United Nations NYC Outreach

Bringing Together Design, Mentorship, and Social Innovation


The UN Outreach Department collaborated with Parsons The New School of Design to ideate new ways the UN can outreach to its host city of New York. This 3-hour workshop was a pilot event for the formation of an innovation lab partnership between the United Nations in New York and Parsons. With members from the United Nations Department of Public Information, News and Media Department, and Strategic Communications Department, the workshop was designed and implemented to help participants identify NYC unique traits, create UN outreach programs using these features, and determine an implementation timeline. The workshop was filmed by an external film crew for experimental and educational purposes.



Knowledge Brokering

Activities were designed to extract information gained from the participants' lifestyles both as New Yorkers and as United Nations employees, and applied specifically to the ideas of their making.




Design Strategies

Through the use of design strategies, communication silos within the organization were able to be broken and program ideas were generated without the impediment of conforming to established and slow-moving formal procedures.




Innovation Capacity Building

The workshop showed participants a new way to communicate efficiently and freely, use time productively, and think differently.




Open Innovation Consortium

By including participants from different sections and hierarchal positions within the UN Outreach Department, a diverse set of information and constructive critiques was freely added to the final ideas.




Project Framing

The workshop focus was derived from insights gained through interviews with UN members and native New Yorkers in order to identify and address the core and underlying issues, rather than center solutions around topical gaps.


Leadership Mentoring

By working through this workshop process, members of each department were introduced to a new tool with which to create and develop new ideas in the future.


The United Nations

The United Nations is the intergovernmental organization focused on fostering cooperation between nations through work based on three pillars: peacekeeping and security, human rights, and economic development and humanitarian assistance.

Parsons School of Design Strategies

Parsons School of Design Strategies provides an experimental environment in which business and design education converge within the context of urban settings, services, and infrastructure.


                                    Carlos Teixeira

                                   Carlos Teixeira

                                    Sophie Hou ,  Eileen Ellis

                                   Sophie Hou, Eileen Ellis

                                    Reid Henkel ,  Jinghang Huang ,  Danielle Christophe ,                                                   Lauren Wong ,  Chisun Rees ,  James Frankis ,  Sean Baker ,                                         Mike Varona                                

                                   Reid Henkel, Jinghang Huang, Danielle Christophe,                                                  Lauren Wong, Chisun Rees, James Frankis, Sean Baker,                                        Mike Varona