9th January 2014

GeoVation camp – designing sustainable solutions to real problems


We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.
– Einstein

If solutions to real problems are to be successfully launched and sustained, they need to be carefully designed. That means not just designing the solution but also the venture model that will sustain the solution and allow it to scale. This is why design thinking plays such an important part of our GeoVation camps. The objective of GeoVation camps is to enable finalists to be “match-fit to pitch” for GeoVation funding.

During our camps, finalists develop their ideas into prototype ventures. To support finalists’ teams in this, the camp process is facilitated by service designers who employ design thinking, techniques and processes. In addition to this we are very fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of the MDes in Service Design Innovation students from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts lead by Dr Alison Prendiville. Alison has also agreed to join the GeoVation judging panel once again. We shall introduce Alison and the rest of the judging panel in a subsequent blog.


We asked Alison and two of her MDes Service Design Innovation students, Aya Miura and Andrea Villareal Soberanes, who’d supported us on a previous GeoVation Camps, to create a 3 minute film to introduce service design.

Aya Miura and Andrea Villareal Soberanes

They did this using real world problems they were working on with Age UK Newcastle’s Kay Stevens, on developing services for ageing well communities. Before Christmas I had the pleasure of viewing the MDes degree show, their completed projects and their service design film. We really enjoyed it. We hope you do too.

If you have an idea to encourage active lifestyles, take a look at some of the problems we identified and  enter the GeoVation Challenge online for the opportunity to benefit from design thinking support at Geovation camp if your idea is selected. As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas which address the problems using geography, technology and good design. The challenge runs to 12 noon on 15 January 2014 and Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 to help develop ventures that make best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data to solve problems.