Having Kara Prosser present at Spark the Change is an especially great thing for me, because I’ve been lucky enough to chat with her over the course of nearly 12 months, over which time it’s gone from a great idea to something very real.

Kara is a gun, she’s passionate and has some incredible insight on the way that design can really make a difference to the world. Most importantly, she’s following up her words with action and has been the driving force behind “Isobar Good”, Isobar’s drive towards using design to help to solve the worlds challenges.

Kara will be speaking as a part of the Panel Discussion hosted by Jo Smyth about “Higher Purpose than Profit, Sustainability for the Future”. Look out for her insights and get to know her in the interview below.

Kara – first off, congratulations on seeing what you’ve been working so hard towards, coming into reality.

Thanks Ringo 🙂

1.How does it feel now that you’re getting to share some of the outcomes of what you’re doing?

To be honest with you, Isobar Good’s been roaring ahead so we haven’t had a lot of time for reflection! However, thanks for asking us to do so! Coming up for air and looking back on our three-year journey is so rewarding and re-fuels the fire to keep focused on work that really makes a difference.

Some of our more strategic projects are now being launched and implemented and this is where we can really start tracking and talking about the impact we’re creating. The work we’ve done with Monash Health to transition chronically ill teenagers into the adult care system, has been granted funding to further develop the concepts we created. The future state experience mapping we did about donating plasma with the Red Cross Blood Bank, is being implemented in their Townsville centre.

2. Would you pick any particular moments so far that have demonstrated to you that what you’re doing not only matters, but also works?

I’m lucky I have those moments most days! Whether it be Isobar Good clients who thank us for the impact we’ve had on their teams working in a different way embracing design, or their end users who are excited about the change our concepts and prototypes will have on their lives.

We’ve just finished a piece of work with a big Australian charity looking at how we create a better experience for their donors, and ensuring their business is running as efficiently as it can to maximise the impact on the end communities they help around the world. Along with making valuable recommendations, we’re transferring design and agile capability and skills, to ensure this organisation is sustainably set up to continue to have an impact globally.

3. Is the rest of your organisation (Isobar), trying to get involved in what you’re doing?

Absolutely, and this has been the most rewarding thing to date. Isobar Good is not CSR or something we do on weekends. It’s a for-profit division of our business, focused on social transformation. This means Isobar Good work gets the right talent, teams and outcomes for the big social challenges thrown at us.

Creating change like this is a team effort, and everyone at Isobar Australia and around the world are so excited to be doing work that really makes a difference. We draw on all the talent and specialities at Isobar for Isobar Good work, which is often very complex.

4. Do you find when you’re working on Isobar good vs corporate clients you have to have a different sort of mindset going into the work?

The mindset we bring to all our work, clients and problems is a design mindset – which is all about learning, listening to people, experimenting and creativity. I believe our corporate experience definitely helps our work with government and not-for-profit clients, but Isobar Good is about bringing together all sectors to create change.

There is so much interesting work going on across all of our offering streams at Isobar – from marketing, to digital products and services and our enablement methods – that we’re able to rapidly leverage the experience we gain in these ecosystems and sectors.

5. Do you have any great inspirational stories you’re able to share in limited words? Examples you’ve already come across where you’ve been able to make a difference?

Recently we’ve been working with the East Brunswick Medical Centre (EBMC) at improving their patient experience. I’ve never seen such a dedicated group of doctors, nurses and office staff that are so in tune with the changing needs of their patients. EBMC are striving to create not only a patient-centric service, but a community-centric service that can keep up with the constant change in technology and behaviours. We’ve started small, but I’m constantly inspired by clients like this who have the courage to try something different in hope to sustain their local community. They are sparking the change!

6. How would you encourage the attendees to prepare themselves before the day, is there anything you normally prescribe to help people open their minds to more abstract ideas?

I think it’s exactly that – have an open mind! Clear your schedule so you can be present on the day, take notes, be brave and introduce yourself to someone new, and come and be in awe of the phenomenal work everyone is doing to make the world a better place…right here in our amazing city of Melbourne.

7. Any final comments?

I’m really excited to be part of Spark next week, see you all then! Connect with me on LinkedIn and check us out at isobargood.com.

Interview by Ringo Thomas
@ringo_thomas