Interventions trying to address wicked problems often fail. In an increasingly complex world, tools and approaches that can help us to think systemically, check our assumptions and plan through unintended consequences are essential.
This talk offered insights into how the Theory of Change framework can be effectively employed in a wide range of social interventions, responding to a forthcoming book Strategic Thinking, Design and the Theory of Change.
Written by leading scholars and practitioners in the field, the book applies a range of case studies to explore how Theory of Change can be implemented in projects and programmes on different scales. Bringing together cases from different geographic, social, economic and cultural contexts, it demonstrates how Theory of Change can be adapted and help projects to replicate, and showcases the different ways in which practitioners can utilise it.
This talk introduces the book and its unique positioning, and then highlight and introduce the topics of the book: the foundations of Theory of Change; how they are developed; the visual dimensions of Theory of Change as a strategic tool; Theory of Change and collaboration; and how Theory of Change can be used in conjunction with other methodologies.
Following this, we presented the key transversal themes emerging from the book, including its links to design, strategic thinking, scales of action, complexity and participation.
David Drabble is a Senior Researcher/Consultant at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. David has worked on over 30 Theory of Change based evaluation projects and led the Tavistock Institute’s Theory of Change working group.
Luca Simeone is an Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark. His main interest is in the managerial, strategic and organizational aspects of design.
Amalia de Götzen is an Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Copenhagen and a member of the Service Design Lab. Amalia’s research activity focuses on Digital Social Innovation, and in particular, on the intersection between Interaction Design and Service Design.
Nicola Morelli is a Professor at Aalborg University, Copenhagen. He collaborates with the Master of Service Systems Design and participates in several research projects exploring the intersection of service design with social innovation, citizens’ participation and design-enabled innovation in the urban context.