Taking design thinking and agility to the masses #VUCAworld

Taking design thinking and agility to the masses #VUCAworld


Those of you who are new to tales of building Peace Through Prosperity, you may want to get the backstory herehere or from this article on our work in the Cutter Business Technology Journal.This post is about the why, when and how Peace Through Prosperity decided to evolve it’s foundation program (our mini-MBA / mMBA) so that we could effectively take design thinking and agility to the masses.

To improve our ability to enable global society to be better equipped at responding to change and complexity. Since Peace Through Prosperity’s inception the mMBA program has been and remains the foundation of our social transformation programs. It has seen several incremental improvements based on feedback, reflections and learnings. It’s been validated nearly 800 times with participants and yielded phenomenal results for all our participants.

You can see results from our most recent cohort of women micro-entrepreneurs here or deep dive into a more detailed report here.In a nutshell the mMBA’s previous curriculum had been output focused, it taught micro entrepreneurs how to fish and get incrementally better at it! However, where we are at as a global society... teaching people to fish is not enough to achieve the societal transformation needed at scale.

Whilst in its previous version the mMBA addressed a huge tactical problem it did not equip people to address their situation in a systemic manner to the extent that they need to be able to (in our opinion). That is one of our key learnings over the years.

What we’ve enabled micro entrepreneurs to achieve with our previous version of the mMBA program is good but we can do better.As a social innovation lab, we too have evolved in our mindset, outcomes and approach.

Our journey started with an existential need to address extremism, though still there, the vision changed to respond to complexity and changes at a larger scale.Our own story got recalibrated From:

As an organisation,

We want to enable and empower marginalised micro-entrepreneurs to be better owner managers at their chosen trade/business,

So that they be prosperous and nurture an environment for peace in conflict affected and marginalised communities.


As an organisation

We want to seed and nurture an agile mindset in people

So that society gets better at responding to complexity and change.

Towards the end of 2017 internal debate for a radical change of our curriculum started taking shape.Why change what clearly works and ain’t broke? was the sentiment from the team and some previous participants we engaged for feedback on a major change in our approach to social transformation.

Our collective comfort zone became unbearably uncomfortable for a few of us, it was time to get uncomfortable again.In 2019 we launched version 2.0 of our mMBA curriculum, which is based on feedback from and research with 100+ of our near 800 participants to date. You can access the mMBA Trainer and Coach’s playbook here.

The revised mMBA curriculum is designed to enable micro entrepreneurs to create value and solve problems, in any setting; their micro enterprise, home and/or community. This in our opinion better equips them to respond to change and complexity at multiple levels, an urgent need in current times of disruption.mMBA’s version 2.0 leverages design thinking, core principles and values of agility to enable micro entrepreneurs to be better equipped at responding to change and complexity in their environment.

Will it work! We’ll soon find out! we started rollout of mMBA version 2.0 in July 2019 with one cohort in Karachi, and two in Sanaa, Yemen. It’ll take us 12-14 weeks to get to the end of the experiment and we are super confident this will rock… or we will learn.

Stay tuned.If you’re an activist, part of a collective, local NGOs (in any part of this pale blue dot) please feel free to reach out! Rest assured you’ll find us refreshingly different! 

Our programs are open source and our model to scale is through collaboration with self organised teams that share our vision and motivation to transform society from the ground up.


#agile #agility #designthinking #transformation #society

Seeding and maturing agility in large enterprises

Seeding and maturing agility in large enterprises