Building more than just Lego

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Nov 15, 2012
by Salzburg Global Seminar Staff
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Building more than just Lego

Using rapid cycle prototyping to build health care initiatives To the uninformed eye, Fellows of ‘Realizing the Right to Health’ spent Monday mostly building Lego models. Not so, explain Reos facilitators Joe McCarron and Zaid Hassan.After spending the past three days immersing themselves in the issues, Monday saw the Fellows reach an inflection point, moving from being the “sponges” of information to “agents of change”. Fellows  identified what challenges they identified in their countries and regions, then moved on to rapid cycle prototyping - building models of their solutions from Lego bricks and character pieces - to find solutions and new initiatives to their challenges.“When you have a short amount of time and a diverse group of people, working on a complex project, a methodology that uses your head and your hands is much more effective in creating the early seeds of ideas than having a bunch of people negotiate around a flip chart,” explained McCarron in an interview with SGS editor, Louise Hallman.
 Fellows ended the afternoon by presenting their ideas on a traditional flip chart. Why not start that why?“When humans work with their hands and with words, they use a much larger percentage of their intellectual capacity to work together,” explained McCarron.
 The process encourages a more democratic, collaborative, explicit way of approaching a problem, allowing participants to assign meaning to metaphorical ideas in a manner that would take some 20 flip charts to explain.“It’s the difference between a 2D world and a 3D world,” added Hassan.“We’re getting people to think about the physicality of life and the physicality of intervention.”“The intangible element of what we were doing today is how you build commitment and how you build emotional attachment to these ideas,” said McCarron.As Hassan said at the end of the day’s presentations: “Ideas don’t happen because they’re good; they happen because people believe in them.”