Creative tools to give you new paths forward.
Innovation by Design
In 2013, DownCity Design co-founder and executive director, Adrienne Gagnon, was awarded the Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship for her plan to dramatically expand access to design education for RI students and teachers. Over the course of three years, she developed Innovation by Design, an initiative that aims to introduce Design Thinking into formal and informal classrooms across the state of Rhode Island. Her work has also contributed to a greater interest in the design process as a driver of innovation for local non-profits, government agencies, and high-priority workforce clusters.
The goal of Innovation by Design is to harness the power of Design Thinking to prepare our citizens to find solutions to the increasingly complex problems we're facing locally and globally. We need brave, bold solutions to the mounting economic crises, geopolitical conflicts and environmental devastation that have come to characterize life in the 21st century. How do we prepare our young people to be the next generation of problem solvers, ready to find new ways forward? By offering Rhode Island youth the tools of Design Thinking, we can create a generation of entrepreneurs, of creators, of engaged citizens who see challenges as opportunities and work together to solve them.
Innovation by Design resulted in three initiatives, each of which has evolved over time. Learn more about these projects and where they are now.
The Change Agent Tool-Kit
The Change Agent Toolkit is a set of fun, hands-on learning activities that guide groups of students through the Design Thinking Cycle. It's like a game that helps kids tackle any challenge they've identified, in any subject. The free web-based resource includes everything an educator needs to lead students through the design process.
The Change Agent includes a range of project-based activities and design resources tailored to different age groups, design fields, and core subjects, with clear alignment to state and national education standards. The Change Agent includes a range of project-based activities and design resources tailored to different age groups, design fields, and core subjects, with clear alignment to state and national education standards.
The Change Agent Toolkit, available as a free online resource, has been downloaded by 120 teachers across the state – and around the world. Start using the Change Agent Toolkit in your classroom today!