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Consultant, Product Designer/Design Strategist, Product Studio
World Resources Institute (WRI)
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Posted 2 weeks ago
Job Description


WRI intends to award an open-ended contract to creative, entrepreneurial Product Designers and Design Strategist to advise the Data Lab Product Studio. We are looking for someone with the ability to apply design thinking & human-centered methodologies to global sustainability challenges through software product discovery processes, synthesis of findings, ideation, design, and testing. You’ll remotely advise teams creating new software products, supporting WRI’s programs around the world.

Program Overview

The Data Lab exists to inspire and fuel data innovation, product development, and technical infrastructure for World Resources Institute (WRI) and our community. We help our partners use advances in data and technology to improve lives, protect nature, and ensure just transitions. The Data Lab is composed of WRI’s core Engineering, Product, and Data teams. The Data Lab supports a wider network of quantitative researchers, data scientists, and product managers embedded across the organization.

In 2022, the Data Lab founded the Product Studio to help researchers and program teams design and scale new products. Backed by the Data Lab's Product Team, the Studio gives teams the technical and strategy expertise they need to understand their users and market, develop product designs, and build and test rapid prototypes. With our support, teams can build products that support decisions that matter, enable accountability, and drive the conversation.

Scope of Work and Deliverables/Outputs

The Data Lab seeks one or more consultants to support an upcoming cohort of the Product Studio. The Product Studio works in collaborative design sprints, leveraging WRI’s internal expertise, to maximize efficiency and learning. Through this process we aim to lower development costs, speed up delivery, and improve the sustainability and cohesiveness of new data products across the sustainable development sector. The consultant/s will support the Product Studio Manager in delivering its core services:

  1. User Research and Needs Assessment. Provide structure and guide product innovations to develop user personas and requirements, guide best practices for research and needs assessments, and conduct user journey and value mapping.
  2. Product Strategy. Help teams evaluate the product landscape, define value and impact, develop a theory of change, and create a roadmap to bring an innovation to market for their users.
  3. Rapid Prototyping. Build wireframes and front-end prototypes to rapidly test product ideas with actual uses.
  4. Product Planning. Help teams plan for sustainability, including understanding and defining ongoing maintenance and support early on, planning and writing fundraising documents.

Experts will be able to engage closely with one or more software development projects that the Product Studio is supporting, helping plan, execute and write up design workshops and providing strategic guidance. They will have the chance to interact with dedicated staff and to foster the spread of co-creation, design thinking, agile practices, and robust user research.

Consultant Qualifications

  • Deep desire to change the world for the better and a believer that technology, data and good design are essential tools in achieving this.
  • Significant demonstrable experience (and possibly a relevant degree) in one or more of the following areas: design, design research, service design, interaction design, user experience, human factors, product management.
  • Experience in designing and carrying out generative and evaluative research, including ethnographic study, contextual inquiry, observation, and usability testing.
  • Experience leading product teams and software development projects is preferable.
  • You can comfortably express yourself and your ideas using Miro, Figma, Adobe Creative Cloud or other software.
  • You can communicate through sketching.
  • You can explain why understanding need is essential to creating a sustainable solution, where sustainable doesn’t only mean environmentally friendly.
  • You have a good grounding in design theory, are keen to learn more, as well as create new methodologies.
  • You are self-driven, organised and able to motivate others.

Evaluation and Selection

The following elements will be the primary considerations in evaluating all applications submitted in response to this posting:

  • The extent to which the applicant’s proposal fulfills WRI’s stated requirements as set out in this posting
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience with similar projects
  • Cost of the applicant’s proposal
  • Sustainability – WRI values sustainability and all other factors being equal, will favor a proposal to more sustainably perform the work.

The consultant offering the best overall value will be selected. For this position, price and non-price aspects are considered to be of approximately equal importance.

Compliance Requirements: WRI receives funding from a variety of sources, including governments and other non-governmental organizations. In addition to WRI’s standard contract terms, certain funder conditions may apply.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit the following: • Your resume; • A brief statement indicating your interest, hourly rate, and availability through 2023; • Your portfolio of work. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

About Us:

Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

Our mission and values:

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence, Respect.

Our culture:

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.

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