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Improve the Financial Health of Vulnerable DC Citizens Business Model Design DT:DC Summer of Design course

Course Overview: Summer of Design, DT:DC, is a course offered by the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, through a partnership with Capital One and Design Thinking DC. This is part one of a two-part design thinking specialization. I am learning different ways of seeing, thinking, innovating, and communicating — from a business point of view.

Assignment Description: “How might we improve the financial health of vulnerable DC citizens through entrepreneurship and/or public-private partnerships?”

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Assignment Constraints:

  1. Challenge takes place in the year 2030 (so that teams are not constrained by present-day technology)
  2. Concepts will must involve business-models or public-private partnerships (cannot be a revision of existing policy — need to bring emerging options to create new value)
  3. Solutions address the spectrum of financial health
    • Unhealthy (in immediate trouble)
    • Medium Healthy (can pay bills today but isn't prepared for the future)
    • Healthy (can pay bills today and is saving for the future)
  4. Solutions address the spectrum of financial anxiety
    • Extremely Anxious (legitimately concerned vs. always worried)
    • Somewhat Anxious (I'm just not really sure)
    • Not Anxious (comfortable or in denial)

Assignment Expected Outcomes:

  1. Ideas will identify concrete opportunities towards creating greater well-being or reducing financial anxiety.
  2. Solutions will create new businesses that contribute to improving financial health of DC citizens or identify ways to bring or build existing or emerging public-private partnerships to create new value.

Weekly Course Deliverables
Moving very quickly, collaborating with a business team, exploring questions to develop a concept pitch

  1. What is?
    • Who is our target user? ad hoc personas [397kb PDF] - The assignment was to choose one, but we documented two of the three identified users to uncover insights.
    • What is their experience? ad hoc journey map [102kb PDF] - This quick journey map highlighted the difference between Users A and C, why one had the daring to take on student loan debt: User A had parental financial support and guidance, whereas User C was on their own. What if everyone had financial support and guidance?
  2. What if?
  3. What wows/works?