Omidyar Network: Interdependence Research

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A design research project investigating how to reveal, amplify, and foster healthy patterns of social interdependence, focusing on non college-bound youth

Project Type 
Design Research Fellowship

Smruti Adya, Alexia Cohen, Will Crum, Mayha Soltani, Qixuan Wang

Collaboration between Omidyar Network and MFA Products of Design, School of Visual Arts
Led by Jennifer Rittner
July 2018


The culmination of our research created 5 guiding goals and underlying principles to drive design proposals.

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Our team conducted individual arranged interviews, a public intercept intervention and a group workshop as a means to hear from target users.

We developed 4 worksheets, along with question prompts, to facilitate the conversation around interconnectedness, community, comfort zones, and influences in our lives to enhance the research process.



Subject Matter Experts

We had the privilege of speaking with thought leaders who shared their own observations and hopes as they encounter interdependence in their work.




Omidyar Network provided a host of white papers they co-authored as a jumping off point. Additionally, our team dove into a wide range of readings from Toni Morrison's evaluation of 'othering', to Kwame Anthony Appiah's philosophical interrogation of one's identity, to author George Orwell's assessment of nationalism, and contemporary works on pluralism. Our readings included academic papers, essays, articles, and books.



The team developed and designed 15 proposals for Omidyar Network's review, structured by micro to macro level intervention and focused on achieving the 5 goals outlined earlier. Please review the proposals in more detail within the compilation book below.

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Compilation Book

Our work was compiled into a single book which provides further detail to our research and intervention proposals.

*Please view in full screen mode for optimal interface