What concept kits can do

The concepts you use to think and talk about your work set the boundaries of what’s possible. Here are some examples of the way building a new set of concepts can be transformative.

What concept kits can do

Here are a few examples of what they can do in philanthropy, healthcare, the public sector, and healing.

Concepts for philanthropy

Far too often, global development organizations with the best of intentions end up talking about their work in ways that dehumanize the very people they hope to help. In 2020, Eastern Congo Initiative wanted to refresh their brand and communications in a way that brought their deepest organizational values to life. That’s what this concept kit is for.

From “The ECI Brand Book” (2020). This slide shows how a concept kit can bring an organization’s deepest ethical values into the smallest communications decisions — like photo captions.

Concepts for healthcare

Breaking through decades of inhuman jargon

Sometimes, the only way to start new conversations is to create a new kind of language for it. That’s what Minnesota’s nonprofit health insurers asked me to do for their industry — and this is the radically new set of ideas we created together.

From “Ten Concepts for Health Care” (2015). This is a photo I took of my friend Tyler’s father-in-law-Godfred, cuddling Tyler’s baby son Lucas (who is now not a baby any more).

Concepts for the public sector

I’ve been teaching for going on two decades now, and I’ve learned how to use language as image to make ideas easier to remember. I built this training deck from the ground up to help the City of Saint Paul train 12,000 employees about data culture.

From “How to use data to make Saint Paul better,” (2019)

Concepts for healing

Sometimes, ideas are so new and deep that only new images will do. Here, I worked with Luminary Lab and the brilliant illustrator Cicely Combs to distill a simple, beautiful and truthful series of words and pictures, designed to make sense anywhere in the world people are suffering.

From “The Healing Journey: Helping people heal from the pain of trauma” (2018)

If you want a powerful new way to understand and communicate about your good work, a concept kit can help.