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Question: 91
In RASM, what is the function of the UPLOAD button?
A. it is used to add RoamAbout Switches to the plan
B. it is used to add RoamAbout DAPs to the plan
C. it is used to add RoamAbout firmware images to the image repository
D. it is used to add EKAHAU readings into the Planning Tool
Answer: A
Question: 92
What is Globbing?
A. grouping of auto-DAP configurations in a Mobility Domain
B. a method of producing a directed wireless DOS attack at Rogues discovered on the
C. a hacker technique that uses proxy stations to gather post-authenticated data on a
D. a wildcard method used to allow pattern matching during authentication
Answer: D
Question: 93
How does RASM identify an RF Obstacle?
A. RASM colors an RF Obstacle in blue
B. RASM displays RF Obstacles in dashed lines
C. RASM shows RF Obstacles by bolding them on the network plan
D. RASM shades RF obstacles with a translucent box
Answer: A
Question: 94
What is the maximum number of wireless users supported in a Mobility Domain?
A. 40,000
B. 30,000
C. 20,000
D. 10,000
Answer: B
Question: 95
Default Auto-Tune Settings for Power and Channel are as follows:
A. Power Tuning is ON and Channel Tuning is OFF
B. Power Tuning is OFF and Channel Tuning is ON
C. Power Tuning is OFF and Channel Tuning is OFF
D. Power Tuning is ON and Channel Tuning is ON
Answer: B
Question: 96
How does a RoamAbout Switch become a Seed Switch?
A. the RAS with the lowest MAC address becomes the Seed Switch
B. a Seed Switch must be selected manually
C. a Seed Switch is automatically elected by all the Wireless Switches in a Mobility
D. the RAS with the highest MAC address becomes the Seed Switch
Answer: B
Question: 97
What is the maximum number of RoamAbout DAPs supported in a Mobility Domain?
A. 2,000
B. 1,500
C. 1,000
D. 500
Answer: A
Question: 98
What is a Mobility Domain?
A. a collection of RoamAbout Switches that work together to support roaming users
B. a specific group of radios within a single WLAN configured to limit user movement
to a specific area
C. the fringe zone between radio coverage areas where a WLAN user roams from one
radio to another
D. a geographical zone of the WLAN where a set of policy ACLs is enforced
Answer: A
Question: 99
What is TAPA?
A. a proprietary tunneling protocol that runs between RoamAbout Switches
B. a proprietary tunneling protocol that runs between the RoamAbout Switch and the
C. a proprietary tunneling protocol that runs between WLAN clients and their host
D. a proprietary tunneling protocol that runs between WLAN clients and their host
Answer: B
Question: 100
In the Planning Tool, what is meant by "Baseline Coverage Rate"?
A. this is the lowest speed that a user will be allowed to speak on the WLAN
B. this is the calculation metric used specifically for 2.4GHz in determining the
placement of the 802.11b radios in the floor plan
C. this allow us to place RF measuring points at specified locations throughout the floor
plan (ie: like a CEO's office)
D. it is the speed inferred when a coverage envelope overlay is displayed over a floor
Answer: D
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Enterasys Recertification thinking - BingNews Search results Enterasys Recertification thinking - BingNews Why Critical Thinking Matters in Your Business

Many professionals hope to pursue careers they’re passionate about so they can find joy and meaning in their work. Caring deeply about your work is vital for engagement and productivity, but balancing emotions with critical thinking is essential in the workplace. 

When employees engage in critical thinking, they use an independent, reflective thought process to evaluate issues and solve problems based on knowledge and objective evidence. 

Critical thinking skills can guide your organization toward success, but to truly maximize the problem-solving benefits of critical thinking, it’s crucial to teach this skill to your entire team. We’ll explore critical thinking skills and how to teach them in the workplace to help your business Excellerate its decision-making and problem-solving. 

What is critical thinking?

Jen Lawrence, co-author of Engage the Fox: A Business Fable About Thinking Critically and Motivating Your Team, defines critical thinking as “the ability to solve problems effectively by systematically gathering information about an issue, generating further ideas involving a variety of perspectives, evaluating the information using logic, and making sure everyone involved is on board.”

This is a complex definition for a challenging concept. Though critical thinking might seem as straightforward as stepping back and using a formal thinking process instead of reacting instinctively to conflicts or problems, it is actually a much more challenging task.

Critical thinking’s ultimate goal is ensuring you have the best answer to a problem with maximum buy-in from all parties involved – an outcome that will ultimately save your business time, money and stress.

Why is critical thinking essential in the workplace?

A World Economic Forum report revealed that critical thinking is one of the most in-demand career skills employers seek when trying to attract and retain the best employees – and employers believe critical thinking skills will become even more necessary in the coming years. 

Critical thinking in the workplace guarantees objective and efficient problem-solving, ultimately reducing costly errors and ensuring that your organization’s resources are used wisely. Team members employing critical thinking can connect ideas, spot errors and inconsistencies, and make the best decisions most often. 

Employees with critical thinking are also more likely to accomplish the following:

  • Analyzing information
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Coming up with creative solutions to sudden problems
  • Devising thought-through, systematic plans
  • Requiring less supervision

Critical thinkers are sure about the reasoning behind their decisions, allowing them to communicate with employees clearly. This level of communication enhances employee engagement.

What are critical thinking skills?

Critical thinking is a soft skill that comprises multiple interpersonal and analytical abilities and attributes. Here are some essential critical thinking skills that can support workforce success.

  • Observation: Employees with critical thinking can easily sense and identify an existing problem – and even predict potential issues – based on their experience and sharp perception. They’re willing to embrace multiple points of view and look at the big picture. 
  • Analytical thinking: Analytical thinkers collect data from multiple sources, reject bias, and ask thoughtful questions. When approaching a problem, they gather and double-check facts, assess independent research, and sift through information to determine what’s accurate and what can help resolve the problem. 
  • Open-mindedness: Employees who demonstrate critical thinking are open-minded – not afraid to consider opinions and information that differ from their beliefs and assumptions. They listen to colleagues; they can let go of personal biases and recognize that a problem’s solution can come from unexpected sources. 
  • Problem-solving attitude: Critical thinkers possess a positive attitude toward problem-solving and look for optimal solutions to issues they’ve identified and analyzed. They are usually proactive and willing to offer suggestions based on all the information they receive. [Related article: How to Develop a Positive Attitude in the Workplace]
  • Communication: When managers make a decision, they must share it with the rest of the team and other stakeholders. Critical thinkers demonstrate excellent communication skills and can provide supporting arguments and evidence that substantiate the decision to ensure the entire team is on the same page. 

What are the benefits of critical thinking in the workplace?

Many workplaces operate at a frantic tempo that reinforces hasty thinking and rushed business decisions, resulting in costly mistakes and blunders. When employees are trained in critical thinking, they learn to slow the pace and gather crucial information before making decisions. 

