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Inspire, Design, Strategize and Communicate with 110 methods that have changed the world.
81 backers pledged $13,026 to help bring this project to life.
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

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You want to be a force for change.

ImpactKit is here to help.

For Innovators & Entrepreneurs As an entrepreneur or designer tackling a new cause or entering the social sector for the first time, it can feel like you have to start from scratch. In actuality there are many existing strategies for creating change that you can leverage for your specific challenge. With ImpactKit, you will have 110 tried and true methods for change in your pocket that can be applied to almost any challenge.

For Leaders & Strategists Even as a seasoned activist, a successful social sector leader or a strategic funder you can find it difficult at times to see the entire picture. You may find yourself struggling to find the final piece to deliver the change you have imagined, to describe exactly what you do to stakeholders and funders, or to adapt in response to response shifting constituent needs and funding priorities. Our impact toolkit can guide you to discover what exists, define what is necessary and dream of what is possible.

For Educators & Researchers Social change is nuanced and complicated, making it just as hard for teachers to explain what happens in social movements as it is for researchers to diagram the system of actors and actions that result in it. Our workshop in a box can help you explore and understand past movements and inspire the next generation of change makers.

Workshop at THNK.org in Amsterdam
Workshop at THNK.org in Amsterdam

   

ImpactKit 

ImpactKit is a workshop in a box, designed to help change makers see the big picture. The kit provides three resources you need to explore, explain, and move to act: a deck of cards to tangibly manipulate the basic methods of social impact, a set of activities to guide your exploration, and an online resource to put your ideas into motion.

110 Methods Our toolkit centers on 110 universal methods that movements and organizations have used to change the world for the better. These cover thirteen themes of organizational action:

  • Business Operations
  • Community Building
  • Design Practices
  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Interactions with Government
  • Institutional Knowledge
  • Money
  • Physical Spaces
  • Responsible Products
  • Service Delivery
  • Values
  • Words

We have translated these methods into a deck of cards so that your team can manipulate, experiment with, and explore them together. 

Guided Inquiry Our toolkit is based on the work of ION studios’ sister organization, The Ubuntu Center, which is working to redefine the way we learn about people and society. Together, these two organizations have created a tool that is experiential and inquiry based, but also focused so that you are guided on a path that is relevant to your work or issue. 

Some of the workshops in development:

  • Map the Movement: Draw inspiration or just learn about social movements by mapping the players and actions that made them successful. 
  • Bridge the Gap: Exploring opportunities for social innovation. 
  • Constituent Card Sort: Needs analysis with your constituents 
  • Latent Assets Bingo: Tapping your team's unused talent 
  • Impact Bullseye: Step one in defining your theory of impact 
  • Lines in the Sand: Thinking about your deal breakers for impact 
  • Why Not: Moonshots in Change

   

What's inside an ImpactKit?

Preliminary Card Design
Preliminary Card Design

A deck of cards with 110 universally applicable methods that an organization or movement can use to create social impact. We chose cards over an app or master list to ensure that you see the big picture and bias your process towards collaboration.

Activity Slide/Poster (instructions also included)
Activity Slide/Poster (instructions also included)

Activities to lead your team to insights about what you currently do, where you could expand your activities to have more impact and how to create systemic social change. They draw from design thinking, systems theory, and experience mapping. Each activity includes a facilitator’s guide and supporting slide/poster for your session.

Draft Database Entry
Draft Database Entry

Access to the online database containing expanded descriptions, basic resources, potential pitfalls and examples. Each card has a custom code so that you can easily access the relevant extended information on each method.

   

Who is ImpactKit for and what can it do?

Impact Driven Organizations seeking the right match between their solutions and their cause or looking to define and expand their portfolio.

  • Deliver pitches that demonstrate the impact of your business and bust the “overhead” myth
  • Check and balance impact strategies against the bottom line
  • Put impact first in your design process

Social Sector Strategists who help their clients design for efficient impact

  • Get up to speed on what your client already does
  • Find space for new offerings
  • Discover latent potential for low-cost impact

Investors and Funders who are seeking to create a system or network effect for their funding portfolios

  • Map your funding portfolio by sector and type of work
  • Define what you’re looking for as you pursue new investments
  • Build profiles of applicants seeking funding from you

Educators who are trying to explain how social change happens

  • Diagram social movements with secondary and university students to explore what and who was involved in making social movements happen
  • Match the sophistication of instruction about financial models with impact models in business schools and incubators
  • Inspire the next generation of change makers by demonstrating that both large and small actions matter

   

   

Impact is not an action. It’s a system. 

