Building a Community of Practice: A Deck of Lenses

This nine-card deck offers a playful way to engage members of a community of practice in collaborative dialogue, reflection and strategic planning. This original deck of cards draws inspiration from The Art of Game Design. We designed our cards to help people define what makes a community of practice strong and what could make it even stronger.

Today, the learning needs of educators, both formal and informal, are shifting at alarming rates. Our Deck of Lenses is one of the many ways Convergence helps support communities of practice by offering powerful strategies for generating critical new knowledge that can help people transform their practice and accommodate ongoing changes in technologies and learner needs. 

There are a myriad of ways to use our CoP Decks of Lenses cards, both in person and virtually.  Each of the nine cards offers a simple, focused prompt to discuss, allowing folks to dive deep into important considerations without being overwhelmed by the task of improving every aspect of the work. Download the cards and test them out. And let us know how we can help build your CoP!

Chicago Public Schools Office of Equity

Chicago Public Schools established the Office of Equity in 2018, and the Equity team jumped immediately into the ambitious goal of releasing a districtwide framework and accompanying tools for the work. 


The Equity Office tapped Convergence to help with designing the tools and thinking through the experience of those who would implement change ideas in school contexts. 


Convergence conducted design strategy for the Equity publications and surrounding user experience. We were responsible for the graphic design for the CPS Equity Framework, Equity Tools, and corresponding Companion Guide featuring High Impact Change Ideas. Throughout the process, we helped to develop ways to guide users seamlessly through the tools. In 2020, we will produce accompanying multimedia pieces for documentation and storytelling.

Convergence Design Lab listened to me think and came back with design ideas that enhanced our strategic thinking. They  helped make complex concepts for equity easy to understand using design elements that never would have occurred to us.

—Dr. Maurice Swinney, Chief Equity Officer, Chicago Public Schools

We are Spy Hop: Showing Up During COVID-19

Spy Hop’s robot delivers video equipment to students at a safe-distance


During the COVID-19 outbreak, Spy Hop, a Utah-based youth media organization, effectively engaged several hundred young people in media arts education locally and nationally by swiftly pivoting to a bold experimental virtual approach. A study conducted by Convergence Design Lab reports that while many youth-service organizations furloughed staff and paused operations during COVID-19, Spy Hop adapted quickly and delivered virtual programs to a geographically and age diverse population of youth using principles grounded in connected learning.

“While many organizations seem to have floundered with the displacement of familiar programs, Spy Hop has managed to turn its lemons into lemonade,”


We are Spy Hop: Showing up During COVID-19 is a 16 page ethnographic chronicle that vividly describes the challenges and decision-making process that occurred at Spy Hop between late March and early June 2020.

The report finds that Spy Hop succeeded as a direct result of its facility with three particular organizational behaviors and that these behaviors shed light on what collective resilience looks like in action.


Mindy Faber and the incredible Convergence Design Lab are invaluable partners, collaborators, cheerleaders, advisors, and friends. Their work has pushed Spy Hop and our teaching staff to deeply examine our pedagogy and push us to be better, to do better, to be critical thinkers of our own work. Through our partnership, Convergence Design Lab has given us the insight, guidance, and tools to empower us to better articulate our positive impact on the youth we serve and our place in the world as change-makers.

—Matt Mateus, Deputy Director, Spy Hop