Virtual Design Jams

We offer two virtual services: Remote Design Facilitation and Tech Hosting. Remote facilitation is where we shine, given our extensive backgrounds in civic engagement and design thinking and commitment to social justice, equity and sustainability. Tech Hosting ensures that meetings and workshops run smoothly and worry free.

Virtual Workshop Design + Facilitation

The VDN team offers participatory process design services, along with day-of breakout room facilitation for virtual meetings and events. The role of Lead Facilitator may include:

  • Process Design – Preparing participatory agenda and designing specific activities in collaboration with organizers
  • Coordination & recruitment of guest speakers
  • Recruitment & training of breakout facilitators
  • Day-of MC and event facilitation
  • Summary Reporting

Tech Hosting

Tech hosting is a separate role from virtual facilitation, and has become a necessary service for many of our clients, who are now faced with the complexities and nuances of hosting online meetings. Tech host responsibilities can include:

  • Managing Zoom settings, registration links, polls, breakout rooms, video recording, or any other Zoom-specific requirements.
  • Review and contribute to organizers agenda, specifying any technical details within the event timeline.
  • Assist with screen sharing, chat monitoring, and tech support for participants during events.

Design Nerd Jams

Workshop Design + Facilitation

We have been hosting and facilitating face to face Design Jams for over a decade on a wide range of topics. Some of the main benefits of holding a Jam include:

  • Problem + Opportunity Framing through lens of a human centred design process;
  • Collaborative Idea Generation + Rapid Prototyping;
  • Community Insights + Collective Voice;
  • Synthesized Reporting + Documentation

Read more about Nerd Jams here.

Civic Engagement & Co-design


We developed a participatory urban design game called PLAYtheBLOX. Originally designed for Business Improvement Associations in Vancouver, the game can be customized for any neighbourhood.

Learn more about PLAYtheBLOX here.

Urban Interventions

Design + Build

We love to design and build projects. Always, our built projects are the result of a series of design jams with community and involvement along the way. Examples include: Vancouver Bubble, The Nest, Strathcona Bike Rack, Gramorail, Car Park.

See our project portfolio page here.

Do you have a project that would benefit from working with our team?
We’d LOVE to hear from you.


The Design Nerds worked with our team to design and host a workshop on a complicated transit-related topic for the City. They poured their enthusiasm into the work to deliver a fun, flexible brainstorm that captivated the participants in a way that is unique in public engagement work. They did this with trained proficiency and with a reassurance to our team that the process would garner the results we hoped for. The workshop was a success.

Sadhu Johnston, LEED AP
Deputy City Manager, City of Vancouver

I’ve worked with few people who bring as much energy and enthusiasm to public engagement as the Design Nerds. We had over 100 participants from a broad spectrum of backgrounds. The Design Nerds effectively collaborated with our team in the design and lead-up to the event, lead the entire consultation and coordinated all group facilitators with confidence and ease. They’re outstanding at what they do.

Jacopo Miro, Member
Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition

I worked with the Design Nerds recently a globally complex issue: free expression on the internet. As part of OpenMedia’s mandate to engage with the public on digital issues in-person, I trust the Design Nerds to provide inspiring presentations and compelling brainstorms that garner results that directly inform our work. In session, they are adept at holding the space for participants to respond to these sensitive issues. I would not hesitate to work with them on future OpenMedia projects.

Steve Anderson
Founder and Executive Director, OpenMedia