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Remote Innovation and Creativity


Participatory Design: A Tool toward Innovation

Innovation and technology have proven to be key pillars that support the response to global challenges from COVID-19 and are a means to limit market losses. At Elm, we have witnessed how innovation and technology plays an effective role in supporting our work and realizing our virtual Elm webinars with distinguished experts. In this fifth webinar, it was our pleasure to host Dr. Areej Alwabil who shared with us an informative experience about participatory design and how it can be activated remotely.

About Participatory Design

Participatory design is a vital tool to empower and engage the community in designing their services through innovating solutions and developing products for a particular audience in order to come up with the best and most appropriate outcomes to improve the environment and meet needs.

Participatory design can encompass various fields; from institutional and technological innovation to entrepreneurship. It is worth mentioning that each field requires a different work mechanism.

Remote Participatory Design

With COVID-19, unpreceded conditions have altered work procedures and it was crucial to have “remote” participatory design, which in turn required several tools to ensure maximum benefit including work flexibility, availability of appropriate communication tools to the targeted audience, utilization of modern technologies, and quality transference and record of the content to be reviewed and shared.

Global Experience

The experience of participatory design has extended widely in the field of innovation with many government and private institutions following this approach to cope with community’s aspirations. This has included both professional and technical work, collective work, events that gather experts in one field, platforms that link innovators and specialists with individuals and, institutions to cultivate and uncover new solutions of multiple problems, or various reforms and developmental programs.

One notable example is the Helpful Engineering International Incubator which has experience working with thousands of volunteers on designing, supplying, and implementing projects to help individuals all around the world who have suffered from COVID-19.