In this phase, we do deep participatory research, suspend the need to solve, avoid trying to impose order, and embrace the chaos of any complex system we are seeking to understand. The tools of this phase are: research, observation, exploration, curiosity, wonderment, participatory action, questioning, data collection, and insights. This can be described as diving under the iceberg and observing the divergent parts that enable us to understand a problem arena in more detail.
This is where we take all the parts that we uncovered during the Mining phase and start to piece them together to form a landscaped view through systems mapping and exploration. Insights are gathered, and locations of where to intervene in the system to leverage change are identified. The tools for this phase are: systems mapping (cluster, interconnected circles, etc.), dynamic systems exploration, synthesis, emergence, identification, insight gathering, and intervention identification.
This is the creative ideation phase that allows for the development of divergent design ideas that build on potential intervention points to leverage change within the system. The goal is not to solve but to evolve the problem arena you are working within so that the status quo is shifted. Here we use a diversity of ideation and prototyping tools to move through a design process to get to the best-fit outcome for your intervention.