Amira A. Pettus

New Internationalist Inception spacers

New Internationalist Inception

New Internationalist (NI) is an independent non profit media cooperative, based in the UK. They have been publishing investigative journalism on global issues for the last 40 years. I was brought in to lead a week long inception workshop with the goal of understanding the context, goals, and pain points of the organization. We did a series of activities together and determined how ThoughtWorks could best help NI increase their readership base and revenue, as well as improve the current user experience of their digital space.

Location & Duration : Oxford, England for 1 week


The Ask

Lead a week long inception to determine context needs and goals of NI. Understand the business problems and goals of NI. Understand New  Internationalist's context as an organization. Create a strategy for how ThoughtWorks could help transform NI's digital presence.


Day 1

1   Ran activity  to understand the ethos and objectives for the New Internationalist organization, the team, and for the collaborative project with ThoughtWorks. 

2  Helped facilitate Hopes and Fears exercise to determine stakeholders concerns and aspirations

3   Identified tentative personas from NI's readership group's characteristics based on previous research and stakeholder knowledge   


Day 2

1  Identified target reader's goals in New Internationalist digital space and physical magazine.

2  Mapped user journeys of target New Internationalist readers and their pain points. 


Day 3

1  Worked with stakeholders to prioritize pain  point categories

2  Facilitated collaborative sketching exercise to understand how stakeholders imagined their full state and the expectations that had for it, as well as to determine if their visions were aligned.   



Day 4

1   Created high level epics and stories 

2   Defined measurements for success with  stakeholders 

3  Interviewed editors to understand their  process and how they utilized their current CMS

4  Facilitated an agile coaching activity called  The Lego Game


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Day 5

1   Determined a Communication Pan for the engagement 

2  Worked with team to created and validate a Phase 1 and Phase 2 delivery Plan

3  Reviewed and discussed story backlog

4   Prepared and presented a summary showcase of the week's workshops


After the Inception 

1  Created and delivered a research and prototyping plan as a part of Phase 1. Goal of plan was to understand New Internationalist reader base and the usability of the current site. 

2  Began research phase - scheduled interviewees, created interivew scripts, and started conducting interviews.