Along with reducing costly errors, critical thinking in the workplace brings the following benefits: 

  • Critical thinking improves communication. When employees think more clearly and aren’t swayed by emotion, they communicate better. “If you can think more clearly and better articulate your positions, you can better engage in discussions and make a much more meaningful contribution in your job,” said David Welton, managing partner at Grove Critical Thinking.
  • Critical thinking boosts emotional intelligence. It might seem counterintuitive to associate analytical rationality with emotional intelligence. However, team members who possess critical thinking skills are less prone to rash, emotion-driven decisions. Instead, they take time to analyze the situation and make the most informed decision while being mindful and respectful of the emotional and ethical implications. 
  • Critical thinking encourages creativity. Critical thinkers are open to new ideas and perspectives and accumulate a significant amount of information when facing decisions. Because of this, they’re more likely to come up with creative solutions. They are also curious and don’t shy away from asking open-ended questions. 
  • Critical thinking saves time and money. By encouraging critical thinking in the workplace, you minimize the need for supervision, catch potential problems early, promote independence and initiative, and free managers to focus on other duties. All this helps your company save valuable time and resources. 

Critical thinking skills are essential for dealing with difficult customers because they help your team make informed decisions while managing stressful situations.

How do you teach critical thinking in the workplace?

Experts agree that critical thinking is a teachable skill. Both Lawrence and Welton recommend exploring critical thinking training programs and methods to Excellerate your workplace’s critical thinking proficiency. Here’s a breakdown of how to teach critical thinking in the workplace: 

  1. Identify problem areas. Executives and managers should assess workplace areas most lacking in critical thinking. If mistakes are consistently made, determine whether the issue is a lack of critical thinking or an inherent issue with a team or process. After identifying areas that lack critical thinking, research the type of training best suited to your organization. 
  2. Start small. Employees newly embracing critical thinking might have trouble tackling large issues immediately. Instead, present them with smaller challenges. “Start practicing critical thinking as a skill with smaller problems as examples, and then work your way up to larger problems,” Lawrence said.
  3. Act preemptively. Teaching and implementing critical thinking training and methodology takes time and patience. Lawrence emphasized that critical thinking skills are best acquired during a time of calm. It might feel urgent to seek critical thinking during a crisis, but critical thinking is a challenging skill to learn amid panic and stress. Critical thinking training is best done preemptively so that when a crisis hits, employees will be prepared and critical thinking will come naturally.
  4. Allow sufficient time. From a managerial perspective, giving employees extra time on projects or problems might feel stressful in the middle of deadlines and executive pressures. But if you want those working for you to engage in critical thinking processes, it’s imperative to deliver them ample time. Allowing employees sufficient time to work through their critical thinking process can save the company time and money in the long run.

How do you identify successful critical thinking?

Successful critical thinking happens during a crisis, not after.

Lawrence provided an example involving restaurants and waitstaff: If a customer has a bad experience at a restaurant, a server using critical thinking skills will be more likely to figure out a solution to save the interaction, such as offering a free appetizer or discount. “This can save the hard-earned customer relationship you spent a lot of marketing dollars to create,” Lawrence said. This concept is applicable across many business and organizational structures. 

You should also be aware of signs of a lack of critical thinking. Lawrence pointed out that companies that change strategy rapidly, moving from one thing to the next, are likely not engaging in critical thinking. This is also the case at companies that seem to have good ideas but have trouble executing them.

As with many issues in business, company leadership determines how the rest of the organization acts. If leaders have excellent ideas but don’t follow critical thinking processes, their team will not buy into those ideas, and the company will suffer. This is why critical thinking skills often accompany positive communication skills.

“Critical thinking doesn’t just help you arrive at the best answer, but at a solution most people embrace,” Lawrence said. Modeling critical thinking at the top will help the skill trickle down to the rest of the organization, no matter your company’s type or size.

To get your employees thinking critically, conduct employee surveys with well-designed questions to help them identify issues and solutions.

Critical thinking is the key to your business success

When critical thinking is actively implemented in an organization, mistakes are minimized, and operations run more seamlessly. 

With training, time and patience, critical thinking can become a second-nature skill for employees at all levels of experience and seniority. The money, time and conflict you’ll save in the long run are worth the extra effort of implementing critical thinking in your workplace.

Rebecka Green contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Nadia Reckmann

Contributing Writer at

During her years as a professional business writer, Nadia Reckmann has written hundreds of articles with a focus on SMB strategy, operations, technology, and tools that are essential for business success. In addition to that, she creates content that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs Excellerate their marketing techniques, sales performance, and communication strategy. She also writes about CRM and other essential business software, team and project management, and productivity.

Mon, 23 Oct 2023 11:59:00 -0500 en text/html
Design Thinking

Chōkdee Rutirasiri

Chōkdee Rutirasiri is a designer, technologist, and educator. He utilizes a human-centered approach to designing systems and solutions that are inclusive, equitable, holistic, and sustainable. He has over 25 years of experience and has designed solutions for K-12, higher education, health and human services, healthcare, population health, human resources, arts and museums, financial services, manufacturing, government, technology, startups, and nonprofits.

Currently, Chōkdee teaches Innovation Through Design Thinking at Boston College; is a member of the Equity Innovation Lab at BC School of Social Work; and Associate Director/Head of UX at the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard.

Thu, 31 Mar 2022 01:36:00 -0500 en text/html
Design Thinking for Social Innovation

In an area outside Hyderabad, India, between the suburbs and the countryside, a young woman—we’ll call her Shanti—fetches water daily from the always-open local borehole that is about 300 feet from her home. She uses a 3-gallon plastic container that she can easily carry on her head. Shanti and her husband rely on the free water for their drinking and washing, and though they’ve heard that it’s not as safe as water from the Naandi Foundation-run community treatment plant, they still use it. Shanti’s family has been drinking the local water for generations, and although it periodically makes her and her family sick, she has no plans to stop using it.

Shanti has many reasons not to use the water from the Naandi treatment center, but they’re not the reasons one might think. The center is within easy walking distance of her home—roughly a third of a mile. It is also well known and affordable (roughly 10 rupees, or 20 cents, for 5 gallons). Being able to pay the small fee has even become a status symbol for some villagers. Habit isn’t a factor, either. Shanti is forgoing the safer water because of a series of flaws in the overall design of the system.

Although Shanti can walk to the facility, she can’t carry the 5-gallon jerrican that the facility requires her to use. When filled with water, the plastic rectangular container is simply too heavy. The container isn’t designed to be held on the hip or the head, where she likes to carry heavy objects. Shanti’s husband can’t help carry it, either. He works in the city and doesn’t return home until after the water treatment center is closed. The treatment center also requires them to buy a monthly punch card for 5 gallons a day, far more than they need. “Why would I buy more than I need and waste money?” asks Shanti, adding she’d be more likely to purchase the Naandi water if the center allowed her to buy less.

