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Designing For What's Next: Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World

This virtual learning event includes two webinars, two workshop sessions and group coaching.

Workshop 1 | September 23, 2021 - 1:00 - 4:30pm ET
Workshop 2 | October 21, 2021 - 1:00 - 4:30pm ET

Tamarack is excited to launch a unique partnership between Cameron Norman, Principal and President, Cense Inc and Liz Weaver, Co-CEO, Tamarack Institute called Designing for What’s Next. This innovative series is being delivered in four parts. Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World launched with two open to all webinars.

For those of you who want to dive deeper, a two-part workshop series is offered to a limited number of paid registrants. The webinar series introduced participants to imagine what’s next post-pandemic while the workshops will provide participants with design ideas and practical tools to help you, your organization or collaborative to begin Designing For What's Next.

The Designing For What's Next: Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World webinar and workshop series is aimed at practitioners looking to understand how to best design their organizations, their strategies, and shape their communities for what is to come as we encounter the changes that emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus is on applied design thinking and intended to support leaders in learning the fundamentals of design - skills, tools, mindsets -- and how it can be applied in practice.

Register for the Workshop Series

What will I learn?

The Designing For What's Next: Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World workshop series will explore the innovation and design tools, products, supports and systems required to help each of us reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on us and our organizations. These workshops will provide a practical approach to design through which you will be able to explore what is possible and what is practical as we navigate a post-pandemic world. We will discuss design choices, explore options within the current and still shifting context of disruption and volatility.

Workshop Design

The Designing For What's Next: Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World Workshop Series is divided into three distinct parts.

Prior to each workshop, you will be provided with a participant workbook which will contain resources, information and exercises relevant to the workshop. We ask that you review the workbook content and complete the exercises in advance of the workbook.

There will be two workshops in the Designing For What's Next: Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World Workshop Series. The workshops are approximately one month apart and the content from workshop one will be built upon in workshop two. The workshops will be interactive, and participants will be engaged using a variety of digital tools including zoom groups for smaller conversations; MURAL – an interactive whiteboard platform; polling tools and chat and question tools.

Workshop 1: Applying Innovation and Design for What’s Next
Date: September 23, 2021 – 1:00 – 4:30 pm ET/11:00 – 2:30 pm MT
Facilitators: Cameron Norman and Liz Weaver

From perceiving to prototyping, this first workshop in the two-part series will focus on the early stages of the innovation and design process. We begin with learning how to find, perceive and describe situations and problems through a design lens. Too often we settle for the obvious problem without diving deeper into understanding different dimensions of the problem we are facing. From problem finding, we move toward the discovery and sensemaking stages. Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying if he had 1 hour to solve a problem, he would spend the first 55 minutes asking questions and this workshop will show you how to ask better questions to get more useful answers. The Innovation and Design process enables participants to dive deeply into the problem and start shaping ideas for how to address it in ways that have a meaningful and lasting impact.

During the second half of the workshop, participants will focus on developing their idea generation and prototyping skills. We will be applying practical design techniques and approaches to the problem you bring to this first workshop. We will also get ready for workshop two.

Workshop 2: Applying Innovation and Design for What’s Next
Date: October 21, 2021 - 1:00 – 4:30 pm ET/11:00 – 2:30 pm MT
Facilitators: Cameron Norman and Liz Weaver

Participants will bring their prototypes to this workshop. Through a share and steal session, we will learn about what is working, what barriers and hurdles presented themselves and what lessons have been learned. In addition, during the workshop participants will learn how to evaluate prototypes through the application of developmental evaluation approaches. We will also learn about refining, evolving and potentially scaling strategies for the Innovation and Design prototype. This interactive webinar and workshop series will provide participants with practical tools, approaches and skills to Designing For What's Next: Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World.

A one-hour small group coaching session with fellow learning will take place one month after the second workshop to further support and deepen your knowledge and practice is Designing for What’s Next.

The workshop series curriculum blends theory, practice and stories with useful tools and resources to provide participants with a solid understanding of innovation and design approaches. As well, during the workshop, small group conversations will enable participants to share their experiences, challenges, and successes. Peer learning is a critical component of Tamarack workshops.

Workshop Resources

Cameron Norman and Liz Weaver have both written extensively about community innovation, collaborative leadership and using innovation and design approaches to solve complex community challenges. Both the Cense Inc and Tamarack Institute websites are filled with resources and ways of thinking about the intersection of design, innovation, collaboration, and change.

In a May 2021 post on Cense Inc, Cameron explored the concept of designing for humans.

A search of the terms humans and design will find sources on design properties or qualities, discussions of parallels with human-centred design principles, or (more recently) discussions of the emerging field of behavioural design. All of these are useful, yet none fully capture human living, preferences, and behaviours. Our behaviour is tied to who we are (and how we see ourselves), where we come from, how we’ve lived, our present context, and what we want and want to avoid.

This complex bundle of influences is what it means to be human.

Creating tools, services, products, supports, and systems to help humans solve problems and navigate their world is what design for humans is about.

