Help me design a meaningful community for change-makers

I have had several conversations recently (coaching and social connections) with people all over the world recently. What struck me is the underlying feeling that many of us are feeling. That feeling of being alone. Somewhat on the periphery within our organisations and work.

Help me design a meaningful community for change-makers

What we do is often mentally draining

What we do as change-makers is extremely hard. It requires a type of resilience that I believe not many people possess, and as a result, many of us burn out or find it hard to disentangle our work and lives. One person recently told me that they felt that were having the same conversations with the same people for 12-months about trying to justify Research and Design.

That repetitive task of trying to sell (or justify) Design to our teammates or even the broader business is extremely demoralising for a practitioner that is possibly not used to it, or comes from a different mindset or agency of change. My take on this, unfortuntely, is that this is part of the role of a Designer. As frustrating as that seems, it's true. Many of us are faced with the reality of this is where Design is at within many organisations.

I've done this many times over the years and it can be extremely disheartening. Many of you reading may have been through this, where you feel it deep inside that the way we are working is not going to result in the best possible outcome for the person using the product or service.

Why go to all this effort for the outcome to be sub-standard?

This is hard to process and hard to deal with.

The problems that I am hearing from the community.

  • People are looking and reading at practitioners doing really interesting work whilst they are within organisations "butting their heads against the wall". Comparison is never healthy, but it's a reality.
  • Where many of us are at, is merely facilitating these types of conversations to try and move the dial forward. It's ground zero for design maturity.
  • We all know that we would love to be conducting research, and delivering insights and creating brilliant prototypes that allow us to learn.
  • Practitioners feeling alienated in work for trying to align the needs of business and customer
  • Working from home or remotely and not having a network of like-minded people
  • Wanting to feel part of something more meaningful
  • Lack of opportunities to connect locally with like-minded people
  • Lack of opportunities to share and listen to war-stories
  • Lack of time to invest in a non-curated community

Building a new type of HCD community

So here is my thinking based on connecting the dots between many calls, and many efforts to try and build a community with people (i.e the Slack Community).

  • A space (working title is ChangeSpace) where people could come together to share our stories and external perspectives on topics
  • Community-led topics
  • Curated stories that can be packed up and shared more broadly across the This is HCD Podcast Network (possibly) or blog.
  • A space designed for warmth  for change-makers to come together online and connect in a semi-formal manner monthly
  • Discuss approaches and methods to help cultivate change for the better inside our organisations.
  • We foster broader learning spaces for each other by learning from each other
  • A heavily curated space to ensure diversity or minds

Learn more about ChangeSpace and apply to become a member

It will only move forward if we get direct involvement from our community

  • If you are interested, complete this form (I can't see this working without a level of curation)
  • I review and set up time to speak or connect with you
  • Cost is a monthly fee (my working price is €9.99 per month) and includes 1 x 60-minute online call, a private network for asynchronous communication, and ad-free stream of the podcast)

Is this something you might be interested in?

Thoughts? Send feedback to

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

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