The community treatment center was designed to produce clean and potable water, and it succeeded very well at doing just that. In fact, it works well for many people living in the community, particularly families with husbands or older sons who own bikes and can visit the treatment plant during working hours. The designers of the center, however, missed the opportunity to design an even better system because they failed to consider the culture and needs of all of the people living in the community.

This missed opportunity, although an obvious omission in hindsight, is all too common. Time and again, initiatives falter because they are not based on the client’s or customer’s needs and have never been prototyped to solicit feedback. Even when people do go into the field, they may enter with preconceived notions of what the needs and solutions are. This flawed approach remains the norm in both the business and social sectors.

As Shanti’s situation shows, social challenges require systemic solutions that are grounded in the client’s or customer’s needs. This is where many approaches founder, but it is where design thinking—a new approach to creating solutions—excels.

Traditionally, designers focused their attention on improving the look and functionality of products. Classic examples of this type of design work are Apple Computer’s iPod and Herman Miller’s Aeron chair. In accurate years designers have broadened their approach, creating entire systems to deliver products and services.

Design thinking incorporates constituent or consumer insights in depth and rapid prototyping, all aimed at getting beyond the assumptions that block effective solutions. Design thinking—inherently optimistic, constructive, and experiential—addresses the needs of the people who will consume a product or service and the infrastructure that enables it.

Businesses are embracing design thinking because it helps them be more innovative, better differentiate their brands, and bring their products and services to market faster. Nonprofits are beginning to use design thinking as well to develop better solutions to social problems. Design thinking crosses the traditional boundaries between public, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors. By working closely with the clients and consumers, design thinking allows high-impact solutions to bubble up from below rather than being imposed from the top.

Design Thinking at Work

Jerry Sternin, founder of the Positive Deviance Initiative and an associate professor at Tufts University until he died last year, was skilled at identifying what and critical of what he called outsider solutions to local problems. Sternin’s preferred approach to social innovation is an example of design thinking in action.1 In 1990, Sternin and his wife, Monique, were invited by the government of Vietnam to develop a model to decrease in a sustainable manner high levels of malnutrition among children in 10,000 villages. At the time, 65 percent of Vietnamese children under age 5 suffered from malnutrition, and most solutions relied on government and UN agencies donations of nutritional supplements. But the supplements—the outsider solution—never delivered the hoped-for results.2 As an alternative, the Sternins used an approach called positive deviance, which looks for existing solutions (hence sustainable) among individuals and families in the community who are already doing well.3

The Sternins and colleagues from Save the Children surveyed four local Quong Xuong communities in the province of Than Hoa and asked for examples of “very, very poor” families whose children were healthy. They then observed the food preparation, cooking, and serving behaviors of these six families, called “positive deviants,” and found a few consistent yet rare behaviors. Parents of well-nourished children collected tiny shrimps, crabs, and snails from rice paddies and added them to the food, along with the greens from sweet potatoes. Although these foods were readily available, they were typically not eaten because they were considered unsafe for children. The positive deviants also fed their children multiple smaller meals, which allowed small stomachs to hold and digest more food each day.

The Sternins and the rest of their group worked with the positive deviants to offer cooking classes to the families of children suffering from malnutrition. By the end of the program’s first year, 80 percent of the 1,000 children enrolled in the program were adequately nourished. In addition, the effort had been replicated within 14 villages across Vietnam.4

The Sternins’ work is a good example of how positive deviance and design thinking relies on local expertise to uncover local solutions. Design thinkers look for work-arounds and improvise solutions—like the shrimps, crabs, and snails—and they find ways to incorporate those into the offerings they create. They consider what we call the edges, the places where “extreme” people live differently, think differently, and consume differently. As Monique Sternin, now director of the Positive Deviance Initiative, explains: “Both positive deviance and design thinking are human-centered approaches. Their solutions are relevant to a unique cultural context and will not necessarily work outside that specific situation.”

One program that might have benefited from design thinking is mosquito net distribution in Africa. The nets are well designed and when used are effective at reducing the incidence of malaria.5 The World Health Organization praised the nets, crediting them with significant drops in malaria deaths in children under age 5: a 51 percent decline in Ethiopia, 34 percent decline in Ghana, and 66 percent decline in Rwanda.6 The way that the mosquito nets have been distributed, however, has had unintended consequences. In northern Ghana, for instance, nets are provided free to pregnant women and mothers with children under age 5. These women can readily pick up free nets from local public hospitals. For everyone else, however, the nets are difficult to obtain. When we asked a well-educated Ghanaian named Albert, who had recently contracted malaria, whether he slept under a mosquito net, he told us no—there was no place in the city of Tamale to purchase one. Because so many people can obtain free nets, it is not profitable for shop owners to sell them. But hospitals are not equipped to sell additional nets, either.

As Albert’s experience shows, it’s critical that the people designing a program consider not only form and function, but distribution channels as well. One could say that the free nets were never intended for people like Albert—that he was simply out of the scope of the project. But that would be missing a huge opportunity. Without considering the whole system, the nets cannot be widely distributed, which makes the eradication of malaria impossible.

The Origin of Design Thinking

IDEO was formed in 1991 as a merger between David Kelley Design, which created Apple Computer’s first mouse in 1982, and ID Two, which designed the first laptop computer, also in 1982. Initially, IDEO focused on traditional design work for business, designing products like the Palm V personal digital assistant, Oral-B toothbrushes, and Steelcase chairs. These are the types of objects that are displayed in lifestyle magazines or on pedestals in modern art museums.

By 2001, IDEO was increasingly being asked to tackle problems that seemed far afield from traditional design. A healthcare foundation asked us to help restructure its organization, a century-old manufacturing company wanted to better understand its clients, and a university hoped to create alternative learning environments to traditional classrooms. This type of work took IDEO from designing consumer products to designing consumer experiences.

To distinguish this new type of design work, we began referring to it as “design with a small d.” But this phrase never seemed fully satisfactory. David Kelley, also the founder of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka the “”), remarked that every time someone asked him about design, he found himself inserting the word “thinking” to explain what it was that designers do. Eventually, the term design thinking stuck.7

As an approach, design thinking taps into capacities we all have but that are overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. Not only does it focus on creating products and services that are human centered, but the process itself is also deeply human. Design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning as well as being functional, and to express ourselves in media other than words or symbols. Nobody wants to run an organization on feeling, intuition, and inspiration, but an over-reliance on the rational and the analytical can be just as risky. Design thinking, the integrated approach at the core of the design process, provides a third way.

