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Updated: Jun 16



Greetings NextD Journal readers. This is a short announcement and invite to participate in a new methods-oriented book. Building on the popularity of our first Humantific book; Innovation Methods Mapping: De-Mystifying 80+ Years of Innovation Process Design we are (still) actively Iooking for methodology examples geared to the complexity arenas of organizational and societal changemaking, for possible inclusion in Book 2 of this series.

Our long time readers will know; what that means in common language, practical terms is methods that have no baked-in presumptions regarding product, service or experience challenge paths or solution paths built in.

Reflecting back, when we created this NextDesign Leadership initiative as a community sensemaking for changemaking project in 2005 and in conjunction, the practice-based, NextD Geographies Framework we did not fully realize how revolutionary that seemingly simple ask was going to be and still is.

Suffice it to say; Pointing out that Product Design, Service Design and Experience Design were/are assumption-boxed methods proved to be a firestorm that is still humming along in the community, particularly in graduate design education circles. Pointing out that Product Design, Service Design and Experience Design methods are geared for Arena 2, while the shift in real world need is towards Arena 3 and Arena 4 was an integral aspect of that firestorm.

Among the effects of the storm was underlining an existing methods gap and need for moving away from the design-is-magic-thinking orientation of "4-Orders", towards recogntion that new skill-building streams, more geared to complexity were needed. Not all the academic leaders working in graduate design education were ready for that message in 2005 or even in 2020. The narratives of that storm remain central to this NextD initiative. Rather than approach this as PhD projects we considered this to be a contribution to community sensemaking in what we considered to be a time of need.

With the help of the global pandemic, impossible to ignore environmental concerns and other VUCA-like factors, that realization of need for change finally arrived. (See: NextD Journal: Design Thinking: What REALLY Just Happened)

While the Rethinking Design / Design for Complexity movement has taken off with numerous streams activated, it is clear that there is no agreed upon methodology for these complexity terrains of organizational and societal changemaking.

While Book 1 of Innovation Methods Mapping contained 60 process examples, in Book 2 focused on Design for Complexity we hope to include 10 - 20 examples. Some complexity terrain methods were included in the cross-community Book 1 but this time we want to focus on designerly methodologies.

As per Book 1, we are interested in and looking at the architectural design of process, rather than evaluating effectiveness. What has been learned from methods history? What has changed? This connects to the architectural design history and evolution of process seen in Book 1.


Humantific books tend to be of particular interest to R&D folks, methodologists, future makers and others interested in innovation process history and its evoloution. 

In an ideal world we would be focused just on book-making, however the duties of Humantific practice often deflect us away from this work.

If you have a designerly process that you think might fit Book 2, email: kickitup (at) humantific (dot) com. (Please place "Innovation Book 2" as the subject.)

Sooooooo Book 2 / Coming Eventually! :-)

BTW: If you are personally interested in helping with the research for this book send us an email too! If you are interested in this subject and would like to be notified when the book is published send us an email.


We continue to be interested in gathering other contemporary and historical innovation processes that were not included in Book 1. You can see some examples in the LAB section of the book site. Recent additions include OODA Loop 1976, The Universal Traveler 1972, and Frame Creation Process 2015.

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