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This interview was originally featured in MURAL.
What led Nagela & Catherine to create this template?
It’s one thing to know we all have internal biases and it’s another to take inventory of how they pop up in our work.
Through our collaborations with organizations, start ups and design teams, we realized that people needed the space to reflect intentionally on how their identities and assumptions influence how they work on projects.
This exercise was inspired by the Notice and Reflect stage found in Liberatory Design. It aims to improve self-awareness and allows an individual or team to explore their identity, values, emotions, biases, and power assumptions, as well as their situational and proximity awareness, before beginning a project.
Were there aspects of the template that were a challenge to convey initially?
What’s important for us in doing this work is that everybody can gain something from this. In inclusion work you are often addressing one specific group in the room. With this template no matter the layers of your identity, there is an opportunity for meaningful reflection. This template draws on exercises and methods that we regularly use when consulting with clients.
What gap does this template fill in facilitation?
This template helps teams go further with assumption checking exercises by connecting to the stories, environments that have contributed to their worldview. We focus on stories as a way for teams to access points of view that might be internalized.
It almost serves as a personal bias SWOT. At the start of a project we are often trying to understand what we know, what we don’t know and what we need to know. This is a great way of understanding how our worldview can be a strength or weakness and help decide who you need to cocreate with to fill in the gaps.
Who would benefit from the template?
It’s helpful for teams to use at the start of a project or as a check in moment if they experience friction within a project.