The design thinking process is best thought of as a system of overlapping spaces rather than a sequence of orderly steps. There are three spaces to keep in mind: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Think of inspiration as the problem or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions; ideation as the process of generating, developing, and testing ideas; and implementation as the path that leads from the project stage into people’s lives.

The reason to call these spaces, rather than steps, is that they are not always undertaken sequentially. Projects may loop back through inspiration, ideation, and implementation more than once as the team refines its ideas and explores new directions. Not surprisingly, design thinking can feel chaotic to those doing it for the first time. But over the life of a project, participants come to see that the process makes sense and achieves results, even though its form differs from the linear, milestone-based processes that organizations typically undertake.


Although it is true that designers do not always proceed through each of the three spaces in linear fashion, it is generally the case that the design process begins with the inspiration space—the problem or opportunity that motivates people to search for solutions. And the classic starting point for the inspiration phase is the brief. The brief is a set of mental constraints that gives the project team a framework from which to begin, benchmarks by which they can measure progress, and a set of objectives to be realized—such as price point, available technology, and market segment.

But just as a hypothesis is not the same as an algorithm, the brief is not a set of instructions or an attempt to answer the question before it has been posed. Rather, a well-constructed brief allows for serendipity, unpredictability, and the capricious whims of fate—the creative realm from which breakthrough ideas emerge. Too abstract and the brief risks leaving the project team wandering; too narrow a set of constraints almost guarantees that the outcome will be incremental and, likely, mediocre.

Once the brief has been constructed, it is time for the design team to discover what people’s needs are. Traditional ways of doing this, such as focus groups and surveys, rarely yield important insights. In most cases, these techniques simply ask people what they want. Conventional research can be useful in pointing toward incremental improvements, but those don’t usually lead to the type of breakthroughs that leave us scratching our heads and wondering why nobody ever thought of that before.

Henry Ford understood this when he said, “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said ‘a faster horse.’” 8 Although people often can’t tell us what their needs are, their actual behaviors can provide us with invaluable clues about their range of unmet needs.

A better starting point is for designers to go out into the world and observe the actual experiences of smallholder farmers, schoolchildren, and community health workers as they improvise their way through their daily lives. Working with local partners who serve as interpreters and cultural guides is also important, as well as having partners make introductions to communities, helping build credibility quickly and ensuring understanding. Through “homestays” and shadowing locals at their jobs and in their homes, design thinkers become embedded in the lives of the people they are designing for.

Earlier this year, Kara Pecknold, a student at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, took an internship with a women’s cooperative in Rwanda. Her task was to develop a Web site to connect rural Rwandan weavers with the world. Pecknold soon discovered that the weavers had little or no access to computers and the Internet. Rather than ask them to maintain a Web site, she reframed the brief, broadening it to ask what services could be provided to the community to help them Excellerate their livelihoods. Pecknold used various design thinking techniques, drawing partly from her training and partly from ideo’s Human Centered Design toolkit, to understand the women’s aspirations.

Because Pecknold didn’t speak the women’s language, she asked them to document their lives and aspirations with a camera and draw pictures that expressed what success looked like in their community. Through these activities, the women were able to see for themselves what was important and valuable, rather than having an outsider make those assumptions for them. During the project, Pecknold also provided each participant with the equivalent of a day’s wages (500 francs, or roughly $1) to see what each person did with the money. Doing this gave her further insight into the people’s lives and aspirations. Meanwhile, the women found that a mere 500 francs a day could be a significant, life-changing sum. This visualization process helped both Pecknold and the women prioritize their planning for the community.9


The second space of the design thinking process is ideation. After spending time in the field observing and doing design research, a team goes through a process of synthesis in which they distill what they saw and heard into insights that can lead to solutions or opportunities for change. This approach helps multiply options to create choices and different insights about human behavior. These might be alternative visions of new product offerings, or choices among various ways of creating interactive experiences. By testing competing ideas against one another, the likelihood that the outcome will be bolder and more compelling increases.

As Linus Pauling, scientist and two-time Nobel Prize winner, put it, “To have a good idea you must first have lots of ideas.” 10 Truly innovative ideas challenge the status quo and stand out from the crowd—they’re creatively disruptive. They provide a wholly new solution to a problem many people didn’t know they had.

Of course, more choices mean more complexity, which can make life difficult, especially for those whose job it is to control budgets and monitor timelines. The natural tendency of most organizations is to restrict choices in favor of the obvious and the incremental. Although this tendency may be more efficient in the short run, it tends to make an organization conservative and inflexible in the long run. Divergent thinking is the route, not the obstacle, to innovation.

To achieve divergent thinking, it is important to have a diverse group of people involved in the process. Multidisciplinary people—architects who have studied psychology, artists with MBAs, or engineers with marketing experience—often demonstrate this quality. They’re people with the capacity and the disposition for collaboration across disciplines.

To operate within an interdisciplinary environment, an individual needs to have strengths in two dimensions—the “T-shaped” person. On the vertical axis, every member of the team needs to possess a depth of skill that allows him or her to make tangible contributions to the outcome. The top of the “T” is where the design thinker is made. It’s about empathy for people and for disciplines beyond one’s own. It tends to be expressed as openness, curiosity, optimism, a tendency toward learning through doing, and experimentation. (These are the same traits that we seek in our new hires at IDEO.)

Interdisciplinary teams typically move into a structured brainstorming process. Taking one provocative question at a time, the group may generate hundreds of ideas ranging from the absurd to the obvious. Each idea can be written on a Post-it note and shared with the team. Visual representations of concepts are encouraged, as this generally helps others understand complex ideas.

One rule during the brainstorming process is to defer judgment. It is important to discourage anyone taking on the often obstructive, non-generative role of devil’s advocate, as Tom Kelley explains in his book The Ten Faces of Innovation.11 Instead, participants are encouraged to come up with as many ideas as possible. This lets the group move into a process of grouping and sorting ideas. Good ideas naturally rise to the top, whereas the bad ones drop off early on. InnoCentive provides a good example of how design thinking can result in hundreds of ideas. InnoCentive has created a Web site that allows people to post solutions to challenges that are defined by InnoCentive members, a mix of nonprofits and companies. More than 175,000 people—including scientists, engineers, and designers from around the world—have posted solutions.

The Rockefeller Foundation has supported 10 social innovation challenges through InnoCentive and reports an 80 percent success rate in delivering effective solutions to the nonprofits posting challenges. 12 The open innovation approach is effective in producing lots of new ideas. The responsibility for filtering through the ideas, field-testing them, iterating, and taking them to market ultimately falls to the implementer.

