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June 24, 2022 - Comments Off on Healthcare Innovation Starts with Community

Healthcare Innovation Starts with Community


Thicket advisor Pritpal S Tamber explores the future of health through his work, and this week, he talks to AJ Montpetit of the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation in an audio interview about how we approach innovation within health care. The importance of listening to communities cannot be undervalued, and he encourages an iterative approach to redesigning healthcare systems. Take a listen:

And of course, we’re pleased to have Thicket highlighted as one of the exciting developments in the space!

May 29, 2022 - Comments Off on Emerging Tools for Community-Driven Evaluations

Emerging Tools for Community-Driven Evaluations


Last year, I had the opportunity to take part in “Designing Evaluations For What Communities Value,” a meeting organized by the Institute of Medicine’s Collaborative on Global Chronic Disease along with Thicket Advisor Pritpal S Tamber. The meeting brought together people trying to think differently about community-driven health programs. Our key questions were: How do we improve programs in ways that are aligned with what a unique community strives for? How do we understand how communities view health and wellness in the first place?

As Editorial Director for Medicine for the BMJ and as Physician Editor in the editorial team for TEDMED 2013, Pritpal has closely tracked clinical evidence and healthcare innovation for many years. Based on his experience, Pritpal founded the Creating Health Collaborative to understand why, despite their potential, broader definitions of health remain only a fringe of health innovation. And today, the Creating Health Collaborative is proposing a new way to define health as more than just the absence of disease, and as a way for people to take a growth mindset approach towards their health.

This year, Pritpal, along with Leigh Carroll and Bridget Kelly, have once again brought together a cross-section of community health professionals and evaluation practitioners, this time in a public forum. The Communities Creating Health series is being featured in the Stanford Social innovation Review over the next few weeks, and I'm pleased to share Thicket's contribution: "Emerging Tools for Community-Driven Evaluations." The piece features eight tools that can prove useful in this emerging space and covers a range of approaches derived from design thinking, community organizing, and systems analysis.

New articles in the series are published twice a week, and you can access the full Communities Creating Health series here. Read more of Pritpal's thinking in Community, Movements, and Spread: It’s the Process That Matters.

April 2, 2022 - Comments Off on Thicket Joins the ThoughtWorks Community

Thicket Joins the ThoughtWorks Community


Thicket has been a Brooklyn baby from its inception. But starting this week, that changes: Thicket is moving to Manhattan, thanks to our generous host, ThoughtWorksNYC!

Built by passionate individuals, ThoughtWorks revolutionizes software design, creation and delivery while advocating for positive social change. ThoughtWorkers around the world believe in the power of software and technology as tools for social change.

Starting this week, you'll find Thicket at 99 Madison Avenue in the Manhattan ThoughtWorks office. 

The Thicket team is thrilled to be working out of the Manhattan office and joining an extended community of researchers, designers & technologists passionate about sharing what we learn for the greater good.

How will this change Thicket? Expect more invitations to community programs from us -- lunchtime talks, workshops, and other events around the city that unite design and technology in the service of building knowledge and impact. More on that front soon.

In the meantime, get in touch to visit us in our new digs! 

February 11, 2022 - Comments Off on Thicket turns one!

Thicket turns one!


This month marks Thicket's one year anniversary!

As many of you know, I launched Thicket one year ago believing that design could facilitate social change, and systemic scale was possible. In February of last year, I started inviting like-minded individuals to collaborate to bring these ideas into reality. By summer, we had a team. By fall, we had our technology platform, the Possibility Engine. By winter, we had a full service consulting practice and design lab. In one year, Thicket has developed a whole new approach to creating impact in complex systems. We have a new article in Stanford Social Innovation Review today that represents our latest thinking called "Cracking the Black Box of Human Reasoning."

This week, we are partnering with the Institute for Child Success to host a documentary film screening and conversation in New York. "Small Steps" explores the lives of young mothers and their children, and opportunities for design to connect and align systemic resources  to better serve their needs. We hope you'll be able to join us Thursday evening at Fordham University. Get all the film screening details.

