Great feedback from attendees, panelists, and presenters at Good Discovery(s) Civic Design Festival. Here are Five Actionable Takeaways to Help You Build A Civic Design Community.


Some call the Good Discovery(s) civic design festival; which launched March 26 at Memorial Hall OTR in Cincinnati; an experience.

“Wow,” a friend says to me. “You’re good at building experiences.”

Others describe Good Discovery(s) as an event; as in you’re focusing on event marketing as much as writing these days. The conversations between attendees and presenters; team members and panelists continue to flesh out our messaging and values.

Good Discovery(s) is a design conference. It’s an ideas festival. We’re building an interactive marketing summit.

My answer, as the leader of the festival team, emphasizes the startup process and spirit driving our work.

Good Discovery(s) is an interactive design product. More importantly, for our team, Good Discovery(s) is a High Opportunities project with moonshot potential.

Attendees share a day of brainstorms, keynotes, networking, and panels from artists, designers, and entrepreneurs impacting our community for good. After the program wraps, they share their enthusiasm for the return of the Good Discovery(s) civic design festival in March 2020.

There are opportunities for members of the Good Discovery(s) tribe to stay connected via 2019 meetups, as well as the 2019 Cincinnati Podcast Festival. I’m excited for the next steps in community building from our festival team including Sean C. Davis, Founder of the podcast Squirrel Stories, Co-founder Good Discovery(s) and Cincinnati Podcast Festival as well as a Senior Software Developer at Ample.

Will Whitney Dixon, graphic artist and founder of the creative agency Pixxel Designs and Kailah Ware, an emerging mixed media artist and former People’s Liberty grantee, help ignite a Good Discovery(s) video series and online curriculum?


After providing social media marketing in support of the first Good Discovery(s), Tamia Stinson, founder of Tether, a community and talent agency for creative image-makers, may continue to build our community both online and onsite.

After his success as the lead programmer for our festival’s Food Innovation track and as the repeat entrepreneur behind green startups Last Mile Food Rescue, Fourth Harvest, and Epicure Cincinnati, Jeffrey Miller continues to advocate Cincinnati as a hub for food innovation. Looking ahead to 2020, how will Miller enhance Good Discovery(s) programming dedicated to reducing food waste?

Imagine the Good Discovery(s) podcast series. Think about what you’ll learn from Good Discovery(s) webinars. Look ahead and see a core festival growing in Cincinnati along with a global network of events.

Yes; our potential is a moonshot. Join us. Become a member of the Good Discovery(s) tribe.

Here are Five Five Actionable Takeaways from the first Good Discovery(s) civic design festival to build a community focused on social enterprise.

  1. Transform Equity from Creative Concept to Daily Actions

For many people, equity is a concept to source when building products and services that impact communities. Ramsey Ford, a design director at Design Impact, describes transforming fairness from idea to action. Initial steps include building trust, challenging biases, and learning together.


  1. One Person Alone Can Ignite System Change

System change, transforming the components, networks, processes, and structures that determine how communities, industries, and sectors operate, requires corporate-like scale and operations. That’s mainstream thinking; the belief that an innovator has to partner with a corporate to ignite disruption on the level of system change.

Tina Dyehouse, a dispute resolution professional; experienced government employee and the creative force behind City Ombudsman, a digital platform for problem-solving quality-of-life issues, shares a new model for system change with Good Discovery(s) attendees. By learning how to transform classic forms of bureaucracy from obstacles into tools for good, you gain the ability to single-handedly ignite system change and attract corporate partners to your efforts.

  1. Your design can transform entire cities when you embrace the Collective “Good.”

Civic design, meaning design products or services that impact communities for good, is a creative concept that emphasizes your deliverables and end products. Andy Cluxton, Director of Communications Strategy, and Nick Dew, Creative Director at the creative studio BLDG, share what needs to be part of successful civic design projects. In your engagement, smart strategy and identity design, you need to embrace the Collective “Good” and look past your direct customer to the community around the work. It’s how BLDG elevated the Northern Kentucky city of Covington from an ugly stepsister to Cincinnati to the desired home for young creatives and their startup businesses. Imagine what you can do when you embrace the Collective “Good.”

  1. Build Communities and Ignite Influence Via A Joyful Career

Empathy and empathetic design continue to be popular approaches in the branding and marketing communities. A core theme behind this thinking is empathy for others; especially your customers. Publisher, entrepreneur, and musician Jeremy Gotwals flips the table for the Good Discovery(s) tribe. He wants creatives to embrace empathy for themselves as much as others. It’s key to his goal of achieving a joyful career. Because once you attain pure joy, you can better build communities of advocates, collaborators, and customers as well as ignite influence.

  1. Build a Design Experience that Prioritizes Purpose More Than Paychecks

Most design and marketing conferences our team emphasize business and sales development. That’s fine, but Good Discovery(s) is an ideas festival. Our presenters are creatives impacting communities for good in the areas of art, food innovation, wellness, and startups. Our trade floor delivers civic art activations on the topics of community, food, and immigration. Our social enterprise agenda provides one of the most diverse conference rosters we’ve ever experienced.

Good Discovery(s) is a design experience that prioritizes purpose more than paychecks. That’s what sets us apart from marketing conferences with sessions on learning the latest Facebook algorithms. Our expertise matches the values of Generation Z and Millennials and will grow as more of these creative customers seek out festivals.


Learn more about Good Discovery(s) civic design festival at and sign up for our newsletters and all our events.

At his core, Steve Ramos is a content marketer building amazing stories that help businesses grow. He’s also a published author and his culture, science and tech stories appear in ‘QZ/Atlantic Media,’ ‘Fast Company’ and ‘NY Mag.’ In fact, it was his ‘Fast Company’ story on filmmaker Joss Whedon, Why You Need a Creative Shift Instead of a Vacation,’ that inspired his creative shift from media into branding, content marketing, and strategy.