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Have fun while you solve problems that matter!
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Solve Problems That Matter is a 90-day program helping you take a human-centred approach to design, build, and launch your social enterprise idea – and build momentum
Print Paperback & High-Quality PDF Bundle
$79.99 (free shipping in Australia)
This print paperback and high-quality PDF bundle provides the best reading experience for most people and includes free digital updates.
The PDF and FREE downloadable worksheets are available for immediate download after checkout. Free shipping in Australia of print copies using Sendle’s compostable packaging and carbon neutral deliveries.
Want to order 10 books or more or need help with a better shipping price, please get in touch!
Available from a range of international online retailers. You get the best price buying direct, but for cheaper delivery that’s faster and has less carbon impact, I recommend a local retailer when buying outside Australia. The PDF format is exclusive to this site, but you get a 50% discount with proof of purchase of the print format.
What People Are Saying...
This is the free teaser preview of Solve Problems That Matter. The purpose is to give you a flavour of the approach I take, how it works, and my style. It includes the full intro, parts of some chapters, the opening of Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 – with the full table of contents, sprint focus, and the big questions covered in each.
Who is Solve Problems That Matter For?
I’ve coached thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students to design and innovate for positive impact over the years – so I’m focusing on these people and the key goals, questions, and challenges they face
This book is for you if you are a:
If you’re just starting work on your idea, have been going for years but aren’t making the progress you want, or designing and building a new solution within an established organisation – this book is for you. Innovation never stops.
Designing, building, and launching your social enterprise idea can be a very rewarding experience… but there are also plenty of challenges
Solve Problems That Matter will help you with these goals:
How It Works
My ambition is that as we work through this book together, you’ll feel that I’m with you and working alongside you. Cheering you on, but also helping to challenge you, to test and refine your thinking, and iterate – to succeed sooner.
Let’s work together to solve problems that matter!
Philosophy & approach
I want you to be happy.
My focus is design and innovation for happier communities. It’s important to me that you enjoy this journey and stay healthy and well… ideally feeling even healthier as you do work that gives you meaning and fulfilment.
I strongly believe – and the evidence shows – that when we take a human-centred design approach to innovation and embed impact into business models, it helps create the conditions for people to be happier and have increasing quality of life.
Good business needs to do great things for communities and our planet, while being financially successful… it’s increasingly what talent, customers, and investors expect.
I frame social enterprise as something we do rather than something we are.
This is not an academic deep dive into theory and frameworks – I cover theory to a practical level needed for how we’ll apply it, using a learning through doing approach. It’s also not a duplication of other frameworks and methods – I refer to other useful books and resources for more information on various models, tools, and research.
Solve Problems That Matter is a simple and practical guidebook with worksheets structured around a 90-day (13-week) plan – with a Sprint 0 and five execution sprints to build momentum through the double diamond. You’ll adapt the timeline to your personal situation where needed as part of planning in Sprint 0.
- Communicate our purpose, theory of change, and the social/environmental value we’ll create?
- Identify our customers, understand what they really care about, and know if they’ll buy and use our solution?
- Design, build, and launch our solution as an end-to-end experience, and test what our customers will pay for it?
- Calculate how much money we need, and when we’ll break even?
- Build our team to make it happen?
- Plan our approach to get into a good rhythm to build momentum and get traction?
- Share our story to attract the support we need?
The free teaser preview of Solve Problems That Matter covers this in details with the focus of each part with the big questions covered and how this aligns to the sprints.
Part 1: Setting the Scene
2. Approach & Philosophy
3. Make It Happen
4. Purpose, Vision & Theory of Change
Part 2: People, Problem & Context
5. Current State
6. Customer Research
7. Market Research
8. Make Sense
Part 3: Solution & Business Model
9. Explore Possible Solutions
10. Prototype, Test & Learn
Part 4: Sustain Momentum
14. Bring It All Together
16. Share Your Story
17. Get Support
My aim with this book is to help more social enterprise founders, NFP leaders, and changemakers globally solve problems that matter by taking a human-centred design approach to innovation
This book will help you with:
Time and headspace to work on the right things at the right time while staying healthy and positive on the journey – not overwhelmed and burnt out
Guided path to design a sustainable business model that has purpose and impact embedded and is financially successful
Build momentum and move forward with more certainty and less risk by testing and refining your idea and impact
Support on the journey and ways to connect with collaborators and investors in the social enterprise ecosystem
Solve Problems That Matter is based on my experience coaching thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students over the years – especially social enterprise founders and NFP leaders on our Jetpack program since 2014.
