By Bryan Rill & Matti Hämäläinen

The Art of Co-Creation:

A Guidebook for Practitioners


This book illustrates how to design and implement co-creation, a powerful form of collective creativity that harnesses the potential of teams and can generate breakthrough insights. Skilled leaders and facilitators can utilize this approach to unleash the creative potential of their organizations. Drawing from years of applied research, the authors bring together insights from the fields of design and organizational development into an evocative and pragmatic “how-to” guidebook. Taking a human-centred rather than process oriented perspective, the book argues that experience design separates true co-creation from other forms of collective efforts and design thinking. Collective moments of creative insight emerge from the space between, an experience of flow and synchronicity from which new ideas spring forth. How to create and hold this space is the secret to the art of co-creation. Collective breakthroughs require stakeholders to undergo a journey from the world of their existing expertise into spaces of new potential. It requires leaders moving from a position of dominating space to holding the space for others, and developing core capacities such as empathy and awareness so that teams can engage each other co-creatively. This book uncovers the secrets of this journey, enabling process designers to develop more effective programs.

About the Authors

Bryan (Sage) Rill, PhD is a creative catalyst, UX researcher, facilitator, and educator. He is interested in helping people create more conscious and purposeful products, services, and organizational cultures. A Fulbright-Hayes scholar, he founded and directed the research efforts of the Co-Creation Initiative in the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

Matti M. Hämäläinen is currently associated with Aalto University Design Factory in Espoo, Finland, and a Senior Consultant and Partner for Riihi Consulting, Ltd. He has formerly held a position of Research Manager in the field of Product Design at Aalto University, Finland, and as the Director of Operations of Aalto–Tongji Design Factory, an inter-disciplinary co-creation platform established in collaboration between Aalto University and Tongji University in Shanghai, China.

The Co-Creation Initiative

Where it all began…


Who we are

Co-Creation Initiative (CCI) was an open source community of practice dedicated to building capacities that unlock collective potential.

We studied, designed, and implemented new models of collaboration and leadership that can drive breakthrough innovations and transform organizations. If you are interested in learning about and enacting co-creation to cultivate more innovative and inspirational spaces, we invite you to contact us for a dialogue.

Our History

The Co-Creation Initiative began as a research program in the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. From 2013-2016, a team led by Dr. Bryan Rill explored the “secret sauce” of co-creation.

Through collaborative research with some of the world’s best designers and organizational change facilitators, we sought to define and understand the mechanisms underlying co-creation. 


About Co-Creation

Co-Creation is a creative process that taps into the collective potential of groups to generate insights and innovation.

Specifically, it is a process, in which teams of diverse stakeholders are actively engaged in a  mutually empowering act of collective creativity with practical and experential outcomes.

We have found co-creation useful to catalyze innovation in design, organizational developent, education, social change, and politics.


Co-Creation is more than a set of tools to drive innovation. It is a way forward…a way we can empower teams and tackle the BIG challenges of our times. 

– Sage

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