What’s going on in Chile? 

One thing we’re really proud of here at The Design Gym is that we’re a community driven organization. Looking back, it’s pretty clear that everything we’ve built has been done with input and participation of a core community that believes in what we’re doing and is willing to pitch in to make it happen.

Two years ago, someone said that the Weekend Workouts would go more smoothly if we addressed group dynamics more directly and had a facilitator for each team. So we invited people from the previous weekend workouts to come back and help fill that space. It changed the dynamics of the workshop…for the better!

About a year ago, a former client and community volunteer Gabrielle Santa-Donato came to us and pitched Startup Chile to us. Would we be interested to see if there is a global need for project-based design thinking education? Would we help her apply to the six-month accelerator in our name?

A few months later, Gabrielle and Daniel Stillman (one of the co-founders of The Design Gym) were headed to Santiago, Chile. Gabrielle for six months, Daniel for one. Now, this July, Andy Hagerman, another founder, and community facilitators  Nidhi Chaudhary and Justine Lai are heading down to Santiago for a month to help kick-start a multi-week training program to build local community facilitators to keep The Design Gym going after the StartUp Chile program ends.

We’re lucky…we’re a small organization and we can move fast and make small bets. Design Thinking isn’t just theoretical for us…we’re practicing what we’re preaching and so excited to see what comes out of this awesome experiment.

Daniel Stillman
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