Phase 2 – Overview

Research Question

Part 1 – How can the philosophies and practices of clowning be applied in the business environment to promote Design Thinking in organisational process?

Research Sub-questions
1a. What are the key principles of Design Thinking?
1b. What aspects of clowning can be aligned with these principles?
1c. What workshop activities can be created can be created to practice these clowning activities?
1d. Can clowning practices encourage design thinking in organisational practices to which aims to develop a human-centred empathetic approach to product and service design.

Plan of Work

This project is conceived of in two stages. The first stage is concerned with the development of a ‘Design Thinking’ Modern Jester Facilitator Workshop. The second stage aims to develop a Modern Jester Facilitator Workshop to ‘Train the Trainers’. This will combine the Creativity and Innovation workshop from Phase One with the newly Developed Design Thinking workshop to form part of an overall suite activities for a Modern Jester Workshop Facilitator training programme.

Part 1 – Development of Design Thinking Workshop

Design Thinking is practice that extends well beyond the realm of designers.  It is a series of principles and practices which apply in a wide range of fields, including science and engineering, the arts and business. Leading global organisations have adopted these practices, including, IBM, Google and Samsung. The principles which underpin Design Thinking are human-centred and empathetic approaches which encourage the abandonment of preconceptions, promote improvisation and experimentation and reframe the issues at hand. Such principles are central to the performances of clown practitioners. By engaging in clowning practices through focused clowning workshops, participants will learn to internalise Design Thinking and Clowning principles as a part of everyday practice..

Part 2 – Development of ‘Train the Trainer’ Modern Jester Facilitator Workshop

The Modern Jester Facilitator Workshop will be designed on the principle of cycles of Education, Experience and Explanation. Participants will start with some background and theory to clowning practices, then engage in clowning activities, which will be deconstructed in terms of what they mean for clowning and for organisational processes. This process will be repeated in bite-size ‘episodes’ as participants are taken through the workshop facilitation process.

The workshop will consist of 3 main themes; Modern Jester principles, workshop experience and organisational applications. It is envisaged that the workshop will take place over 2/3 days. It will include 1) the delivery and deconstruction of the Creativity and Innovation and the Design Thinking workshops, 2) a brief history of clowning and a review of clowning in contemporary contexts,3) a summary of clowning principles and the basics of workshop design. Participants will take part in the established workshops and through collaborative working, have the opportunity to design and deliver workshop episodes associated with authentic issues and challenges faced in the organisational environment.

Plan of Work

Part 1

Work Package 1 – Establishing the key concepts.

1) Review of the research literature on Design Thinking

2) Recruitment of expert group from; experts in Design Thinking, academics, clowns and clown trainers,

3) Identification of clowning practices which can be adapted for workshop activities for Design Thinking

Work Package 2 – Testing and Adapting Clowning Practices

1) Development of clowning workshop ‘episodes’ and guidelines aligned with Design Thinking.

2) Consultation with expert group and consultative group.

3) Field research to identify applications of Design Thinking

4) Identification of partners for workshop prototype

Work Package 3 – Pilot phase

1) Development of prototype Design Thinking Jester workshop episodes.

2 ) Delivery / discussion with members of the consultative group, expert group and stakeholders.

3)Feedback and evaluation through interviews, questionnaires and focus groups.

Work Package 4 – Design and delivery of final Design Thinking workshops and Innovation and Creativity workshops

1) Delivery of final Modern Jester Design Thinking workshop.

2) Refinement and delivery of Creativity and Innovation Workshop

Part 2 – Development of ‘Train the Trainer’ Modern Jester Facilitator Workshop

Work Package 5 – Mapping Key Concepts (Month 8)

1) Identify underlying principles and philosophies of clowning practices through literature and documentary review and discussion with clown trainers and practitioners.

2) Develop set of clowning principles to augment and consolidate the clowning principles employed in the Creativity and Innovation Workshop and the Design Thinking Workshop.

Work Package 6 – Promotional Material (Month 8-12)

Development of hard copy promotional material, web presence and communications through the University of Northumbria professional development and alumni networks.

Work Package 7– Recruitment

1) Recruitment campaign of communication and follow up to engage local organisations and ensure commitment. 2) Dissemination activities at conference and public events.

Work Package 8 – Development of Modern Jester Facilitator Workshop

1) Development of Train the Trainer workshop activities and guidelines.

2)Consultation and testing of activities with expert and consultative groups.

3) Mini-workshops (UK / Spain

4) Delivery of final workshop to a mixed cohort of clients to gain a richness of feedback and to maximise dissemination and reach of the Modern Jester model.

5) Consolidation and documentation of Modern Jester Facilitator Workshop support material.

Work Package 9 – Dissemination

1) Establish the academic and commercial credibility of the Modern Jester method.

2) Generate publicity and impact to allow sustainability beyond the term of the project.