When it comes to using design thinking to address people’s needs, human value is immeasurable.

Lesley Tully spoke at Inspirefest 2017 last month about the importance of design thinking. “When you design for people’s needs and you pair it with business value, you create value for society,” she said.

Tully said that when Bank of Ireland employees spoke to entrepreneurs while Ireland was climbing out of recession, they discovered that “their needs and their wants from a bank were very different to what we thought they were”.

Entrepreneurs were not looking for loans, overdrafts or credit cards, they wanted an alternative space to work from compared to the cafés and basements they were used to.

This led to the creation of Workbenches and, while the spaces were quiet at first, Tully said that once the community could see that the spaces were there for them, they started to come.

Words by Jenny Darmody