Action Collab Projects

Action Collabs

Workshops that spark innovation and transformational change in education.

ISKME’s Action Collabs™ are dynamic workshops that use the design-thinking framework to innovate new ideas with actionable next steps. Collaboration and ideation happen in four steps: Identify Opportunity, Design, Prototype, and Scale and Spread. Throughout the experience, participants engage in improvisational exercises specifically designed to encourage expansive thought and accelerate meaningful collaboration.

Action Collabs access groups' collective brainpower by focusing creativity and structuring brainstorming in a unique method that leads to new thinking and solutions. An Action Collab can focus on detailed projects such as lesson and curriculum creation or on larger systems thinking applied to school and districts.

Identify Opportunity: During Identify Opportunity, participants gather real-world insights by interviewing people directly affected by the Design Challenge.

Design: The group brainstorms new methods, tools, processes, ideas that answer the Design Challenge and serve research interviewees' needs.

Prototype: The Design idea is broken into components and prototyped to see how they'd each work. Failure is encouraged as models are continually refined.

Scale and Spread: Scale and Spread expands the group’s idea into the world by deciding how it fits within a larger scope and then develops details of how the idea is dispersed.

Action Collabs are an innovative way to:
  • Tackle a familiar challenge from a new angle.
  • Spark strategic thinking around a new initiative.
  • Discover partnerships waiting to happen.

"I'd never seen myself as someone who 'makes' things, and for the first time, I saw myself conceptualizing and making a solution. It was really eye-opening." Action Collab Participant

"It was that transformation of creating order out of chaos that struck me as one of the more useful practices and techniques that could be applied to day to day level of an institution, even a smaller level such as a a department. In a sense, it is about letting people talk, vent, and having confidence that no matter how varied their background, there are things we share as educators, and it is very likely that we will come to some broader consensus." Action Collab Participant

ISKME offers a range of Action Collab workshops that vary in audience, length, and focus:
  • Action Collab: Customized to a group's specific Design Challenge (1 - 2 days)
  • New Tools for Group Work: Experience a creative workshop and learn tools to facilitate your own (2 days)
  • Mini Action Collab: Learn and experience the framework of an Action Collab (1/2 day)
  • Action Collab for Kids: Focused on a group of younger learners' Design Challenge (1 day)
  • Action Collab Module: Inserted into a larger event and focused on a group's specific Design Challenge or the standard framework of the Action Collab process (1/2 day - 2 days)
  • Action Collab Facilitator Training: Training certifies Action Collab Facilitators (2 days)

ISKME will customize an Action Collab to serve a client's invidivual needs. Prior to the Action Collab, ISKME and the client craft a Design Challenge and determine the flow and other details for the workshop. A certified Action Collab Facilitator then delivers the workshop. ISKME's expertise in event design and facilitation lead the client through a process that delivers a generative, creative, and results-oriented experience for all participants.

ISKME Action Collab Clients:
Adobe: California
AgroKnow: Greece
National League of Cities hosts Communities Learning in Partnership: California
Stanford University School of Education Orientation 2011: California
Stanford University School of Education Orientation 2012: California
Action Collab Design Team
Lisa Petrides, ISKME
Jonah Houston, IDEO
Chris Miller, LifePlays

To bring a customized Action Collab to your organization, please contact