The Australian Centre for Social Innovation recently spent time with people who have suffered from diverse workplace injuries and learnt about their complex journey of recovery. We heard how the workers’ injuries, whether psychological or physical, are often compounded by life’s many challenges.
TACSI was asked by the icare foundation to engage in this discovery work and to bring the injured worker’s stories together in a curated and experiential learning session for the thirteen partners of the icare Foundation’s WorkUp initiative.
WorkUp was created by icare in order to facilitate fresh thinking around workplace injuries, and the impact on worker’s lives as they seek to return to work. Each of the partners had been through a selection process following a call for innovative ideas that could help injured workers return to work across NSW.
Three co-design workshops were facilitated by Fiona McKenzie (Orange Compass), icare and the TACSI team, with the discovery session the first. During the workshops, the partners were encouraged and assisted to iterate, refine and develop their ideas further so that their innovations ‘can help those who need them the most get back up and participate in work, and more essentially, their community’ (Work Up).
The discovery session was designed to provide each partner with an immersive multimodal experience, which enabled them to get a deeper and more empathetic understanding about injured workers’ stories and experiences.
A work book of tools was designed to support the partners in the workshop and provide guidance about how to engage with the material, which included a number of card sets, posters, audio recordings and a ‘confusion cloud’ with quotes hanging down from above, to signify the myths or misconceptions that people have in this space.
Three injured workers agreed to participate in films, which were produced by Digital Storytellers providing powerful first-hand insights into the injuries and stresses these workers were experiencing, and the impact not only on the workers but also their families and friends.
The partners’ response to the immersive multimodal experience during the discovery sessions was overwhelmingly positive, indicating how powerful it can be to use ‘non-traditional’ ways to communicate research and insights. Our approach enabled the partners to absorb the stories in different formats and experience voices that reflected the diverse range of people who shared their most personal and often heart-breaking stories with us.
“We were challenged by the complexity of the many health and social issues that injured workers experience. The information that was presented has strengthened our planning process and idea development”
– WorkUp partner
“We now have a better understanding of the journey of an injured worker and the complexity of the issues they face.”
– WorkUp partner