Including a summary of 2017, month-by-month developments, the rough plan for 2018, and a whole bunch of people to thank :)

Dec 28, 2017 · 5 min read


At the start of 2017 Design Club was just an idea: hoping to nurture empathy, collaboration and problem-solving skills in children. 12 months later, Design Club is a thing. In a year, we have:

  • Created Design Thinking materials and resources for children
  • Grown a network of 50 mentors who volunteer to run Design Clubs
  • Partnered with Marvel and Moo to develop the learning experience
  • Partnered with CoderDojo and iOi to deliver Design Club
  • Partnered with British Council to deliver Design Thinking mentor training
  • Mentored over 150 children

Month-by-month developments

Planning Design Club


Researching tools and kits for Design Thinking


  • Developed Design Thinking tools and worksheets for children

The Design Club project workbook


  • Designed a simple logo for Design Club
  • Created a Design Thinking project workbook for children to work through
  • Tested the Design Club concept on a group of 10 and 11 year-olds

Presenting Design Club to a captive after school group


  • Started an after school Design Club for 10 & 11 year-olds
  • Purchased a RENZ binding machine (to save on binding costs)

Children working on Design Club ‘mini projects’ at CoderDojo, Ada College


Design Club projects at the Institute of Imagination


Feedback forms trialling impact measurement


Design Club table at CoderDojo, UCL


  • Ran Design Club at a special two-day CoderDojo hosted by UCL
  • Developed and trialled a new A3 worksheet format (at UCL, above)
  • Did a short talk over lunch for the UX team at Pearson Education

Presenting Design Club at the Service Design Fringe Festival (SDFF)


Making Design Club badges


  • Partnered with Marvel to provide free Marvel accounts to mentors
  • Delivered a 3 minute pitch at an RSA Ideas event
  • Delivered a Design Club workshop at DojoCon
  • Ran the first Design Club not led by the Founder (thanks Tom Foster)!
  • Purchased a badge-making machine :)

Mentor training in Macedonia with the British Council


Prototyping new resources for Design Club


  • Set up a private Design Club Meetup group (and ran a small festive drinks)
  • Partnered with Moo to prototype materials and resources
  • Partnered with Token Dad to support their first ever event (Feb 2018)
  • Started to create a process for coordinating mentors
  • Set up a mailing list for mentoring opportunities and news
  • Planned strategy for 2018

The plan for 2018

The rough order of priorities is below. There are lots more details - and targets - to share, but they can wait for another post.

  1. Launch a crowdfunding campaign (provided the proposition gets traction)
  2. Apply for grants (for certain projects)
  3. Create processes for on-boarding, training, and coordinating mentors
  4. Develop strategic partnerships to deliver Design Club to more children
  5. Turn Design Club into a legal entity (a Community Interest Company)
  6. Explore ways (beyond crowdfunding and grants) to become sustainable
  7. Prototype new materials and resources to improve the learning experience


Lots of wonderful people have offered support, advice, and guidance over the past 12 months. Special thanks to Dan Sutch, Lauren Currie, Clare Sutcliffe, Iris Lapinski, John Claffey, Paul Miller, Murat Mutlu, Niki Taigel, Chad Jennings and Steve Marshall.

A bunch of generous souls have volunteered their time to help mentor at Design Club. Super-special thanks to Rachel Liu, Vala Petursdottir, Tom Foster, Jeanette Sha, Umesh Pandya, Jana Manuelpillai, Martyn Evans, Christina Li, Lyubomila Petkova, Murat Mutlu, Alaa Alsaraji, Michelle Isme, Niki Taigel, Laura Andrews, Ryan Courtier, Tom Castle, Culainn Boland-Shanahan, Ruko Kuga, Rachel Walker, Fee Schmidt-Soltau and Hekla Helgadottir.

See you in 2018.


Design Club

Run your own free after school Design Club and teach design thinking as a life skill. We’re a social enterprise and not-for-profit. Join us.


Written by


Co-founded @mintdigital. Service design @appsforgood. Creating @designclub

Design Club

Run your own free after school Design Club and teach design thinking as a life skill. We’re a social enterprise and not-for-profit. Join us.

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