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"Exceptional work yesterday, Eric. I was impressed. Thank you for starting us on this bold, exciting journey! We should find more ways to utilize your skillsets. I spoke to a couple of the attendees who really enjoyed your approach. That’s a delicate subject and l totally enjoyed the process."

—Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Director of Planning, City of Charlotte



Improving Equity with the Knight Foundation + the City of Charlotte

The Challenge

Work with community leaders to figure out the best way to reach and engage under represented populations across Charlotte in shaping the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which will guide growth and investment in the City of Charlotte for decades to come.

The Approach

Working closely with the City of Charlotte and with support from the Knight Foundation, Wily designed and facilitated a Strategy Sprint—a fast paced, hands on, structured workshop using human-centered design and behavior change tools.  We led community stakeholders who defined equity, identified what was already working, and created personas to build empathy for under represented groups. Then we drafted and refined strategies using Jonathan Haidt's behavior change framework to motivate under represented groups to share their needs and desires for their community, and make it easy for them to do so. Below is a sample of the community stakeholders who participated in the Strategy Sprint:

  • The Knight Foundation

  • University of North Carolina

  • Lawana Mayfield, City Council

  • Neighborhood representatives

  • Charlotte Center City Partners

  • United Way Central Carolinas

  • Developer representatives

  • The City of Charlotte

  • Mecklenburg County

  • Sustain Charlotte

  • YMCA Charlotte

The Outcome

The outcome was a set of prioritized and refined strategies for how to engage under represented populations across Charlotte in the shaping of the future 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The strategies included activities and events that are already working, and ways to build on these successes by motivating and making it easy for members of the community to get involved.

The City is working with community stakeholders to develop a set of actions for moving this work forward as part of the public engagement being carried out for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.



Building Strategy at the Hurt Hub for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

The Challenge

Refine the vision and create an actionable growth strategy for The Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Davidson College.

The Approach

In collaboration with Davidson College, Wily designed and led a Strategy Sprint to engage The Hurt Hub’s Advisory Board in the ownership and development of three key strategic priorities: vision, messaging and metrics. We led the Advisory Board and staff through mapping their existing landscape and developing personas to ensure everyone was focused on the key stakeholders The Hurt Hub is designed to serve: students, faculty, and business partners. Next we gathered and shared outside inspiration before generating ideas and prototypes for each of the three strategic priorities.

The Outcome

The outcome was a set of prototypes that mapped to each strategic priority, including a magazine cover for the vision, an elevator pitch for the messaging, and a spreadsheet dashboard for the metrics. Wily is currently helping ensure the Advisory Board has the tools and clear next steps it needs to take ownership of these priorities moving forward.

We are currently working with Hurt Hub staff to define next steps and build on the momentum and progress generated during the Strategy Sprint.


“Wily's skilled designers helped us create and deliver a valuable experience that gave the North End community the tools they needed to bring about the community they want.”

—Kim Graham, Sr. Vice President, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership


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