Featured Projects


Alf Darb Learning Framework

Alf Darb is an academy - founded by FastCompany's 2014 most creative mind in business, HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud - to provide greater access to the workforce for those traditionally excluded in the kingdom. ION studios was engaged during the design phase to help create a guiding document to weave together the diverse curriculum elements into a cohesive and deployable experience. Our process drew heavily from our background in teaching and learning as well as experience design to build a manual for the Alf Darb training team; laying out both the big picture learning journey but also the methods for building, customizing, and delivering their groundbreaking program.


Vancity 10 year Forecast of Social Change

Vancity is a credit union in Vancouver that has a reputation as the social sector kingmaker in the lower mainland, they also happen to have nearly 20 billion dollars under management. During the initial explorative phase of a strategic planning process, ION studios was brought in to create a 10 year forecast of the future of social change in the region. We led a team of researchers who combined journalistic, anthropological, academic and traditional forecast research methods. We then built system maps of the future of  local communities, challenges, and power holders as well as the methods of social change. Finally, we synthesized these elements into a comprehensive model of five dimensions that fed into four narrative scenarios that brought a few possible futures to life.


Ubuntu Lab Theory of Impact

The Ubuntu Lab is reinventing the idea of a museum with the ambition of becoming a global resource for helping people learn to understand people. At the concept phase it was necessary to reimagine the complex system of how a museum delivers impact, and describe how it can have inbuilt financial sustainability. For this project ION studios created a new process for designing, planning and visualizing complex systems of business and social impact. The Theory of Impact model that we developed draws together all of our core competencies: traditional strategic planning processes, theory of change, design research, systems theory, and experience design. Using this process we described the "big idea", as well as the relationships between the component parts of the organization, while also sequencing a growth plan that delivers massive social impact while remaining financially viable throughout its startup years.