Designathon One Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the Designathon One page for the dates, locations, and more about this exciting new event!  Some common questions are answered below.

What Will I Do at Designathon One? What Will I Get Out Of It?

The Designathon One agenda is organized around the six levels in the Adobe Kickbox Innovation Kit. (See preliminary agenda). This particular kit has been piloted at Innovate Extension events and adapted along the way to reflect the needs and goals of Extension professionals. Most of all, Designathon One is a time for you to focus on your ideas for making a difference in your local communities! You will be encouraged and challenged to “think differently” about approaches to addressing needs and issues and to use objective information to iterate and validate the idea(s) that will become reality. You will be energized and inspired by the other Extension professionals in the room and receive support during and after the event from the facilitators who are also Extension peers.

Do I Need an Established Project or Program to Attend?

No. All you need is to identify an area of need or an issue in your local community. The Designathon One event will help you with creative ideation as well as lean experimentation to efficiently test and develop your idea into an innovative program designed for impact.

Do I Need to Be a Faculty Member or Specialist to Attend?

No, anyone involved in Extension programs at member institutions in invited to attend. This includes support staff, county-based agents, educators, program assistants, and specialists. We also encourage agents/educators/assistants with campus or state-wide responsibilities and regional/district faculty and staff. Graduate students, especially those with an interest in an extension career are also welcomed. Community partners may attend, but they must be actively collaborating with a person at a member institution.

Do I Need to Work In Food Systems, Behavioral Health, or Diversity & Inclusion to Participate?

No, we welcome ideas and individuals or teams working in any topic area served by Cooperative Extension. As we move further into the Impact Collaborative process, those focus areas (plus one pathway that is “open” to any other topic) are defined to help us mobilize key informants, professionals development, and other support resources. We encourage Extension professionals in all topic areas to attend.

Do I Need to Be Part of a Team to Attend Designathon One?

No, we welcome individuals to attend and work on their ideas. You may meet potential team members at Designathon One or develop your idea to the point where you now know who to recruit for a team.

We also encourage individuals to attend and represent a team. It is preferable that as many team members as possible are present (you will get a lot out of being together at this event!), but we recognize that schedules and travel budgets are tight. The person/s attending Designathon One will learn a process that they can take back to their local community, team, or office and use to engage others in validating, iterating, and implementing their ideas. For anyone applying to the Impact Collaborative, at least one person on the team must have attended a Designathon One.

How Does Designathon One Fit Into the Impact Collaborative?

Designathon One has two purposes within the Impact Collaborative process. Anyone at an eXtension member institution can attend.

  1. Designathon One allows you to ‘test the waters’ of design thinking and experience a proven innovation process. Applying for the Impact Collaborative is not a requirement to attend.
  2. Designathon One kicks off the process for the Impact Collaborative. Teams or individuals that intend to apply for the Impact Collaborative should send at least one person to a Designathon One event.

What Will It Cost?

We know your travel budgets are precious! The purpose of holding ten regional events is to help reduce your travel costs. For planning purposes, you should estimate either mileage (recruit some colleagues so you can carpool!) or a flight to your preferred event. The workshop is 2 1/2 days, so plan on three nights in the workshop hotel unless you live within driving distance. The registration fee will be $249 for those affiliated with premium member institutions and $349 for those affiliated with basic member institutions. Community partners will be charged the registration fee that corresponds with the membership level of their collaborator’s institution.

Is There an Early Bird Price?

The prices listed above are the early bird registration fee. Registration increases by $50 if you register seven or fewer days before the date of your preferred Designathon One.

Do I Need to Attend Designathon One to Be Part of the Impact Collaborative?

Designathon One is a required activity. At least one person from each team applying to the Impact Collaborative will need to attend Designathon One.

More Questions?

If none of these answer your questions, contact Jill Heemstra jillheemstra@extension.org. If she can’t answer your question, she will find the person who can.