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About the D3 Digital Challenge Initiative

The D3 Digital Challenge Initiative provides organisations with a model to:
  • facilitate problem solving
  • find solutions that are innovative and focused on people
  • look for innovative, people focused solutions. 
The model puts the people experiencing the problem at the centre of the design of the solution.
By engaging in a way that promotes collaborative design techniques, complex problems are tackled in new and creative ways. For innovators and budding entrepreneurs, there is potential to commercialise the solution and establish a sound business.

About D3 Digital Challenge initiatives

The Challenge model is built on three stages of Discuss, Design and Deliver

Participants discuss and understand the problem by engaging with the community and those affected by the problem. The model encourages innovators to collaborate with government, business professionals and the community to then design a business concept that delivers the required outcomes long term. 

Challenge participants can learn new skills and techniques such as how to define a problem, understand customer needs and design business concepts. There is also an opportunity to create a start-up business, gain insights into how to build a sustainable business model and most importantly use iterative design processes through participant feedback over time.
The Challenge model relies on the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, government, business, innovators and the community at all stages in the process to engage, contribute, and support the journey of discussing, designing and delivering together.

Benefits of D3 Digital Challenge initiatives

Community and stakeholder engagement and goodwill

By engaging in understanding and defining the problem, the community becomes actively engaged in designing and solving the problem. Members of the community feel ownership of their problems and become more motivated to look for and test out new business model concepts freeing up government from the notion of “having all the answers”. 

Promotes economic growth

By educating the competitors in the importance of defining the problem with those directly affected and emphasising the need for a sustainable business model, D3 Digital Challenge initiatives encourage start-ups and innovators to rely less on external funding and more on understanding the customer and building a market. It also encourages a learning and experimentation pathway, building resilience and know-how. 

Encourages people and problem-centred design
Rather than spending valuable resources on a product that customers do not want, the D3 Digital Challenges encourage product design based on a well-defined problem and the wants and needs of the customer. It achieves this by bringing in ‘Life-Experts’ to share their experiences in the problem space and to validate the potential business model concept with them throughout, ensuring that the solution addresses the actual problem. 
Greater access to expertise
Working alongside business, start-ups and not for profit organisations allows organisations to adopt new ways of thinking around creative solutions. Businesses and community are enabled and encouraged to access organisational personnel and other expertise to test solutions in a collaborative relationship, offer difficult to foster in traditional circumstances. 

History of D3

The first D3 Digital Challenge was piloted in 2015. It presented a new way to access the knowledge and talent of citizens, by offering entrepreneurs an opportunity to co-design with organisations. 
Since the first Challenge in 2015 six challenges have been held.  Through continuous feedback and improvement the model has evolved. .  Participant feedback, best practice and fresh ideas have been incorporated.
The table provides a summary of the six D3 Challenges held.
D3 Challenge name
Challenge Host Owners
Number of teams pitching
Number of awards granted
Number of ideas that
received further funding
D3 #1
Accessing parenting information (pilot)
SA Health
Office for Digital Government (ODG)
4 1 x Best Concept 0
D3 #2
Active Ageing
Office for Ageing
6 2 x Best Concept 2
D3 #3
Keeping Women Safe
Office for Women
Department of Social Services
Cabinet Office
9 3 x Best Concept 2
D3 #4
School Kids on the Go
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
9 3 x Best Concept
1 x Design Process
1 x People's Choice
D3 #5
People, Parks and Wellbeing
Office for the Ageing
Department for Environment and Water
SA Health

3 x Best Concept
1 x Design Process
1 x People's Choice

D3 #6
Healthy Kids Menu
SA Health 7 2 x Best Concept Tbd

* Best Concept Award receives seed grant funds.

Contact D3

For information about D3 Digital Challenges contact us.


Last updated: 13 July 2018