We're looking forward to exciting things in year two!

January 9, 2022 - Comments Off on Small Steps: A documentary on design for early childhood systems

Small Steps: A documentary on design for early childhood systems

In South Carolina, one think tank is taking a fresh approach to redesigning the complex systems that surround children and their families.

Last year, the Institute for Child Success embarked on a special exploration of the potential for design thinking to tackle complex, systems-level challenges in early childhood health and education. The result is Small Steps, a documentary film exploring the lives of young mothers and their children, and opportunities for design

Together with the Institute for Child Success and Ferebee Lane, Thicket is hosting a special screening of "Small Steps" in New York City. Please join us!

Small Steps: A Screening & Panel Discussion

February 12, 2022
Owen T. Gorman Moot Courtroom
Fordham Law School
150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023


Clare Huntington, Professor of Law, Fordham Law School
Matt Ferebee, Principal, Ferebee Lane
Kippy Joseph, Associate Director, Innovation, The Rockefeller Foundation
Darnell Byrd McPherson, Executive Director, Darlington County First Steps
Deepthi Welaratna, Founder & Principal, Thicket Labs

December 21, 2021 - Comments Off on Happy holidays from us!

Happy holidays from us!

As 2014 comes to a close, the Thicket team is off to spend the holidays with family and friends and celebrate our progress this year. A quick recap of 2014:

January: Thicket launches with a feature in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
February: Team recruitment begins.
March: Thicket incorporates as an LLC.
April: We work with our first client, Foundation Rwanda.
May: Development on the Possibility Engine begins.
June: Thicket's team starts working together at our new office in Brooklyn.
July: We design our first system model for the Aspen Institute's Big Data seminar.
August: We facilitate our first workshop for Chinatown Youth Initiatives.
September: We start working with our first business model design client, Sourcewater.
October: We relaunch our website.
November: Our collaboration with Chinatown Youth Initiatives is featured in Fast Company.
December: We release our first video explaining the science behind the Possibility Engine.

That's right, our first year ends with the official release of a beautiful new video introducing fuzzy cognitive mapping, the methodology underlying the Possibility Engine. Fuzzy cognitive mapping is a powerful new way to transform people's values, opinions, priorities, and perspectives into decision modeling tools. Watch the new video to learn more.

February 10, 2022 - Comments Off on Thicket Labs featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Thicket Labs featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Read our new article published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review. "Cracking the Black Box of Human Reasoning" explains why we combine big data tools suited to working with complex systems data with participatory design tools in our work.

February 19, 2022 - Comments Off on We need more creative research design

We need more creative research design

In 1981, a curiously profound experience took place in a converted monastery in New Hampshire. Psychologist Ellen Langer brought together eight men in their 70s to embody their earlier selves in an setting designed to evoke the year 1959. For five days, the men treated 1959 as their present. Before arriving, the men were assessed on such measures as manual dexterity, flexibility, hearing and vision, memory and cognition. At the end of the five days, the outcomes were remarkable, ranging from greater manual dexterity to improved eyesight. The findings were also small scale and framed by a research design so unorthodox as to be quite possibly unpublishable. Dr. Langer never attempted to submit the study to journals.

Nevertheless, Dr. Langer’s groundbreaking work on the mind-body relationship is part of a swelling chorus of researchers and scientists demanding that we adjust our understanding of the relationship between people and their health. The study of human factors like perception, cognition, motivation, decision making, trust, truth, respect, and cultural context is directly challenging our existing methodologies for how we learn about ourselves.

The world needs more creative research designers like Dr. Langer.

Ellen Langer at PopTech

April 22, 2022 - Comments Off on Thicket is hiring

Thicket is hiring

We're keeping an eye out for a talented data scientist fluent in Java to join our team here in New York. We are hoping to find a creative researcherData_Scientist_Thicket who is excited to aid the development of social science research tools and practices. Take a look at the job posting, and let us know if you think that you or a colleague might enjoy the challenge!

"Our human connections with others are an extension of the way our brain interacts with the world."

Network theory, #