It also draws on the project-based experiential leadership, design, and innovation programs I’ve designed and delivered… and the many social enterprise startups I’ve co-founded.
Ben Pecotich: A Bit About Me
Why me? To answer this, I need to nudge aside my impostor syndrome – though it never really goes away. I’m a designer, innovation coach, and social enterprise/startup founder. Since starting in financial services in 1993, I’ve focused on taking a human-centred approach to designing and leading strategic change in Australia, NZ, the UK, and Europe – combining strategy, design, technology, consulting, and program management. I co-founded my first startup in 1994, and have been working on startups and social enterprises ever since.
I’m also co-founder of the Sydney Design Thinking meetup (8,000+ members), a founding board member and treasurer of the Social Enterprise Council of NSW & ACT (SECNA), and a Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Centre for Social Impact/UNSW Business School teaching masters students.
I founded Dynamic4 in 2001. We’re a social enterprise and certified B Corp focused on design and innovation for happier communities. We also run an incubator for early-stage social enterprise ideas called Dynamic4 Jetpack.
I spend my time coaching founders and leaders to solve problems that matter and deliver great outcomes for people and our planet while being financially successful. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of coaching thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students to design and innovate for positive impact.
My Purpose & Vision
My vision is a world where organisations and leaders solve problems that matter in more empathic and innovative ways – and measure success in outcomes for people, our planet, and prosperity… so people and communities have increasing quality of life, are happier, and live on a planet that is cleaner and healthier.
All the work I do is aligned with my purpose and theory of change – focused on helping create the conditions for people and communities to be more empowered and inclusive, and live in more sustainable ways.
I don’t pretend to know everything or have all the answers, but I do my best to be a trusted partner and guide to make things easier. I’ve been through this rollercoaster of a journey myself many times and coached others through it.
Through these experiences I’ve built the mindset, skillset, and know how to use the tools to help others work through and make sense of the ambiguity and complexity to find clarity. And I love it.
Behind the Scenes
The making of… Solve Problems That Matter. Sharing my story as I progress, the many lessons I’m learning, and opportunities to get involved
Social Enterprise Day 2021
11 November 2021
#WhoKnew you can get the help you need to design, build, and launch your social enterprise idea! Solve Problems That Matter is the book for you.
11 November is Social Enterprise Day – part of Global Entrepreneurs Week, and a day to raise the profile of social enterprise around the world. To mark the event we’re partnering with Social Enterprise UK and other social enterprise support bodies around the world who are running #WhoKnew – a campaign helping social enterprises amplify the impact they’re having in their communities.
Join in and let’s show the incredible impact social enterprises are having around the world!
Taking a Breath
23 October 2021
Get your copy of Solve Problems That Matter
21 October 2021
Solve Problems That Matter Teaser PDF release
14 October 2021
Sydney Design Thinking book launch event
12 October 2021
20 years of Dynamic4
1 October 2021
What’s your biggest challenge right now?
29 September 2021
Social Enterprise Series by ACU Co-Lab
28 September 2021
I’m looking forward to teaching a class tomorrow arvo as part of the Social Enterprise Series by ACU Co-Lab and curated by StartSomeGood. Free and online. Get your ticket now!
This is week 3 and the topic is Ideation for Impact. I’ll be focusing on three questions:
- What are problems that matter and why should I care?
- How do I solve them
- How do I make it happen?
Spark Festival book launch
24 September 2021
Awesome to see the Spark Festival 2021 program announced this week! As usual, Sydney Design Thinking is part of the program and I’ll be presenting for the first time… after 6+ years and 63 meetups as a SydDT co-founder – so this is a rare event.
You know when you have a social enterprise idea you think will help solve a problem that really matters but you’re busy, not sure how to make it happen, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed? Well, this session is for you.
