IBM Impact Grants

Re-Thinking Aging Through IBM Design Thinking

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Aging is a growing concern in Singapore. According to the Ministry of Health, in 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be above the age of 65. That is equivalent to 900,000 seniors, or approximately double of the 440,000 seniors today. As part of IBM’s way to contribute back to the society, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs –  in partnership with the Ministry of Health – hosted a two-day IBM Impact Grant Design Thinking Workshop on November 15th and 16th, with the aim to develop appropriate solutions to help tackle issues related to aging in Singapore.

Workshop introduction by the IBM team

Workshop introduction by the IBM team

Present at the two-day IBM Design Thinking Workshop were more than 20 influencers from both the government and private sectors, in addition to IBM Design Thinking practitioners from Singapore and across the globe. At the workshop, participants were introduced to several IBM Design Thinking elements to help them empathize with four preselected elderly personae. Ideation tools that are commonly used in IBM Design Thinking workshops were also introduced to participants during the creative process.

At the end of the two-day workshop, the group shortlisted more than a dozen ideas for further development. While IBM aims to bring the shortlisted ideas to the Ministry of Health for further discussions and to explore the possibilities of implementing them, participants from both private and public sectors who have shown keen interest in some of these ideas have also endorsed their viability as real-world solutions.

Workshop participant doing a ‘Playback’ of his team’s BIG ideas

The IBM Design Thinking Workshop was a great way to help Singapore’s Ministry of Health look at community challenges related to an aging society. As a demonstration of IBM’s innovative problem-solving capabilities, the workshop has also helped engage the government, NGOs and like-minded members of the private sector in using technology to help manage social challenges that no single entity can overcome alone.

Luke Goh is a Service Designer with IBM Global Services in Singapore.

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