A good social designer searches a very large space of imagined designs, detecting problems with them, vectoring towards better designs.


This requires a breadth of imagination few currently have—the designer must sometimes imagine things that are more like mechanisms, sometimes things that are more like group games, sometimes more like rituals, and so on. Something like a group voting process is likely to be all three.

Social designers must be good at imagining...


These are the Human Systems "Structural Features"


It also requires an awareness of problems that few people even think about. Sometimes a design will have perverse incentives—a mechanism design problem. For instance, your group voting process could incentivize people to conspire secretly before the vote. Alternatively, perhaps your voting process is just not engaging for people—more of a game or experience design problem. Maybe it's super fun, but doesn't ****create a thoughtful space of deliberation, one of the ****values that are its *raison d'etat—*this is a values-based design problem.

Social designers must be able to foresee and solve problems of...


Human Systems trainings focus more on the latter two columns, because that's what's been missing from design curriculums. We are working to include more in the first two though.


And, a social designer makes space for many types of people, people who struggle to live by many types of values. To make a space that doesn't suppress those types of meaning, they'll need to recognize values besides their own, and the hard steps of living by them.

Social designers must know the hard steps of diverse values...



Finally, most social designers will start with room-scale versions of their designs, and then work towards larger scales which have their own challenges.

Social designers must work at multiple scales...



Few have all these skills yet. No training program really takes this on. (Not even ours).