Benjamin David Franck is a web developer, videographer, and technology enthusiast from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Ben thrives on researching innovative solutions to complex problems with tight constraints. He aspires to make a quantifiable positive impact on society through actions grounded in careful data analysis & epistemic humility.

Ben has leveraged his technological wizardry for various non-profit organizations including Hope For The Nations, Hope Mission, and Cambodia Hope Organization.

Between computing sessions Ben can be found jogging in a local park or in his kitchen attempting to bake the perfect pita bread.

I hope to spend the bulk of my time in work that focuses on fostering community and reducing societal inequalities rather than on increasing profit margins.


Reflections

Recent Tweets

@bdfranck: @sheldonbauld I used my magical donut pan to make them. It will probably take five years off my life. http://t.co/1XVq21F1Et

@bdfranck: @Dana_Janssen gave a great talk on how to craft better deliverables for happier developers. http://t.co/emwP1wkQ1q

@bdfranck: @sheldonbauld I'm sure a competent JS dev would look at my code and slowly shake their head.

@bdfranck: @sheldonbauld Hooray! I'm glad to hear it. We should attend http://t.co/sQ59fyOrH9 to learn more ways to tackle our prototyping challenges.

@bdfranck: @sheldonbauld I'd rather have the Chemex by itself.

Recent Blog Posts

 

How do you cook?


Here is the final AC4D presentation of Feast for Days, a collaborative cooking business co-founded by Jonathan Lewis and I. Enjoy!

Posted in AC4D Events, Social Innovation, Startups | Leave a comment

Pitching our Businesses

Hello friends! This week at AC4D we are learning how to pitch the social businesses we have been working on. Here is my first online attempt. Is there any way I can make the pitch clearer? What do you think I should consider adding or removing? I would love to hear your feedback. You can e-mail me at benjamin.franck@austincenterfordesign.com or tweet me at @bdfranck. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Classes, Reflection, Social Innovation, Startups | Leave a comment

Social Entrepreneur: The Card Game

We students at the Austin Center For Design have been reading and discussing the idea of social entrepreneurship lately. Social entrepreneurs are individuals who are willing to start risky, innovative entities that both create profit and make people’s lives better. In one paper which we explored the authors, Roger Martin and Sally Osberg, argued that entrepreneurship is “a special, innate ability”. I disagree. While many seem convinced that only exceptionally motivated and intensely talented people can be successful entrepreneurs, I instead believe that environmental factors have a much more important role in encouraging social entrepreneurs to emerge. If we want to promote social entrepreneurship we should be less focused on the task of unearthing these super-people and more focused on creating an environment that this behavior to thrive. I have created a card game to show how important the environment is in the promotion or discouragement of social entrepreneurs. Print the cards and give it a try! Here are the rules:

Game Contents
- 6 Nontrepreneur cards
- 40 Entrepreneur level up cards
- 24 Obstacle cards
- 24 Opportunity cards
- 24 Wicked Problem Cards
- 50 Financial profit cards
- 50 Social profit cards
- 1 Die

How to Win
Gain the most many financial and social profit cards before the game ends.

Set Up
Shuffle the opportunity, obstacle, and wicked problem cards into a single deck. Place the social profit, financial profit, and level up cards in three separate piles. Give each player a nontrepreneur card.

How to Play
Everyone starts at a level zero entrepreneur or “nontrepreneur”. Players take turns drawing a card from the main deck. If they draw a wicked problem card, they must fight the problem. If they draw an opportunity or obstacle card they must level up or down the indicated levels.

How to Fight
Compare your current level to that of the problem. If your level is lower, you lose the fight and gain nothing. If your level is equal or higher you may roll the die and collect the corresponding number financial cards. Then roll the die again and collect the corresponding number of social cards.

Game End
The game is over when the main deck is exhausted. Then every player counts his or her social and financial cards. The player with the greatest total sum of cards wins!

Have fun!

Download the Social Entrepreneur Cards >

Posted in Classes, Social Innovation, Theory | Leave a comment

I Wish I Had Though of That!

This week our mission was to create an artifact to show the relationship between creativity, strategy, and knowledge. For fun I chose to craft my thing to have the feel of a children’s book. However, I think the subject matter remains a little too abstract for any children I know. Does the naive approach render the story enjoyable or downright irritating? I’ll let you be the judge.

“I Wish I Had Thought of That!” A Design Story by Ben

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