An InnoCentive partnership with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development sought a theoretical solution to simplify the current TB treatment regimen. “The process is a prime example of design thinking contributing to social innovation,” explained Dwayne Spradlin, InnoCentive’s CEO. “With the TB drug development, the winning solver was a scientist by profession, but submitted to the challenge because his mother—the sole income provider for the family—developed TB when he was 14. She had to stop working, and he took on the responsibility of working and going to school to provide for the family.” Spradlin finds that projects within the InnoCentive community often benefit from such deep and motivating connections.13


The third space of the design thinking process is implementation, when the best ideas generated during ideation are turned into a concrete, fully conceived action plan. At the core of the implementation process is prototyping, turning ideas into actual products and services that are then tested, iterated, and refined.

Through prototyping, the design thinking process seeks to uncover unforeseen implementation challenges and unintended consequences in order to have more reliable long-term success. Prototyping is particularly important for products and services destined for the developing world, where the lack of infrastructure, retail chains, communication networks, literacy, and other essential pieces of the system often make it difficult to design new products and services.

Prototyping can validate a component of a device, the graphics on a screen, or a detail in the interaction between a blood donor and a Red Cross volunteer. The prototypes at this point may be expensive, complex, and even indistinguishable from the real thing. As the project nears completion and heads toward real-world implementation, prototypes will likely become more complete.

After the prototyping process is finished and the ultimate product or service has been created, the design team helps create a communication strategy. Storytelling, particularly through multimedia, helps communicate the solution to a diverse set of stakeholders inside and outside of the organization, particularly across language and cultural barriers.

VisionSpring, a low-cost eye care provider in India, provides a good example of how prototyping can be a critical step in implementation. VisionSpring, which had been selling practicing glasses to adults, wanted to begin providing comprehensive eye care to children. VisionSpring’s design effort included everything other than the design of the glasses, from marketing “eye camps” through self-help groups to training teachers about the importance of eye care and transporting kids to the local eye care center.

Working with VisionSpring, IDEO designers prototyped the eyescreening process with a group of 15 children between the ages of 8 and 12. The designers first tried to screen a young girl’s vision through traditional tests. Immediately, though, she burst into tears—the pressure of the experience was too great and the risk of failure too high. In hopes of diffusing this stressful situation, the designers asked the children’s teacher to screen the next student. Again, the child started to cry. The designers then asked the girl to screen her teacher. She took the task very seriously, while her classmates looked on enviously. Finally, the designers had the children screen each other and talk about the process. They loved playing doctor and both respected and complied with the process.

By prototyping and creating an implementation plan to pilot and scale the project, IDEO was able to design a system for the eye screenings that worked for VisionSpring’s practitioners, teachers, and children. As of September 2009, VisionSpring had conducted in India 10 eye camps for children, screened 3,000 children, transported 202 children to the local eye hospital, and provided glasses for the 69 children who needed them.

“Screening and providing glasses to kids presents many unique problems, so we turned to design thinking to provide us with an appropriate structure to develop the most appropriate marketing and distribution strategy,” explained Peter Eliassen, vice president of sales and operations at VisionSpring. Eliassen added that prototyping let VisionSpring focus on the approaches that put children at ease during the screening process. “Now that we have become a design thinking organization, we continue to use prototypes to assess the feedback and viability of new market approaches from our most important customers: our vision entrepreneurs [or salespeople] and end consumers.” 14

Systemic Problems Need Systemic Solutions

Many social enterprises already intuitively use some aspects of design thinking, but most stop short of embracing the approach as a way to move beyond today’s conventional problem solving. Certainly, there are impediments to adopting design thinking in an organization. Perhaps the approach isn’t embraced by the entire organization. Or maybe the organization resists taking a human-centered approach and fails to balance the perspectives of users, technology, and organizations.

One of the biggest impediments to adopting design thinking is simply fear of failure. The notion that there is nothing wrong with experimentation or failure, as long as they happen early and act as a source of learning, can be difficult to accept. But a vibrant design thinking culture will encourage prototyping—quick, cheap, and dirty—as part of the creative process and not just as a way of validating finished ideas.

As Yasmina Zaidman, director of knowledge and communications at Acumen Fund, put it, “The businesses we invest in require constant creativity and problem solving, so design thinking is a real success factor for serving the base of the economic pyramid.” Design thinking can lead to hundreds of ideas and, ultimately, real-world solutions that create better outcomes for organizations and the people they serve.

Support SSIR’s coverage of cross-sector solutions to global challenges. 
Help us further the reach of innovative ideas. Donate today.

Read more stories by Tim Brown & Jocelyn Wyatt.

Fri, 08 Sep 2023 13:09:00 -0500 en-us text/html
Magical Thinking

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Looking for Signs of the Supernatural

Tracy Siemachesky Shutterstock

Sometimes people look for meaning in strange places, that’s because the brain is designed to pick up on patterns. Making such connections helped our ancestors survive what they didn’t fully understand—for instance, they learned not to eat a certain kind of berry or they would die. Seeing patterns also gives an illusion of control, conferring some comfort by eliminating unwanted surprises. Humans look for superstitions, lucky numbers, coincidences, synchronicities, among other forms of thinking.

Superstitions come in many forms and they appear across cultures. In Portugal, for example, people walk backward so the devil will not know where they’re heading. In Middle Eastern countries, people hang blue colored amulets in the shape of an eye, which will ward off curses made through a malicious glare. In the U.S., people knock on wood, cross fingers, avoid crossing the path of black cats, walk under ladders, among other habits.

Everyone experiences some form of fate, some more powerful than others. For example, a person may think about a long-lost friend, one who has not come to mind for years. And then, at the same time, the bygone friend reemerges through a phone call or a text seemingly out of nowhere.

Tue, 07 Nov 2023 18:21:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Water Thinking

The facts on water point to a universally acknowledged crisis: More than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water; 6,000 children under age 5 die every day from water-related diseases; half the world’s hospital beds are filled because of water-related diseases; and 2.7 billion people lack access to hygienic sanitation facilities that prevent contamination and provide dignity.

There is no dearth of technological solutions to this tragedy. Yet successful projects to solve rural water problems require approaches other than technology—community organization, education, behavior change, ownership transfer, and long-term monitoring. These approaches, although necessary, create a complexity that has hampered our ability to take any solution to scale. Even with billions of dollars of funding over decades, we have not been able to reduce the size of the water crisis.

But the drinking water crisis can be solved. The Peer Water Exchange (PWX)—a technology platform I conceived and built for Blue Planet Network (BPN, formerly Blue Planet Run Foundation, or BPRF)—has used a network approach to manage diverse solutions to and resources for the global water crisis. PWX is a decentralized network and decision-making system that can effectively and transparently scale up the management of thousands of projects without a bureaucracy. Over the past six years, 73 small and large organizations around the world have proved that the PWX platform works.

We are small now, but our goal is ambitious: By 2027, we aim to provide safe drinking water to 200 million people. This will require $8.5 billion in funding and the management of 200,000 projects over 20 years.


To resolve the water crisis successfully, we need a healthy dose of criticism about current funding models and the disadvantages they create for solving social issues.

