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Phrase the challenge

Your challenge will guide the solutions other group develop later in the process. A good challenge is framed in human terms (rather than technology, product, or service functionality), with a sense of possibility. It is both broad enough to allow you to discover areas of unexpected value and narrow enough to make the topic manageable.


  1. Your design team will work  to identify a list of criteria for the challenge. Criteria might answer these questions:  Does it need to have a topical focus? Does it need to fit into an existing societal issue? 21th century skill(s)? Digital divide? Does it need to explore new opportunities?

  2. Keeping these criteria in mind, make a list of the challenges people are facing in your context country.

  3. Re-frame those challenges in a broader context and from the point of view of those you are designing for.

  4. Choose the top two or three challenges based on your criteria. Work together to narrow the list to one specific challenge.

  5. Write a succinct, one-sentence Design Challenge to guide the design team. Make sure to phrase the challenge in human terms with a sense of possibility. It is helpful to start the Design Challenge with an action verb such as “Create”, “Define”, “Adapt”, etc. Or phrase the challenge as a question starting with: “How can...?”


What are your group's big questions? What is design challenge? 


Look at your design challenge and your big questions. What topics do you want to explore deeply? This will be our topic in the next workshop. Prepare by reading about sacrificial concepts.

Read more about sacrificial concepts:
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