What do a new line of doll kits for kids, a mental health care app, and a rehabilitation center in China have in common? They are all innovations inspired and developed with inclusion as their guiding force.
In the latest digital exclusive from PM Network, you can learn about four projects that committed to inclusive design, from planning to user engagement to final outcome. What is inclusive design? Kat Holmes, author of Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design, says her favorite definition of inclusive design is “creating a diversity of ways for people to participate in a shared experience with a sense of belonging in that experience.”
What's it look like in the world of projects?
>> In China, a $153 million rehabilitation center, set to open in 2023, will provide services to people with disabilities aged 16 to 60, including recreation, art events and education. An Italian architecture firm is using therapeutic green spaces throughout the complex, which will connect directly to a light mobility system.
>> For marginalized people and intersectional communities, finding a therapist who can relate to their needs can be challenging. A new app called Ayana uses a questionnaire and algorithm to connect users to licensed therapists of similar values and backgrounds, including gender, ethnicity and orientation. The Los Angeles-based team built in end-to-end protocols to protect patient privacy and is seeking partnerships with nonprofits to make the app free for those who can’t afford it.
>> “Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” says Kim Culmone, a senior vice president at Mattel, which launched Creatable World, the world’s first gender-inclusive doll kits, a year ago.
Four months later, the company expanded the line to include dolls without hair, with the skin condition vitiligo and with prosthetic limbs. Throughout development, Mattel consulted with physicians, experts in gender identity, and children who identify as transgender, gender nonbinary or gender fluid.
That kind of empathy-based, user-focused feedback is “inclusion in action” in the world of project management. And it’s a rock-solid guiding principle for any project to follow.
Have you checked out the latest Projects of the Week from PM Network’s new home for digital content? From a sustainable, semi-autonomous economic hub in Honduras, to a fleet of balloons providing internet access in Africa, to a resuable top-grade mask for healthcare workers, these ongoing projects promise to make a positive difference in the world.
In Africa, where internet usage is the lowest in the world, high-flying balloons will act at floating cellphone towers to try to close that digital divide. The Loon-led effort leans heavily on machine-learning algorithms. And as the project expands, it could be a life-saver for countless communities that haven’t been reliably connected to emergency services—not to mention the possibilities for remote education, telemedicine and much more.
In the U.S., a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has developed a new face covering designed to work as effectively as the top-grade N95 mask—but it can be used over and over again. The iMasc is cost-effective, scalable and, according to healthcare workers who tested it, comfortable.
And off the coast of Honduras, hopes are high that an adaptive residential complex known as Roatán Próspera will strengthen and diversify the local economy. The joint public-private partnership leans on modular design and traditional building techniques to boost sustainability and increase integration with Caribbean customs and culture.
All three of these efforts lean heavily on project management, creative problem-solving and direct stakeholder engagement. They address immediate, real-world challenges. They help people and communities. And by making a positive impact in 2020 and beyond, they’re inspiring others along the way.
The 2020 evolution of PM Network continues this month with the launch of expanded, exclusive digital content on PMI.org.
In times of crisis, we need art more than ever to connect and inspire us. How timely that the world’s largest digital art space opened last month in Bordeaux, France—a 2020 project that even COVID-19 couldn’t shut down, though it certainly dictated some additional requirements and innovations.
Known as Les Bassins de Lumières (The Pools of Light), this impressive project offers an encouraging example of what the future of immersive public art experience can be. Read more at PM Network’s new and improved home for digital content, where this success story is our current Project of the Week.
While you’re there, check out other exclusive digital content from the PM Network team, including “Pandemic Pivots”—a quick look at five 2020 projects that are helping people navigate our new global reality, from drones that disinfect, to no-frills ventilators, to the Premier League’s Project Restart. Goooooaaaaallll
We could all use some inspiration in our information, and it's this kind of content that offers a much-needed reminder: project teams throughout history have delivered strategic solutions to difficult problems. The pandemic is no exception.
On that note, how about that other (not unrelated) existential global challenge in need of exceptional project management? Next to all this exclusive content, you will also find the digital edition of PM Network’s “The Climate for Change” issue from May/June. It presents a number of “bold projects for a better planet” and engages the project professionals who are leading them. Talk about essential work!
So stay safe. Stay informed. And stay in touch for the latest inspiration from the project management front lines.