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The global, cross-sector conference and exhibition
on technology-supported learning and training

Berlin, November 23 — 25, 2022


Pre-Conference Workshops

Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through Design Thinking

Date Wednesday, Dec 1  Time   –    Room Tiergarten

OEB speaker Irene Conversano

Irene Conversano

Learning Experience Designer, Butterly Works, Netherlands

OEB speaker Thais Costa

Thais Costa

Design researcher & learning experience designer, Butterfly Works, Netherlands

We believe in the power of co-creation and Design Thinking in creating more diverse, equal and inclusive spades for communities and organisations. Co-creation is about honouring different insights and including end users in the design process. The result is a strong sense of ownership and practical, sustainable solutions.

In this Pre-conference Workshop we will share our experience using a human-centred and co-creative approach to do user research and explain how it can be used as a powerful tool to highlight the voice of people and put their experiences and needs at the centre of the process.

We will particularly focus on the topic of inclusion and diversity. We will share learnings from previous projects we have conducted in Mozambique and the Netherlands, where we engaged with people with disabilities and from diverse cultural backgrounds on a journey to together map experiences, needs and visions for the future.

With this topic in mind, during the pre-conference workshop will be focusing on the challenge:

“How might we use design research tools to empower voices of diverse and multi-cultural people and provide spaces for them to take an active leading role in designing the future they want?"

Our unique experience in working with people with these intersecting identities means we are aware of the unique ways that they may experience vulnerability and disadvantage. Engaging in a human-centred approach is crucial to acknowledging these intersections and to actively include them in the need definition and project design.

At Online Educa Berlin, we would like to further discuss what it means to be inclusive and share our learnings of using a human-centered and co-creative approach towards inclusivity and equity. We would like to open the discussion and hear from others in the room about their experience with the topics of inclusion, diversity and equity. We will then finalise the session with a practical exercise for participants to practice one of our tools of the Exploration Lab


(20 mins) Introduction to the Exploration Lab
We will start the session with an Introduction to our Exploration Lab research process and how it has been applied in the development sector, to support the creation of more diverse and inclusive spaces. We will share specifically about how we used this process to meaningfully engage with people with disabilities and from diverse cultural backgrounds in previous projects carried out in Mozambique and the Netherlands.

We will then introduce the design challenge for this session:
“How might we use design research tools to empower voices of diverse and multi-cultural people and provide spaces for them to take an active leading role in designing the future they want?

(20 mins) Brainstorm on the topics of inclusion, diversity and equity
Next, we will facilitate a brainstorming session on the topics inclusion, diversity and equity. We would like to hear from people in the room, discuss and reflect on their experiences within these topics. A few discussion questions we will be exploring are:
•    What does inclusion mean to you and/or to your organisation?
•    What are the main challenges you encounter when trying to make spaces more inclusive?
•    What steps are you currently taking to make spaces more inclusive for you, your organisation and/or your community?

(45 mins) Break

(40 mins) Practical exercise: Exploration Lab tool
We will invite participants of the session to review tools we use in our Exploration Lab research process in relation to the needs of 4 fictional personas. The personas will serve as fictional scenarios to ignite discussions and solutions regarding inclusion and diversity. Participants will also learn more about our design research tools and how they have been adapted to be useful for people with disabilities.

(25 mins) Share back & wrap up the session with the main take-aways.
After the practical exercise, participants will share back in plenary their experiences while working with the research tools and discussing their scenarios. We will wrap-up the talk with a reflection on the use of design thinking and a human-centred approach to the main topics of this session.


Participants will learn about the applicability of Design thinking and co-creation in making more inclusive and sustainable spaces for organisations, end users and communities. In this process participants will explore tools and methodologies that can be applicable in different sectors and thematics. Furthermore, participants will have an inside look at practical examples of co-creation and design research applied, encouraging them to embark on the Design thinking mindset.


Anyone from Education and Research, NGO’s and civil society and Humanitarian working field organisations.

As seats are limited, Pre-Conference Workshops require prior registration.