Selected Works

Slides, videos, articles, student work, and more

As we move into the next phase of our work, we use courses, talks and writing to become clearer on the direction and clearer in our communication. Here is a selection of recent work.

Podcast Series: Fundamentals of Social Innovation

A series of interviews that ranges across the landscape of ideas and work that some call "social innovation." Topics include the "material" of social situations and approaches to working with systemic complexity and human depth.

From which mindset do we approach change?


The struggle of working towards change with a constant sense of urgency, lack and fierce judgement prompted me to question the mindset from which I create change. Here is a short talk and article on this!

Syllabus site: Social Design Fundamentals

We have been immersed in design's shift from creating better products or services towards shifting social patterns. This semester we are teaching a short course at CMU called "Foundations of Practice for Social Innovation and Transition." Every time we teach, [...]

du Plessis: Trust the process of transformation

In a great interview. Hannah du Plessis discusses the difficult place where "the old is no longer valid and the new is not yet," the stages of change, the process of transformation, and the use of applied improvisation to help people learn how to shift their own situation.

A story told about story listening: podcast interview with Marc Rettig

Jared Spool interviews Marc Rettig. "We've watered reflection down to grouping sticky notes on the wall. And we've watered listening down to data collection."

CMU “Design the Future” Lecture


Video of our talk at Carnegie Mellon School of Design's "Design the Future" lecture series.

Student books: Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation


Download the 2014 PDF here (36 meg) Download the 2013 PDF here (20 meg) Note about viewing PDFs The book looks best and is easiest to read when viewed in two-page-side-by-side. Acrobat users will want [...]

Culture Work


Transcript an images of a popular keynote talk by Fit principal Marc Rettig.

How do we work?

Many of our challenges are systemic, but our methods are honed to produce “solutions.” We need new practices for intentionally shifting the patterns of complex social situations.

Improv: a tool for designing in uncertainty


"Improv is teaching me to reframe failure. I have the choice to see all error as architecture." Words from a talk at Google Pittsburgh by Fit principal Hannah du Plessis.