Posible: An Experiment on Community-led Innovation

What would happen if we localize DT/the innovation process and bring it to grassroots communities?

Last May 31, Limitless Lab, in partnership with Urbanismo PH conducted a prototype/first experiment of our community design thinking workshop called POSIBLE. The participants were community leaders and volunteers in Brgy. 105, Tondo, Manila.

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For the group, the mission for that day was simple – to get them to break out of their mental barriers, inspire creative confidence, let them know that they don’t need to wait for an NGO or a donor foreigner to come in to help them create change in their community.

Don’t get me wrong, studies show that people in slum areas are some of the most creative people in the world, primarily because they have to survive with really limited resources. But based on our observation, they are most of the times stuck with their usual sources of livelihood and usual way of doing things (e.g peeling garlic as their main source of livelihood).

We divided the participants into two design challenges: one for maintaining cleanliness and for livelihood.

We began with a few alterations to the process, with a Community Vision Boarding (Pagtanaw), and Stakeholder Mapping (Pagkakaisa). Then we went through the full design cycle from Empathy (Pakikipanayam), Define (Pag-Analisa), Ideation (Brainstorming/Paggawa ng mga Ideya), Prototyping (Pagbuo ng Modelo), and Testing (Presentation).

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After the ideas were presented, we gave them play money and asked them to vote for the ideas that they would like to invest (mamuhunan) in or support.

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I’m proud to present that ideas that came out of the session:

1: Segregation Truck with Party Music and Lights (complete with a jingle and all) – This one won first place. They came up with this idea to solve the problem of people in Tondo often ignoring/not minding much when the garbage truck is arriving to collect their trash. As Nastassja Quijano said, this makes the garbage truck arrival and collection of trash as a community event. Also a little similar to our Mamang Sorbeto who has music that announces its arrival and makes the kids go out to buy ice cream. 

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2. Basura Mo, Premyo Mo – gamifying throwing of trash. Winners can get prizes such as vegetables and food that will come from a community garden that they will build.

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3. Sustainable Street Food Cart – building standard but affordable food carts for halo-halo and fishball vendors in Tondo, using zero-waste materials (e.g coconut shells instead of plastic cups for halo halo). This is something similar to the jolijeep in Makati, but for streetfood. And no, they didn’t know about jolijeeps before.

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4. Indigenous Shopee – an online store for well-designed and high-quality home decor made out of trash like old cans and plastic wrappers.

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Thank you so much to our partners who helped make POSIBLE happen: UrbanisMO.ph Tulay Ng Kabataan Chevening Awards (FCO)

To our teammates for this initiative, thank you so much! We’re so lucky to be working with amazing people! Li Ya Nastassja Quijano Katrina Ang Jan Jacob Jansalin Geisha Shaina Lyn Sanchez Emman Llego Dante Salvador Jr Vincent Trautmann

This post was originally written by Joie Cruz of Limitless Lab, UrbanismoPH’s partner organization.