Management in the North: Foundations and NGOs are experts at raising money, but they find it hard to oversee small remote projects. BPRF was able to create a new global athletic event to build awareness of the water crisis, but managing projects in 14 countries was a challenge with no easy solution. Although I was a funder, was I really the right person to decide on projects? Wouldn’t using existing field expertise result in better decisions?

Fundraising in the South: Implementers are experts in their fields, but they spend significant time on fundraising and managing donors and donor agencies. A large fraction of energy can be spent in beautifying an application or report instead of executing a project.

Reporting: Funding agencies spend time and resources on reporting, which often involves repackaging reports from the field. Raw data are hidden, and only a tiny fraction of activity is reported.

Failures and learning: The entire philanthropic chain reports only good things and is unwilling to share mistakes, so no one learns from them.

Monitoring: Site visits are often a photo op and usually expensive. At BPN, we constantly balance the cost of travel with the cost of funding another project. Monitoring can and should be a learning, sharing, and teaching experience.

Cooperation and sharing: Implementers do not cooperate or share enough. They compete for resources and funding, which results in North-South communication instead of South-South dialogue.

All the points above contribute to the main problem with today’s practices: lack of scalability. Even if we increased investment in the water sector using the current model, not all the money can be absorbed and put to effective use. We need a new approach, one that is scalable, efficient, and collaborative, combining transparency with effectiveness—one that attracts the vast investment commitment that this crisis demands.


The core problem when we look at the water crisis is the lens through which we structure it, which I call Vaccine Thinking. This lens has developed over centuries as a result of a string of scientific and industrial successes. It has culminated in a mindset that is now deeply ingrained in our psyche and completely integrated with our educational, economic, and governmental systems. Vaccine Thinking seeks to find and deploy a single universal solution, a solution that can be mass-produced. It is used in projects to provide village-level electricity and in efforts like One Laptop per Child. But Vaccine Thinking has been unable to solve problems such as the water crisis, poverty, and climate change.

To address the water challenge we need to use a different lens—one that allows us to structure the problem differently, to examine many diverse and partial answers and processes, and to set up new expectations of results. The water crisis does not have a universal solution. There are many solutions, and they all involve a behavior change to deliver results. To deploy diverse solutions we need a new mindset, one I call Water Thinking.

Vaccine Thinking differs from Water Thinking as follows:

Dosage: Vaccine Thinking creates a one-time solution, a single dose, or projects involving a single set of transactions. Water Thinking creates a lifetime supply, requiring many different transactions, including preparatory and follow-up.

Point of impact: One cannot deliver water, unlike vaccines, to people. It has to be delivered to households or communities. Administering community-level solutions requires going to the site, bringing people together, and coordinating activities.

Solution type: Vaccines are universal—the same vaccine applies to all genders, ages, and races. Solutions to water supplies, especially in rural areas, are localized in climate, geography, culture, gender relations, and political structure.

Knowledge transfer: Vaccines involve no transfer of knowledge about how the vaccine works or how it was developed. Successful solutions for water in rural areas require knowledge transfer. Why water purity is important and how to establish a good source of water and keep it clean are questions whose answers need to be ingrained into a population as part of any water project.

Ownership transfer: Vaccines involve no transfer of ownership. Solutions to rural water problems need to be owned by the community for long-term success. In fact, if the community is not organized or does not desire to be self-sufficient, solutions are bound to fail.

Changes in behavior: Vaccine-based cures require no change in behavior. Social problems demand many changes in behavior. Water solutions need changes in water usage, hygiene, sanitation practices, and protection of the water supply.

Metrics: The metrics along the vaccination process can be captured easily. Solutions to water are very hard to quantify. For example, diarrhea rates are unlikely to go to zero immediately after the implementation of a project, but will produce good trends over time, often with spikes that may contradict progress.

Risks and failures: Our society accepts the risks and failures involved in creating a vaccine. We have the patience to keep funding cures for AIDS, cancers, and other diseases. Yet with small water projects we are very risk averse and respond negatively to failures. This drives behaviors that often misrepresent results, or focus on the successes only, both of which lead to the loss of much learning.

Funding and project size: For vaccines, we are able to centralize our funding. For social development projects in rural areas, the money has to be delivered in small chunks, something large institutions are not equipped to do. The management of thousands of small projects is one of the challenges of scale and requires us to think differently from our large funding mentality.


The Peer Water Exchange was deployed in 2006 to tackle today’s unscalable funding approach and apply Water Thinking. We have been using the Internet, especially Web 2.0 technologies, to manage projects in a way that minimizes bureaucracy, increases transparency, enables collaboration, improves effectiveness, and delivers results efficiently. Just as eBay and Craigslist do not deliver the same products to all consumers, but allow millions of different transactions, we do not manage projects with one approach or template. We also manage and coordinate interactions before, during, and after project implementation.

In PWX, work is assigned to leverage core competencies. Investors are in charge of fundraising and can focus on systemic issues. They evaluate proposals, seek and study trends, and act on them. Implementers—experts in their field—review each other’s standardized applications for funds, instead of spending time applying for funds. Reviewers, who are other applicants, funders, or third parties, can critique the approach, ask questions, and offer suggestions. We see this happen repeatedly: Reviewers want to share their experience and help others succeed. Collaboration and learning are part of the process. Independent third parties can participate to observe and monitor projects.

PWX has been using Web 2.0 models of social and collaborative knowledge development networks for six years now. The network has grown through referrals; as more organizations join PWX, more resources are added to manage more work, and collaboration increases along with the knowledge base. Last year we introduced a set of business intelligence software tools for the water sector.

PWX continues to evolve. It is currently the only scalable, map-driven, and completely transparent platform in the water sector, as well as the only participatory decision-making system where applicants weigh in on funding decisions. The next step is to build out the first social development exchange—where all transactions are tracked, knowledge is disseminated, and people come together to solve global crises.

Water Thinking and PWX can tackle and solve the water crisis. My hope is that it also will energize society by showing that collective action is a way to solve many of our social problems.

Rajesh Shah is a founding member of the Blue Planet Network and the designer and leader of the Peer Water Exchange. He has more than 25 years of experience in strategy and technology consulting, finance, and operations, in nonprofits, startups, and for-profits.

Support SSIR’s coverage of cross-sector solutions to global challenges. 
Help us further the reach of innovative ideas. Donate today.

Read more stories by Rajesh Shah.

Fri, 07 Aug 2015 06:35:00 -0500 en-us text/html
Safety Training

Members of the Smith Community are invited to Capen Annex to create physical objects. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to use Capen Annex during open hours or normal business hours without training. To use Capen Annex outside of normal hours, or use specialized equipment independently, please complete safety training. After you have completed  safety training, you may use the Glowforge, Ultimaker 3D printers, vinyl cutter, crafting space, and sewing machine independently. Additional training is needed to use the Zing Epilog laser cutter, soldering tools, or power tools, which are located in the upstairs prototyping studio. Complete safety training by either watching the video and passing the quiz below, or in person through scheduling an appointment.

