Welcome to Rebel Tools

This is the Nordic Rebels' home for our curated, frequently updated repository of tools and knowledge to tackle the most wicked of problems that the world can challenge us with. Here you'll find our some of our favourites under each section but be sure to dig in deeper, there's plenty of resources to delve through in the dedicated pages as well. 

Just remember though, the Nordic Rebels way doesn't require rigidly following every step or using every tool available. We are free to pick and choose different tools and different methods, and can even freely tweak and adapt methods in a way that best suits the challenge at hand. The method is just one part of it


Need suggestions? We'd love to help! Just get in touch!

The list seen here is the selected reading for the Nordic Rebels/IDBM Challenge Course of 2018. This is just a handful of what could be dozens of fabulous articles, journal publications and even blogs that provide insight into design and its many layers.

Do note, several of these are academic publications and only have paid access or access that's enabled via your university. For example, at Aalto, the Aalto-Finna service provides access for all authenticated Aalto students.


Pre-Course Reading

Week 1


Week 2


Week 3




Want to expand your learning further? We have a lot more suggestions!


Each of these toolkits covers the various phases of the design process and offer instructions on how to use specific methods for each phase.



A collection of tools that have been developed and curated over the years by IDEO.  Focused on human centered design and categorized by the various phases of any project.

If you're looking for step by step methods and tools with difficulty levels and requirements clearly marked, this is a great place to start


Hyper Island has put together this toolbox to enable people to not just do things more creatively but to do them more collaboratively as well. To go with the tasks that are driving innovation, you also have tasks that focus on team work, self leadership and more.

Be sure to check out the fun type of tools marked as "energizers" that can help get your team going.


This fabulous resource is a collection of 500+ design tools and resources for public good. As per its creator, it has been curated with the goal of being an "all-in-one, a full-stop one-stop, a mother list of lists, a singularity for the plethora of toolkits and resources that are available on the vast internet".

The tools and resources are divided into topics as well as their possible use in various phases of any project. It's a great place to start!


Looking for something different? There's more in our dedicated page for toolkits

These are some of our favourites but there's dozens more!

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Creative confidence

A great place to start, not just to dig into design and design tools, but also to dig deeper into yourself. 

Filled with a very approachable set of methods to get anyone started onto a path of greater creativity

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The Design of Everyday Things

This classic from Don Norman is a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in design. It's a very approachable writing style and is a good place to start for anyone getting into design


Lean Startup

Eric Ries book took industry by storm when it came out in 2008. It even led to gigantic companies like GE doing a complete overhaul of how they worked, to be more "lean" in their approach

A worthwhile read to understand the basic principles, some of which have interesting parallels to design.


Not enough? There's plenty more in our Books section


The Nordic Rebels' Episodes collect some of the finest minds to present some fascinating insights. If you've been through those, and still want some more, here's more from around the web.


High resolution series - ibm head of design

The entire series of interviews on the "High Resolution" podcast features fascinating insights from some of the biggest names in design. This one we've selected features a discussion with Phil Gilbert, IBM's Head of Design, who was handed $100 million and given the task of building a design culture back into IBM.

It's well over an hour long but certainly worth your time.


Design is [Empathic] - google design

This video comes from Google's "Design Is" Speaker Series. Understandably, it comes from a digital design perspective but it provides a fascinating look into how empathy and humanity play a part even in designing next generation Artificial Intelligence. 


99% Invisible

A podcast that's wonderfully fascinating in the way it makes you think about all the many ways in which design affects every aspect of our lives, even without us realizing it.

In their own words "99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world"

You can listen to episodes online on their site or via most podcast providers of your choice.

These are just a start, for a plethora of suggestions just get in touch!