ForgeWorks

Our Process

ForgeWorks design process is a unique combination of human-centered design, educational design research and agile software development.

Our human-centered design process integrates learning sciences research processes that allow us to understand both user and learner needs. Working with our partners to define both what they want their communities to produce and how they want their members to develop, we rapidly design prototypes that apply best practices from the learning sciences and social computing. Using an agile development and testing projects we rapidly deploy these prototypes and test them with real people.

This process allows us to quickly develop new ideas, using cutting edge academic and user research to solve real-world problems.

The Digital Loft

The Loft is a digital studio that allows networks of civic innovators to design solutions to real world problems.

Designing solutions to real-world challenges such as climate change, poverty and illeteracy is challenging. Innovators need to learn new knowledge and skills to solve these problems; managers, organizers and teachers need so support multiple project teams each working on different problems; communities need ways to share information and support each other. Existing platforms don't provide the unique combination of tools that innovators need to do their work.

The Loft is a digital studio for innovation in use a 1134 people working on 259 civic innovation projects extending across the US through a distributed learning network of local hubs. It orchestrates innovation networks by (a) guiding learner-driven projects, (b) building integrated national network of local teaching hubs, and (c) affording best pedagogical practices.

To see more, check out loft.io.

Minnesota Community Assembly

The Minnesota Community Assembly project is a series of community gatherings that spurs participants to rethink civic connections, imagine how local government might be designed for the 21st century, and rebuild government to listen, understand, and act. At the end of the assembly, participants will have created policy recommendations, for both residents and elected officials, identifying opportunities for local government to better serve their community.

To see more, check out the Minnesota Community Assembly.

NextGen Illinois

The Next Gen Illinois platform is an online deliberation platform that allows young people to crowdsource policy agendas.

Young people are dramatically impacted by policy, from its impact on jobs, access to quality education, or a sustainabile environment. Yet young people are routinely excluded from the political conversation.

In the Next Gen IL campaign, networks of young people came together to discuss the policy issues that matter to them and ideas to solve them. Using the NextGenIL platform, young people learned about issues, submitted policy ideas and upvoted the best ideas.

To see more, check out the NextGenIL platform.