San Francisco, CA – Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI) hosted its inaugural ideation event at the San Francisco, CA headquarters of IDEO, the world’s leading human-centered design consulting firm. The event convened leading scientists and researchers from the contraceptive development community as well as industry leaders and subject matter experts from diverse fields and practices.
The focus of the three-day event was to identify and convert challenges impacting the male contraceptive market into opportunities. The event participants were led through multiple design thinking activities in order to extract key insights which acted as the foundation for brainstorming exercises. With a focus on collaboration and problem solving, the participants concluded the event by designing prototypes for several concepts, ranging from new funding models to advocacy campaigns, for MCI to take forward and put into practice.
“The impetus for the event was to capitalize on the collaborative spirit and optimistic energy of the small but passionate community working to make novel methods of non-hormonal, reversible male contraceptives a reality,” said MCI Executive Director Heather Vahdat. “We have consistently heard from grantees and other leaders in the field the desire for collaboration and networking opportunities, and we felt an ideation event with IDEO presented the perfect opportunity to provide just that,” Ms. Vahdat added.
“This was my first experience with a design thinking event, and I certainly hope it’s not the last,” shared MCI’s Director of Programs and Operations Dr. Logan Nickels. “Unlike other conferences and events we attend, this one was structured around working through challenges to build things together, and we are walking away with tangible and practical concepts to help expedite male contraceptive research and development”, Dr. Nickels went on to say.
“We view this event as the beginning of something special, and will be engaging with participants over the coming weeks and months to put into practice the emergent ideas,” Ms. Vahdat continued. “The male contraception research community is passionate and committed to bringing new products to market. Working with IDEO really helped us to identify innovative means to accelerate this work.”
About Male Contraceptive Initiative: The Male Contraceptive Initiative works to bring new male contraceptives to market. We accomplish this through direct funding, technical support, research, and advocacy. We believe that couples deserve options and that we offer the biggest potential impact by focusing on male contraceptives. It’s time men are given more opportunities to contribute toward family planning.
About IDEO: IDEO is an international design and consulting firm founded in Palo Alto, California, in 1991. The company uses the design thinking methodology to design products, services, environments, and digital experiences. The firm employs over 700 people across many disciplines, including: Behavioral Science, Branding, Business Design, Communication Design, Design Research, Digital Design, Education, Electrical Engineering, Environments Design, Food Science, Healthcare Services, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, Mechanical Engineering, Organizational Design, and Software Engineering.