Our design choices shape our world, however without conscious attention to how those choices are made we risk making things that don’t fit our purposes. We designed the pre-pandemic world for certain things and now have a chance to design the post-pandemic world. (Read more: Design for Humans)


Want to learn more about Designing For What's Next: Using Design Thinking to Navigate a Changing World

Register for the Workshop Series
























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This Workshop is for You If:

  • You and your organization are entering into a strategic planning process but find it difficult to predict the future

  • You and your organization are focused on successfully navigating the pandemic transition but would like to explore how to emerge more agile and resilient

  • You and/or your organization are considering the launch of a new project, program or services and are seeking to apply innovation and design to your approach

  • You and/or your organization are feeling stuck and need new energy, tools and motivations to make it through the next year

Webinar 1: Imagining What’s Next
Date: June 23, 2021 – 1:00 – 4:30 pm ET
Speakers: Cameron Norman and Liz Weaver

As the Covid vaccine gets into more and more arms, we are all starting to dream about a world post-Covid. But what will this look like? Join Cense Inc President Cameron Norman, an innovator, designer and creative thinker and Liz Weaver in conversation as we imagine what’s next. Together we will reflect on the last 18 months that we have spent on this roller coaster of change and discuss possible futures that are facing organizations and changemakers. Cameron will share practical strategies for making sense of how we collectively responded to the pandemic and how we can use design thinking and approaches for a different future.


Webinar 2: Designing What’s Next
Date: September 8, 2021 – 1:00 – 4:30pm ET
Speakers: Cameron Norman and Liz Weaver

We can be bystanders, or we can be active participants in change. We can accept the designs of the past as given to us or shape the future with ideas and values that are ours. As the world begins to open again, the possibilities ahead of us may seem overwhelming. One way to navigate a rapidly changing future is to apply an innovation and design lens to our futures. Join Cense Inc President, Cameron Norman, an innovator, designer and creative thinker and Liz Weaver in conversation as they launch an innovation and design helix.

The innovation and design helix will provide participants with the pathways to apply design thinking to rapidly shifting contexts. Learn how the design helix can be instrumental in leveraging capacity within your organization.

Register to the Designing What’s Next Webinar here.

Register for the Webinar Series

"Just a quick note to say how much I appreciate you and the work and resources of Tamarack. You take very sophisticated theory around social innovation, collective impact, transformation change, developmental evaluation, etc. and you create short publications, communicated in plain spoken English and with great visuals. Such a superior skill and so valuable."

~Allison Ashcroft, 

Webinar and Workshop Series Leaders

Cameron Norman Cropped

Cameron Norman is a professional designer, psychologist, evaluator, and educator interested in the science and practice of innovation. Sense-making started as a way for Cameron to share his thoughts on innovation: the process of creating, designing, implementing, and evaluating new ideas and putting them into the world and has now blossomed to over 500 posts and multiple learning channels.

Cameron is the Principal and President of Cense Ltd, an innovation consultancy that helps organizations to design, develop, deploy, and evaluate innovation in human systems, particularly the health and social sectors. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Cameron’s academic background includes undergraduate honours and Masters degrees in psychology, a Ph.D. in public health, and a professional Masters' of Design (MDes) degree at OCADU in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. He is certified in the NCI Design Charrette System from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, an accredited Cognitive Edge practitioner and holds the Credentialed Evaluator designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society.

Liz Weaver

Liz Weaver 1

Liz Weaver is the Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute, leading the Tamarack Learning Centre. The Tamarack Learning

Centre has a focus on advancing community change efforts through five strategic practices including collective impact, collaborative leadership, community engagement, community innovation and evaluating community impact. Liz is well-known for her thought leadership on collective impact and is the author of several popular and academic papers on the topic. She is a co-catalyst partner with the Collective Impact Forum.

Prior to her current role at Tamarack, Liz led the Vibrant Communities Canada team and assisted place-based collaborative tables to develop their frameworks of change, and supported and guided their projects from idea to impact. Liz is passionate about the power and potential of communities getting to impact complex issues.

Learn more about Liz


Pre-workshop Learning: Registrants will receive and complete prior to the workshop.

Workshop 1: September 23, 2021: 1:00– 4:30pm ET

Workshop 2: October 21, 2021: 1:00– 4:30pm ET


Registration is limited to 60 learners. Participants will be sent a pre-workshop package ahead of the workshop. Zoom meeting details will also be sent in advance. Post-workshop, participants will be invited to a one-hour coaching session with a small group of their workshop peers. Please note that the workshops are not recorded and so attendance is required. Participants will receive the PowerPoint and other materials in their pre-workshop materials.


Registration Price: $689 for single registration

Groups of 3 are eligible for a discounted price of $589 per person. 

Communities Ending Poverty, Cities Deepening Community, and Communities Building Youth Futures members are eligible for a reduced price of $589 per person. Contact Stephanie for more information.

The registration rate includes a confirmed invitation to the webinar series, the pre-workshop package, two - 3.5-hour virtual workshops and a one-hour post-workshop small group coaching session. It also includes membership into Tamarack Institute's Learning community

If you are in need of assistance with your registration or have any questions, contact Stephanie. 


Get a jump on your learning with these suggested resources:

Paper | Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers

Paper | Making Sense of the Multiple Faces of Leadership

Paper | Creating Containers and Co-Design: Transforming Collaboration


September 23, 2021 & October 21, 2021

Register for the Workshop Series

For questions regarding this event, reach out to Stephanie.
For questions regarding invoicing and payments, reach out to Mikayla.