative structure and methodology, so that you might communicate your value proposition with confidence and clarity.
Co-creating a common set of practices and principles to guide our community
Sam Rye
Imagin Inc.
This session will guide the group through a process to unlock latent ideas and insights, to build a shared set of principles. We’ll explore how ‘making’ can engage different parts of our brain, and reflect on how this is of value to our practice. You can expect to walk away with some reflections on your own priorities and intentions, as well as a simple process to use when working with groups in the early stages of projects.
Co-Design Facilitation Taster
Christian Duell
Whitelight Education
While we may understand the basic principles, processes, and tools of co-design, we may feel less confident as facilitators in creating spaces for groups to thrive. This session will explore key principles that facilitators can employ, including: Equality, The Growth Zone and Vulnerability. This workshop is action-based, allowing participants to practice these facilitation principles in a safe environment with the support of a peer group.
Just enough evaluation (to understand your impact)
Emma Blomkamp
The Policy Lab - The University of Melbourne
How might we understand the value and impact of co-design practice and projects (with limited time and resources)? This session will take you through four steps to design a framework that you can use to evaluate the impact of your work.
How can we use facilitation to maximise a group's potential?
Henry Fowkes
Groupwork Institute of Australia
Effective co-design is as much about how the process is facilitated as it is about the process itself. We’ll explore a range of core facilitation skills and tools that will support you to effectively harness the power of a group, inviting participation and diversity.
The power to make policy
Hailey Cooperrider
When does policy design become truly "co"? For structural issues like housing, energy and water, policy direction is often set long before methods like co-design are considered. In this session, we'll map out how we might influence our leaders to use co-design meaningfully, when it counts.
Creating experiences that foster empathy within co-design
Rowan Page
Monash University
Engaging first hand with the experiential perspectives of the people we are designing with is an essential element of co-design practice. Yet often, it can be difficult to bring everyone in the room 'up to speed' with the existing research and collective experiences of an ongoing project. This workshop explores how quick analogous activities can be created that translate research inspiration into emotional experience. Allowing co-design participants to establish common ground within workshops.
Putting design and research to work
Chris Marmo
Understanding clients and customers is important, but what do you do next to make change happen? What do you do with journey maps once they’re delivered? How do you continue making decisions in a human-centred way once you start implementing a product or service, and how do you know if your plan is working? Chris will walk through tools and frameworks the public service can use to translate the design and research they’ve already got into actionable plans with measurable outcomes."
Young people designing a new world
Emil Freund & Mehak Sheikh
There are more young people on the planet than ever before, and they face a very different world to generations past. This session demonstrates why they need to be involved in decision-making; not just on “youth issues”, but on all the economic, social and environmental challenges. Learn how YLab supports young people to bring fresh perspectives, lived experience, networks, and familiarity with technology, to co-design new systems and practices.
How to ensure your design vision is implemented
Jeremy Yuille & Nova Franklin
Meld Studios
This workshop explores a range of actions we can take to ensure a design vision is implemented. We'll consider a wide range of approaches you could take to ensure your Design vision is implemented (beyond just producing great work). You'll also leave the session with a documented list of ideas you're ready to try now.
Communicating the value of co-design
Jon Osborne
We all know co-design makes sense, but how do we communicate to someone who just doesn't get it?   Starting with our mindset to provide new ways of thinking about value, we'll apply Huddle's value framework. You'll leave with a series of tools to spread the word to anyone you meet.
Designing public value
Susan Cullen
Family Safety Victoria
Designers and leaders can face challenges making the case for design thinking in government. We can encounter myths, misconceptions and resistance to change.This session is about lessons learnt from experience and the techniques to tackle common and not-so-common challenges.
How can Bhutan's Gross National Happiness model help?
Jenna Davey-Burns
Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria
Gross National Happiness is a measurement, a policy framework and – perhaps most importantly – an inspiring vision for change. It is about promoting a new direction for development that is led by values, rather than growth at all costs. Bhutan’s policies stand as an inspiring example of what is possible when shifting focus beyond GDP growth towards a more holistic sense of wellbeing." Come along to this session to explore the fundamentals of GNH and a discussion about how you might apply it.
Whose story is it anyway?
Dr James Oliver
Monash University
Co-designers and ethnographic researchers often have a shared, human-centred focus on practical processes of community engagement and empowerment. This workshop explores this shared strength, particularly around articulating narrative, story and voice. The workshop also explores some limitations by considering some differences between working ‘for', ‘through’ and ‘with’ communities (and practice). Three ‘Rs’ to consider in this workshop are: recognition, representation, refusal.
Shifting the Power-play in 
Co-design: Exploring Practical Approaches
Lauren Weinstein
There’s a lot of talk about the role of power in co-design, but what does that mean in practice? And, what can we do about it? In this session, we’ll explore methods and mindsets that shift the power-play, transfer ownership and enable people to be the experts of their lives. You’ll leave with techniques to use in your work including setting up peer-co-design teams and facilitating community-led social innovation.
Post-It Parties. How might we better use post-its?
Alli Edwards
Monash University
For better or worse, Post-its are synonymous with Design Thinking Workshops. Can we challenge current practices and incorporate more experiential and engaging activities with these malleable little squares? We’ll bring the post-its, you bring the party. We will run through a few of the more interesting post-it activities, spend some time developing and testing new approaches and activities, and discuss how to better use this basic tool in our facilitator toolbox.
Toolkits to translate data into stories
Ilya Fridman
Monash University, Mobility Design Lab
Public sector workers are often confronted with large data sets, spoken in a complex language. In this session, we will discuss how this language may be translated into tools and devices that participants can speak through. I will share a method that Monash Mobility Design Lab used to translate public transport data into a creative toolkit to elicit stories from people.
Using metacognition to create more impactful workshops
Hannah Korsmeyer & Sarah Naarden
Monash University, Design Department
How might we use co-design workshops to empower participants to ignite change in their communities? This session will leverage the basics of metacognition and embodied learning towards impactful co-design workshop activities.
Designing for equity
Kate McEntee
Monash University, Design Department
In all co-creative work there are intrinsic power dynamics and biases that influence processes and have significant consequences on outputs. Just because we invite diverse collaborators to the table, we still face obstacles to creating equitable engagement processes. This workshop will focus on activities that bring greater awareness to our personal bias, identify steps in the design process to bring more equity-centred practices to our work and touch on the politics behind compassion.
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