This will be a soft launch of my book Solve Problems That Matter… which is all about how to design, build & launch your social enterprise idea. Thursday, 14 October at 6pm. Free and online. Grab your ticket now!
Book interior design prototyped
4 September 2021
I’ve already prototyped most of the key design elements of the interior and I’m now in the process of hiring the designer to do the final design and polish things up. And I need to finalise the writing.
Watch this space though, I’m planning to get Solve Problems That Matter out into the world in October 2021… order now and I’ll send you the special pre-launch offer real soon!
Cover voting results
3 September 2021
A huge thanks to everyone who voted on the cover design concepts and shared your awesome insights. The leader changed a couple of times while voting was open but in the end the puzzle heart cover was a clear winner with 38% of the vote – over double the covers that came second and third. An extra special thanks to Ben Crothers and Hannah Miller for going above and beyond with your advice and time on this one! I feel very lucky to have you in my corner.
25 August 2021
It’s time to vote on the cover for Solve Problems That Matter! Got 30 seconds for a really simple vote? Hit the vote button and click on the cover you think does the best job of conveying the core message and mood of the brief – which is on the first page of the survey. You also have the option to share why, and if there are any covers you never want to see again 😄.
Voting closes on Sunday, so get your vote in now. Thanks for your support!
17 August 2021
The past few weeks have been full on with a couple of the annual leadership programs I lead – and the joys of lockdown with the kids learning from home. I’ve been rebuilding momentum though to get Solve Problems That Matter launched in the next couple of months.
Last week I prototyped the design of the interior and I’ll also have some book cover options for you to vote on in the next few days. Watch this space!
7 years of Dynamic4 Jetpack
1 July 2021
On this day seven years ago Anthony Quinn & I ran the first public session of what has evolved and grown over the years into the Dynamic4 Jetpack program. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of coaching over 60 social enterprise founders & NFP leaders from 44 orgs. A big thanks to the Jetpack alumni. I love every minute of it.
Solve Problems That Matter is a 90-day action plan to guide you through taking a human-centred approach to designing and building your social enterprise idea – and building momentum… coming soon!
Product page live
26 May 2021
I got the product page live last week. It will evolve a fair bit yet but you can now pre-order your copy and I’ll keep you in the loop as it progresses – and of course send you the special pre-launch offer . Thanks to everyone who already has!
I’ll be testing cover concepts very soon, so look out for some options to vote on.
The non-writing part of doing the book has been taking a lot of focus over the past few weeks – so much to learn about self-publishing but I’m switching gears back into mostly writing mode now. A big thanks to Jaqui Lane who is my book coach and helping guide me through.
Green Elephant Show interview
29 March 2021
I recently had a fun chat with Mike Saville on the Green Elephant Show for B Corp Month talking about my happy place… the intersect of B Corps, social enterprise, human-centred design & innovation… and a bit of jazz!
Green Elephant is the show that has fun with sustainability, inspiring everyone to develop more sustainable habits. Check it out!
10k words done
9 March 2021
4 weeks ago, I put it out there that I’m finally writing a book. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people cheering me on with kind words of encouragement. A huge thanks to everyone – especially those who’ve helped me test my thinking so far.
It’s a new experience for me with a lot to learn – and quickly! I’ve been lucky to learn from the wisdom of some great friends who’ve written books including Luke Faccini, Jodie Moule & Ben Crothers (check out their work!). An extra special thanks to Ben for nudging me through my imposter syndrome and minor existential implosions – probably won’t be my last mate!
Yesterday I achieved a key milestone passing 10k words and full coverage of my very rough first draft. I’ll keep building the momentum.
I’m finally writing a book!
9 February 2021
I’m finally writing a book! I’d love your help to test some of my thinking. The working title is Solve Problems That Matter: A Social Enterprise Guide to Human-Centred Design & Innovation.
My aim is to help more social enterprise founders, NFP leaders, and changemakers globally take a human-centred design approach to innovation and create the conditions for people to be happier and increase quality of life.
The book is based on my experience coaching thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students over the years – especially social enterprise founders and NFP leaders on our Jetpack program… and designing and delivering project-based experiential leadership, design, and innovation programs… and of course the many social enterprise startups I’ve co-founded. You can find out more here.