Tue, 03 Oct 2023 11:42:00 -0500 en text/html
Strategic thinking for board directors

The Philippine Star

November 3, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — In today’s fast-paced and dynamic business environment, the ability to think strategically is no longer an option; it’s a fundamental skill that empowers leaders to steer their organizations with foresight, resilience and adaptability. Leaders who excel in strategic thinking not only navigate challenges more effectively but also capitalize on opportunities for growth and innovation.

To help emerging leaders and members of the board excel, the Center for Global Best Practices will host an SEC-accredited training titled, Strategic Thinking for Board Directors and Leaders, on Friday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom.

This training program will equip attendees with the optimal knowledge, competencies, tools, and mindset needed to move, pivot and scale their organizations to growth and success. It will focus on creating an understanding of what exactly is strategic thinking, why it is important to all decision makers, and how to develop your strategic thinking competencies. This training aims to share insights into how board members can review and assess how effective your management are thinking strategically and how to best provide constructive feedback to executives regarding this important issue. This world-class training will cover the definitions, contrasting strategic thinking with critical thinking, reviewing strategic thinking processes, and the value that can be created through strategic thinking. Different kinds of leadership styles and organizational cultures that support and promote strategic thinking will also be discussed.

This three-hour webinar will feature CGBP’s US-based master trainer, Phillip Ash, who was the training director at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He led the leadership training programs at the ADB and created its online learning program that provided training and development services that grew to more than 40 online and blended courses. While serving as an advisor to the director-general for finance and human resources for four years until May 2013, he also led the realignment efforts that transformed ADB’s functional approach toward HR to a more strategic focus.

Registration is open to the general public. For details and other corporate governance training courses such as The Next Level in ESG and Sustainability: Going Beyond Compliance and Reporting, Leadership Transition Training, Board Directors’ Guide for Audit Committees, Roles Responsibilities and Liabilities of Board Directors, and more, visit or call (+63 2) 8556-8968 / 69 or (+ 63 2) 8842-7148 / 59.

Thu, 02 Nov 2023 12:00:00 -0500 text/html
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Mon, 23 Oct 2023 02:56:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Marathon Training Plans for All Skill Levels

If you’ve been inspired to run a

spring marathon, like Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, or London, then we’ve got your back on getting to the starting line feeling strong. You can gear up to run your best 26.2 miles with one of our marathon training plans for various fitness levels and goals.

Plus, we share our best advice on training for the iconic race distance, starting with how to pick the right training plan for you, fueling during training and racing, and even what to wear.

Let this guide to marathon training lead you to your best race yet—weather it’s your first or 50th!

Runner’s World+ Marathon Training Plans

Our Runner’s World Marathon Training Plans are designed to help you crush your first race or finally break that time-based goal. These are our five most popular plans, and each is 16 weeks long. Runner’s World+ members get access to these ultimate marathon training guides (along with half marathon, 10K, and 5K plans... plus other great membership perks!).

How long should I train for a marathon?

The duration of your marathon training plan depends on your experience level, current fitness, and the expert or authority you’re following. Generally speaking, most marathon training plans span from 12 to 20 weeks, with most closer to the 16- to 20-week range.

Each week will include different types of training runs such as intervals, hill workouts, easy recovery runs, and a long run. A great plan makes sure you don’t overdo things, so you gradually build up your mileage to at least 20 miles, have recovery weeks built in, and plenty of rest and cross-training days. A solid marathon training plan also includes a prerace taper.

Sometimes, it helps to have a tune-up race on the calendar, too. If you’re thinking about a half marathon or 10K before you kick off marathon training, we have a training plan for that too.

Wondering when exactly to start training for a marathon? You’ll want to kick off a spring race plan this winter. Here’s a guide for when to start, depending on your race date:

Spring Marathon Weekend → When to Start a 16-Week Marathon Training Plan

March 2-3 → November 12

March 9-10 → November 19

March 16-17 → November 26

March 23-24 → December 3

March 30-31 → December 10

April 6-7 → December 17

April 13-14 → December 24

April 20-21 → December 31

April 27-28 → January 7

May 4-5 → January 14

May 11-12 → January 21

May 18-19 → January 28

May 25-26→ February 4

June 1-2→ February 11

Which marathon should I run?

There are marathons scheduled all throughout the year, but which race you choose to train for will depend on a few key factors including timing, location, ability to travel, budget, and your goal (see more on that below).

We want to make it easy on you, so you can spend less time hunting down races and more time chasing PRs. Here’s some advice on choosing your next marathon:

  • For beginners, try local races first. You can train on some of the exact roads you’ll cover on race day and avoid the disruptions of travel before and after the event.
  • As you become more experienced, look for some mid-major races within a few hour radius. If you’re on the east coast, the Philadelphia Marathon or Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. are great options. If you’re on the west coast, try the Carlsbad Marathon or the Napa Valley Marathon. If you’re in the midwest, Grandma’s Marathon is a fan favorite. You can also ask for suggestions at your local running store.
  • For more advanced runners, you might have a bucket list World Major Marathon in mind. From the famous hills of Boston to the urban jungle of New York, these races are the best known in the world.

Of course, these are only suggestions. The easiest way to plan out your race schedule is to pick a spring race and a fall race to be your main goals. Then, you can fill out other races on the way that fit into your training plan.

How do I determine my marathon goals?

Whether it’s your first or 50th marathon, each training cycle comes with a unique set of goals. Are you aiming to improve your health? Make it to the finish line? Trying to hit a time goal? Ask yourself those questions to help determine what you want to get out of your training and race day.

Finish times will vary depending on your level of experience, training cycle, and age. But you can tweak that goal by running a race during training, even a 5K, and using a pace chart to help you set your time goals.

What training plan should I use?

If you’re overwhelmed when you Google “marathon training plans,” you’re not alone.

Not only do you need a plan that gets you to the finish line, you need one that’s going to get you to the starting line feeling strong, healthy, and confident. That will look different to every single runner. Some people respond well to logging high mileage six days a week; others prefer lower-intensity plans that allow for more cross-training and fewer running days.

No matter what any other runner tells you about the plan they swear by, the best marathon training plan is one that works for you.

We have training plans for runners of all levels with a variety of goals—all of these plans include cross-training and rest days, which are key to preventing injuries from popping up during your training. Here’s what they are and a little bit about them:

You should be able to run at least 6 miles and be used to working out regularly at a moderate to hard effort when you kick off this 16-week plan. The plan includes four days of easy running, one long run, and two rest days.

