Euro project design

Where to begin when talking about a topic that could be addressed from several points of view?

We could start from Italians’ tendency to miss EU opportunities. But we are not here to complain.

Or we could talk about EU programs and resources (now multiplied by the Recovery Found). It can be interesting, but we don’t want to create false expectations.

Or maybe we could start from the importance of having a long-term planning strategy? Yes, that is what interests us the most, especially since it brings forward our creativity and propensity for change.

Proposing a winning project and obtaining a grant is not about knowing by heart EU programs and calls documents or how to use official websites. Professional projects designer like us are here exactly to support you and spare you the technicalities.

In the end what you should focus on is having good and strong ideas.

My mentor used to say “Ideas don’t follow money, on the contrary money tends to show up where there is the right idea”. After years hearing him saying that I’ve started to believe it too. Reality is: waiting for the call to draft a project is not a good strategy, because there is a high risk of presenting a weak and poorly designed idea.

The fist step for a successful project is understanding your objectives and innovation goals (where for innovation we mean the ability to transform external inputs into changes inside your organisation). Also, it is fundamental to question your project coherency to EU priorities as well as it’s ability to address public’s needs.

This way we make sure EU resources aren’t only beneficial to us or our organisation, but, through a cascade effect, they can reach a larger public.

ONU agenda for 2030 and its 17 goals for sustainable developments make our task easier, by giving us a baseline. When innovating and transforming our organisation, be it public or private, profit or no-profit, we should start asking ourselves which goal our project will answer to.

Having good long-term and mid-term objectives, using design methodologies that can enhance individual creativity and competences, keeping updated with EU calls and programs … all these aspects are essential for a successful project.

Obviously luck plays its part when we apply for a grant considering the ever increasing level of competition, but as we very well know … “luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.”

Enjoy!

How participatory design can help transform libraries

One of our area of expertise focuses on how to design and fund innovation in public libraries.

Thanks to a long-lasting collaboration with Italian primary library network CSBNO, we gained a deep knowledge on the mission and the potentialities of public libraries in Italy and in Europe.

In 2017 Studio2di2 led an European project called “New challenges for public libraries” aimed at spreading the knowledge and use of the Design Thinking methodology, to design new services for the library patrons, together with them.

The project NewLib has been a great opportunity to get in touch with leading libraries in Europe and to observe from a very privileged point of view how they interact and cooperate with stakeholders and patrons and how they listen to their communities’ needs and engage with them.

During the last Bibliostar Conference (Milan, September 28th-30th) CSBNO hosted a meeting of another European project named “Newcomer” whose main goal is to define what a “community library” is and what skills are required in order to become “community librarians”.

In this occasion, Studio2di2 facilitated a Lego® Serious Play® workshop for the European librarians of the Newcomer consortium. The topics of the workshop were PURPOSES AND IMPACTS of a community library.

Often, when librarians think about “community library” they tend to focus more on generic goals, on the transformation of their services to better serve their communities and on how to realize a community library.

Instead they need to focus on two fundamental aspects: purposes and impacts.

The very reason they want to do something different, or to change their organization (purposes), and what they expect will happen (impacts).

Clarifying these two aspects is fundamental to monitor and evaluate the project results and to understand what to do after.

During the workshop we have emphasized the importance of these aspects of librarians’ job, when aimed at transforming libraries into community libraries.

Even if it’s been several years and we should be used to it by now, we’re still pleasantly surprised when we see how successful this methodology is. Lego® Serious Play® helped all participants select the ideas they consider more significant or important, and  visualize them clearly (by building a lego® models of each idea). This method facilitates communication inside the team: through the visual support (Lego® bricks) ideas can be easily shared and understood.

This exercise has led participants towards a common point, by sharing ideas and points of view in a fluid, smooth, empathetic and non conflictual discussion.

And, last but not least, we had fun!

Studio2di2 new blog!

Welcome to our Blog!

Let us introduce ourselves: we are Studio2di2 a dynamic team whose strength lies in the combination of complementary competences. To explain what we do isn’t easy but we will try anyway.

Who?

Project design consultants, since 2007 we provide support and guidance to public bodies, organisations and enterprises in all that concerns the huge world of funding opportunities, both on national and international level. With a wealth experience in problem solving and facilitation methodologies, we help our clients define their objectives and how to reach them.

Why this Blog?

After several years working with public bodies, organisations and enterprises and helping them have access to national and European funding opportunities, we came to the conclusion that the key to a successful approach reside in what we call “design culture”. Which means the ability to coordinate rationally needs, objectives, activities, indicators and impacts that we want to generate. Also successfully managing the different elements that constitute a project (activities, human resources, communications, financial reposting etc.), and disseminating its results. (what we call project management) 

To share "Design Culture"

This is one of the reasons behind this blog, and why we have choose to share our experience with all of you. How we design a project? How to define my objectives? What can I do to address the needs of my community or company? We will try to answer all these questions. A successful project generates a network of actors, all working towards a common goal, and it is beneficial for the territory where is implemented. However an innovative idea isn’t enough without the financial capacity to support it. For this reason is important to understand how funding works. 

How to fund a project

A concept we often have to repeat is that you don’t design a project just for the sake of the grant. For a project to succeed, it needs to address real issues, propose innovative solutions, and have a strong frame. That being said, there is plenty of funding opportunities for who know where to look: foundations, ministers, European Commission etc. But to be funded you will need an innovative idea, professional competences and a deep knowledge of design strategies.   

What you will find here

Thanks for making this far! We have warned you that explaining what we do it’s complex. But let us give you some information on what you will find on this blog. Following us you will remain updated on the most exciting funding opportunities on European level, you will follow us through the project we will work on and discover the tools and strategies to design a project (with some little tips here and there) and finally you will learn how to use participatory design methodologies and how they can help you design.

Here we go! Now you just have to follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook (even both of them why not?) and we will keep you updated! 

Till next time,

Studio2di2 

p.s. If your Italian (or speak Italian) click here for the italian blog.