Many of the most admired, awarded, and familiar social organizations and movements are frequently misunderstood. The work of the Anti-Apartheid Movement or Médecins Sans Frontières or 826 Valencia is often perceived as a small set of discrete critical services, but the full picture is much richer... and more useful. These efforts actually require a whole system of methods large and small, direct and indirect to deliver impact far in excess of the resources used. The big thinkers behind these initiatives didn't happen upon these systems by accident, they designed them deliberately.

We have developed ImpactKit to help you do the same.

Anonymized version of an organization's Theory of Impact built using ImpactKit
Anonymized version of an organization's Theory of Impact built using ImpactKit

    

The Magic of ImpactKit

Our core principle at ION studios is radical intentionality, designing with purpose and simplicity to produce work that is useful and usable. To that end, the development of ImpactKit used the following design criteria:

Physical When you hold something in your hand and manipulate it you think and learn differently. Research has shown that when you use physical objects you are better able to contextualize, understand relationships, generalize and apply new concepts and ideas. So we created something a team - large or small - can move around, discuss, argue the merits of, and swap in and out.   

Depth We chose to extend our research beyond the concepts themselves, building the online database to express the next level of information so that you have guidance to make the next steps after the activity. 

Sprint We chose to make the activities efficient and self-led because we have been in your shoes. You know your work best and use tools like this to save you time and money. 

Integrated Our favorite tools easily integrate into other processes, techniques and tools. So this toolkit is designed to feed into common design, strategy, and marketing frameworks including: 

  • Business Model Canvas & Value Proposition Design
  • Theory of Change
  • DesignKit
  • Good to Great
  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • Bertalanffy Systems Mapping
  • The 5D model
  • And many others

    

How We Made It

We arrived at our 110 methods by going wide. Drawing on the work of many others as well as our own experience working with non-profits, social movements, governments and social enterprises, we started with a list of over 2000 discrete tactics, many hyper specific to topics and communities. We followed this broad exploration with a process of distillation looking for the essence of each tactic, landing on a final list of 110 methods that can be applied to almost any cause or issue.

We are currently in the process of rounding out the information behind each card, ensuring that each method is matched with: 

  •  3-4 examples of initiatives and organizations that most people will recognize
  • Any common pitfalls to avoid unintended side effects 
  • Minimum resources that highlight how to get off the ground 

The team is also working on the user experience and design of the database to integrate it into the flow of the toolkit.

The activities under development were distilled from dozens of workshops that our team has delivered over the past decade. We are currently testing and prioritizing which activities to include in the final toolkit.

   

The ImpactKit Team

Mike Radke Mike has extensive experience leading impact driven organizations, designing and delivering programs and facilitating change in organizations and movements on five continents. He is leading the overall project design as well as leveraging his considerable expertise in learning design and innovation facilitation to create the activities.

Anne Jonas Anne is a PhD student in UC Berkeley's School of Information. She has worked in and studied nonprofits and media for the past 10 years. Anne is a researcher for ImpactKit.

Kevin Zittle Kevin has his hands in many successful projects across Silicon Valley, including as lead designer and CTO of GoVoluntr and trainer at a Fortune 500 company. He is responsible for the beautiful look and feel of the products.

ION studios The project sponsor, ION is a social impact Research, Design and Strategy firm working with social sector organizations across the globe to help make the world a more tolerant, just and peaceful place.

The Ubuntu Center Provider of ImpactKit’s learning engine, The Ubuntu Center is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people understand people. It is laying the groundwork of a new kind of cultural institution combining an experiential museum, R&D lab, and think tank. 

   

When the Project is Funded 

We are seeking funding now for three primary purposes:

  • Finish the research We've done the bulk of the research and categorization, now we need to fill out all of the details for the database.
  • Build the companion website We will be building out a simple but effective online database using an existing platform
  • Print the first run We need to fund the printing of our first edition of cards.

When we exceed our baseline funding goal we have many exciting concepts for further development including:

  • Expanded Portfolio of Activities More funding will allow us to expand the number and breadth of activities in the kit.
  • Custom Design to make the cards even more beautiful and unique.
  • An Expanded Website that includes a profile builder so that you can design and share your impact profile.

  

  

   

Risks and challenges

The project poses next to no risk: the research is completed, activities are in the process of finalization, final designs will occur before the end of the campaign. We are being advised by several successful campaign leaders to ensure that we are prepared to handle the distribution of all the rewards to all backers.

The small risk that does exist would almost exclusively come in the form of possible short delays in the printing and production process. We have sought to mitigate this by lining up primary and secondary vendors for all of the elements.

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Funding period

- (27 days)

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