Cyber-security is a large-scale problem in the Ukraine, and it doesn’t stop at their borders. It spills over to the United States and eventually becomes a global problem. Cyber threats are sufficient to stall development progress, so USAID/Ukraine brought eight subject matter experts together through a BAA co-creation process to develop a powerful concept to address this national security issue of critical infrastructure. CollaborateUp designed and facilitated a 5-day co-creation workshop in less than two weeks to enable participants to work together to analyze their EOI proposals, develop a concept note vision, and refine their ideas for the Ukrainian Cyber challenge. 

CollaborateUp facilitated a co-creation experience with eight participants from various organizations who submitted EOIs to support the strengthening of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure with an innovative cyber-security solution. We took participants through a five step process that included: falling in love with the problem, prioritizing the problems and mapping ideas, building a minimum viable concept, prototyping, presenting, and refining the concepts, and finally creating a draft concept note and vision. This workshop provided a participant experience that provided ample opportunities for networking and connection, participants to ground themselves in a fresh understanding of the problems on-the-ground so that they “fall back in love with the problem” rather than just advocating for their EOI-solutions, sharing ideas, prioritizing problems to tackle, and leveraging the collective creativity and power of the group, and multiple rounds of iteration to refine and hone concepts.

CollaborateUp worked to accelerate the collaboration of the group, help them better understand co-creation with USAID, and contribute to their final vision. During the workshop, participants made connections in their cybersecurity field, rapidly developed a minimum viable collaboration, and practiced agile, adaptive leadership to co-create innovative solutions to the Ukraine cyber-security problem. At its conclusion, all participants came together to speak in one voice, articulating a vision that would guide the completion of one concept note to support USAID/Ukraine and strengthen Ukraine’s critical infrastructure with an innovative cyber-security program.