benjamin.franck@ac4d.com

Alumni

Ben Franck

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.

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!

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…

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…

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…

Feast For Days: An Initial Strategic Intent

Image by cliff1066 It is less than a month until our meal assembly service, Feast For Days, enters the piloting phase. As we move closer to this milestone it is important for Jonathan and I to begin thinking about what future business targets we want to aim for. Below is the first iteration of our…

Why Tech Matters

Lesssons learned from building a prototype

This quarter I created a prototype for a web app called Healthify. This application allows people to find and easily modify recipes in real-time to make them healthier. The goal of the app is to encourage individuals to try healthier recipes through a user interface that encourages experimentation and gives immediate feedback of the benefits…

The eve before the presentation

It’s less than 24 hours until we present our design ideas. Here is a glimpse into the final preparation process:

Researching solo? Never again.

After one month into the second quarter of AC4D I have one big takeaway: doing design researching solo is the worst. Don’t do it. I learned this lesson the hard way. At the start of this quarter I decided not to pair with another student for research. I thought I had good reason to do…

Beyond Broccoli: A Design Research Story

Diana and I spent two months conducting design research in the area of Community Supported Agriculture. Here is what we discovered. http://vimeo.com/32492732

Goal for this quarter: get ideas out of my head faster

Upon reflection of last quarter I realize that I failed to execute enough doing, making, or saying largely due to maladaptive thought patterns. The futile attempts to have things align perfectly in my head before I committed pen to paper usually lead to procrastinating the work.  The quality of my assignments suffered as a result.…

Universal education in design thinking is essential for effectively tackling wicked problems

Complex problems facing us today come in all shapes and forms. Herb Simon provided a powerful framework of dividing these problems into well structured (WSP) and ill structured (ISP) problems. We will proceed to think about complex problems with the help of illustrations to understand better challenges that face us while trying to solve complex…

Sharing FreshSpotter with the world

This week I focused on crafting the messages surrounding my smartphone app, FreshSpotter, to share with the broader online community. Was I successful? I’ll let you be the judge. Email any questions or ideas for improvement to benjamin.franck@austincenterfordesign.com. Official web site Facebook fan page Twitter page Email newsletter preview Facebook ad campaign preview

Capturing More Than the "What": A Reflection on Participatory Interviews

Last week Diana and I connected with CSA members to learn about how they made decisions when preparing food. Our method of research was called a participatory interview. This method involved discussing the topic with the participant and leading them through a creative activity called an Experience Canvas. During this exercise the participants chose word…

Demo of My New Mobile App Idea: FreshSpotter

Here is a video demonstrating the major features of my mobile app. Enjoy! FreshSpotter: A Video Demo

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