This is for a consistent runner used to regularly working out four to five times a week. The 16-week plan starts off with a 10-mile week and builds up to a 48-mile week, with your long run maxing out at 22 miles. This runner will be looking to complete 26.2 at a 9:09 pace.

For the consistent runner looking to complete 26.2 miles at 8:33 pace, this 16-week plan works up to a 22-mile long run and incorporates interval workouts and tempo paces throughout.

For the consistent runner looking to complete 26.2 miles at 8:00 pace, this 16-week plan starts off with 32 miles a week and peaks at a 52-mile week. It also incorporates intervals, hills, and tempo workouts.

Opt for this training plan if you’re a consistent runner who has completed at least one marathon and can already run at a hard effort for over an hour. Peaking at a 52-mile week, you’ll see Yasso 800s, intervals, hills, and tempo efforts at the end of long runs.

For the marathoner with race experience that is aiming to run 26.2 miles at 6:52 pace per mile, this is our most advanced plan. It peaks at 56 miles for the week and puts a focus on speedwork and long runs that incorporate your goal pace.

What if I miss training time or suffer an injury?

It’s important to stick to your training plan in order to run your best race. However, no one’s training is perfect. Niggles, injuries, or other unexpected life events (such as having to work late or care for a sick family member) can pop up, leading you to miss some training time. Take a deep breath. It’s okay!

No training plan is set in stone, and if you’re unable to complete a specific workout on the day your plan calls for it because something unexpected comes up, there’s nothing wrong with swapping it for a different day or simply taking a day off.

If you feel an injury coming on or getting worse, you should stop and take a rest day or cross-train, then reassess. It’s ultimately better to skip a few training days to allow your body to rest than to continue running and risk a more serious injury that leaves you unable to run your marathon.

What if my training feels too difficult?

Marathon training is no easy feat—it requires a ton of dedication to long runs, tempo runs, speed workouts, and cross-training. At times, this can feel overbearing and difficult. You should be uncomfortable to some degree; that’s normal when growing in anything. But your training shouldn’t feel impossible.

If your marathon training feels too hard, consider factors like rest days, pain levels, and your mindset. Are you taking proper time to recover from your efforts? Are you ignoring aching muscles? Are you in the right headspace before and during your workouts? Consider these questions and use them to help determine if you need to back off your runs or put more time into recovery efforts.

What should I eat during training?

Proper nutrition during marathon training is essential for fueling your runs and recovering well.

While what you eat before a run can vary depending on the specific workout you’re doing, carbs are key in providing your body with energy to complete your run. Good options include a banana, oatmeal, a bagel, a honey packet, or any combination of these foods, depending on how long or intense your workout is.

After the first hours of your run, aim to fuel with 30 grams of carbs every 30 to 45 minutes. This can include gels, gummies, or easy-to-eat whole foods. Your stomach can absorb up to 60 grams of carbs per hour when diluted with water so be sure to also hydrate properly along the way.

To help you recover faster, eat foods that restore your muscles, strengthen your bones, and reduce inflammation is important. This includes foods that contain protein, healthy fats, carbs, antioxidants, and certain vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin D, calcium, and electrolytes).

Experiment with fuel during your training—not on race day!—because everyone tolerates foods differently. Get a good sense of what works best so you don’t have any unexpected stomach issues on race day.

What shoes should I buy for my race?

Your running shoes are the most important piece of gear for training and race day. After all, if your kicks aren’t comfortable, your training and your marathon won’t be nearly as enjoyable.

Because everyone is different, there’s no singular best shoe that fits the bill for everyone. It’s important to find a shoe that fits you well and has features that meet your specific needs. For example, if you overpronate and have a wide foot, the shoe that works best for you might be different than someone who underpronates and has a narrow foot.

You also want to take into consideration the miles you put on your shoes. You generally can put about 300 to 500 miles on one pair of shoes before they wear out, so depending on how many miles you run during your training, you may want to invest in two pairs of shoes—one for training and one for race day.

Just remember: Don’t run your marathon in shoes you’ve never tried before—that’s a one way ticket to blisters or plantar fasciitis. You’ll want to know how they feel before completing 26.2 miles in them.

What should I wear to my race?

While everyone’s preferences are different, there are a few general rules to take into account when deciding what you should wear on race day. First and foremost, consider your race’s start time and the weather. If your race starts early in the morning, it may be cold out at first but warm up as the day goes on. If it’s supposed to rain, wearing water-proof or water-resistant items is a good idea.

With that said, layering is key. If you wear multiple layers, you can take clothes off as the weather or temperature changes. Just make sure to wear clothing you’re not attached to. Once you throw it off, you likely won’t get it back—most races pick up these leftover layers and donate them.

Regardless of the weather, consider certain fabrics that are soft, stretchy, and wick away sweat, like a polyester-spandex blend. Also—while not completely necessary—wearing a GPS watch helps keep track of your time and pace.

How should I recover after a marathon?

While everyone’s recovery time will look different, there are a few general strategies you can use to bounce back from your marathon. No one wants to limp around and avoid stairs in the days after a race.

Getting enough rest and sleep is necessary for your body to heal. But it’s still important to get your blood flowing by moving around (gently), as this will flush the lactic acid from your muscles. Try walking around, stretching, doing yoga, foam rolling, icing, or trying a tool like compression boots.

Don’t return to running too soon after your race—your body has been through a lot of stress while training for and running your marathon. But if you do, take it easy. Your body needs time to heal, so maybe throw some cross training in there before you start logging miles again.

Headshot of Molly Ritterbeck

Health & Fitness Director

Molly Ritterbeck is a writer, editor, and NASM-certified personal trainer with over 10 years of experience covering fitness, health, and how-to content in both print and digital media. As the Fitness, Training, and Health Director for Runner’s World and Bicycling, she manages content strategy for the fitness, training, health, and nutrition verticals, top edits service-oriented articles, executes engaging story ideas and content packages, directs photo and video shoots, and optimizes content for search. She regularly breaks a sweat with top trainers and experts in running, cycling, and fitness and represents the Enthusiast Group on expert panels, at industry events, trade shows, and product launches. She has formerly held staff positions at Greatist, Complex Media, Fitness Magazine, and Seventeen. She currently lives in New York City with her four bikes and 28+ pairs of running shoes.

Wed, 28 Jun 2023 23:26:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Design Thinking

The world around us is largely shaped by design–the products, services, infrastructures, and systems that form our experience are all designed. At Smith, we question gender, race, ethnicity, power and ability as dynamics that shape who gets to participate in creating the worlds in which we live. Human-made mass now exceeds all living biomass. As makers we challenge obsolescence, explore alternative resources,  and hold a longview when thinking about the impacts of what we make. Within a Women’s Liberal Arts College we critically engage with design and making in order to advance these practices in service of broad social issues.

Tue, 03 Nov 2015 18:06:00 -0600 en text/html

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