What policy makers can learn from designers


From the TEDx network, the most inspiring  intersection of concepts I have seen in a long while.  This is a  video well worth watching on the intersection between design thinking and politics and policy making by Jocelyn Bailey.  She works at a policy think tank.

She starts the talk by simplifying the concept of design by saying that it is changing an existing situation into a preferred one.

The key concepts she would draw from the design field would be that the work should be unbiased, we should focus on thinking about people and that we should experiment.

Her manifesto:

– Don’t rely too heavily on the past or rely too heavily on things that have been done before.  I’d link this to concept that the our current problems are wicked problems that we haven’t grappled with before.

– Don’t rely on party politics – keep questioning your assumptions.

– Find new ways of generating knowledge – observation and experimentation.

– Care about the artefacts – what will the material interaction be between the policy change and the real world?  This will include how our clients understand our changes.

– Be more optimistic – especially in the face of austerity on the public service side.  Everything is designed and can be re-designed.  Focus on what we have to work with and not what has been taken away.

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