Promprylad, Ukraine: Our Systemic Diagnosis Journey

Promprylad is a revitalization project of a former factory space in Ukrainian Ivano-Frankivsk which aims at creating a holistic, sustainable and multifunctional hub for community art, creative industries, alternative art and community work. The vision of this ecosystem is meant to fit into the needs of the Ivano-Frankivsk region as well as into a cross-border context, taking into account the open development in modern society and becoming a trigger for systemic and incessant transformation.

Through Forum for the Future’s network of partners and generous donors, the School of System Change partnered with the Promprylad team to have a team of its change agents explore a systemic diagnosis of the project. The team set out to explore issues of negative gentrification and potential risks for the project, to inform further innovative solutions and stakeholder collaboration.

1. School of System Change brings our team together

Bringing all of our collective experiences together to focus on this place-based innovation project:

  • Yuriy Fylyuk — from Ukraine: Social entrepreneur, CEO of NGO Teple Misto.
  • Stelios Voulgaris — from Greece: focused on public spaces and upgrading quality of life in local communities.
  • Rita Cabana — from Portugal / France: Urban planning background, working in the public sector — at the ministries of transports and economy at Portugal and at the ministry of environment in France.
  • Rachel Jetel — from U.S. / Hong Kong: Corporate sustainability consultant, soft leadership collaborator, project manager in private sector.

2. Complexity Mapping

Aim: We began to map the Promprylad system to understand the context and synthesize insights.

What we did:

  • We focused first on Past-Present-Future Complexity Mapping.
  • The complexity framework helped us analyse the context of this place-based innovation, and the historical and socio-economic environment / PESTE factors.

What we learned:

  • Ivano Frankivsk and the Promprylad is rich with relevant historical context and unique present factors that will help to inform its success.
  • With this foundation, the Promplylad project and vision is largely future-focused.

3. Explored Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine & Promprylad

Aim: We visited I.F. (Іва́но-Франкі́вськ) from London/our respective communities to experience the system more intimately.

What we did:

  • Human-centered design, explored the community and spoke to locals (E.g.: Igor at local government, Civic Investment Department).
  • Stepped foot into Promprylad, the post-industrial factory space.

What we learned:

  • The visit was incredibly fruitful to understand the system, community and stakeholders (E.g.: Igor shared, “Yuriy can create unexpected things… a creative economy”).

4. Articulated the “PQR” — What, How, Why

Aim: Get a clear understanding and alignment around the goals around the intervention, namely for the Promprylad project.

What we learned:

  • Co-creation became a clear component stemming from how important stakeholder engagement is/will be.
  • This would later inform key narratives.

5. Created a Stakeholder Map

Aim: We mapped stakeholders within the Promprylad system to better clarify relationships between stakeholders, identify patterns and converging interests.

What we did:

  • After naming all stakeholders and mapping their relationships, many connections went into the center of the map
  • We began to try and show connections between the stakeholders
  • A subsequent exercise was to determine the value exchange back to stakeholders — What value does Promprylad bring to its stakeholders?
  • We also aimed to express the values and patterns of behavior from the stakeholders.

What we learned:

  • The tool’s “messiness” unveiled insights in the process of mapping — it helped us and the Promprylad team to review patterns but also to see where we could layer on more potential connections around Promprylad that were not conscious before (e.g., converging interest, where it would be valuable to make a connection where there is none yet)
  • It was determined that simpler layers and interactive elements could enable the map to be used as a communication tool
  • Needed to still determine and visualise what our key questions were; key barriers and leverage points; what needs to be done; what are the mechanisms that will allow us to effect these barriers (e.g., if trust is a barrier, how to build trust with a given group)

6. Experimented with unique sense-making maps

Aim: To further analyze stakeholders, key barriers and leverage points — and how to best engage them.

What we did:

  • We looked at how to organize the information about the stakeholder landscape, prioritize stakeholders, and analyze their objectives, perceptions, any barriers, opportunities, and what our tailor-made narrative would be to reach our engagement goals.
  • What are their motives? How do they perceive us? What barriers to engage? What is our story for them?

What we learned:

  • While a good model, we decided to prioritize our time on further analysis (the local team knew much of the stakeholder landscape naturally).

7. Defining our System Boundary

Aim: Define our system boundary for the Promprylad project to best focus energy and efforts for the vision / PQR to be successful.

What we did:

  • Played with models to help identify the boundary
  • Attempted to answer: Where to focus for success?
  • Balancing local, regional and global
  • Created rings of geography with a “splat” shape over the concentric circles

What we learned:

  • The system boundary at it’s core is around the Ivano Frankivsk regional level. However, the boundary does need to selectively extend sometimes to include key stakeholders at a regional / global level to meet the project vision.

8. Explored Persona Mapping

Aim: More deeply analyse a specific type of stakeholder to gather more audience-centric insights.

What we did:

  • We mapped “Julia”, our fictitious persona as a local mom and potential visitor/user of Promprylad

What we learned:

  • This was an insightful exercise to help understand the value Promprylad could bring to various stakeholders, and to help fine-tune tailor-made narratives

9. Explored 5 “W’s” & an “H”

Aim: With fresh eyes after our first round of analysis, revisit the factors and themes we had uncovered thus far about the Promprylad system.

What we did:

  • Re-mapped again into cloud maps using the 5 “W” and an “H” approach

What we learned:

  • This showed us consistent themes and new angles
  • It also demonstrated the complexity and “messy” procedure of analysing such a system

10. Ideated Intervention Approaches

Aim: Come up with intervention approaches, and ideas for stakeholder engagement

What we did:

  • We brainstormed rapid-fire using creative techniques to kick-start ideas individually, ideating practical application of ideas — then swapped to build upon our teammate’s ideas
  • Focused on 1) “How to bring people along”, and 2) “Why to invest / How to get investment”

What we learned:

  • Incorporating common themes uncovered idea “momentum” (e.g., hosting an open event or series of 1:1 collaborations) and also unique perspectives (e.g., approach stakeholders related to the “pride” of I.F.)

11. Sharing Systemic Diagnosis

  • Following the team’s analysis, we regrouped back in London as part of the School of System Change program, and were ready to share our systemic diagnosis.
  • We began to articulate what we achieved, insights gathered, and early recommendations for the Promprylad Team’s next phase as they prepare to launch the Promprylad Pilot, before ultimately launching the full Big Project platform.
  • The next phase of the Promprylad project will run through the end of 2017. As a team we began to hatch a proposal to take the insights and learning we had cultivated, and continue working as a team to support the next ‘six-month sprint’ during the system’s pilot stage toward launch. Building on the 1.5 year-foundation of the Promprylad team, our international expertise could help to act as a “supporting membrane” for the Promprylad system, fostering international stakeholder engagement and selectively helping focus inputs/outputs from the pilot. We saw this next phase as a growth out of the first month, and also a synergistic, sustainable relationship to help co-create Promprylad itself — to enable a successful launch to achieve the articulated “PQR” and evolve over time for scalable civic progress.
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