Jason Leow posted an update 1 year, 10 months ago
Hi @AndreaSchneider. Noticed that you were a forerunner of design thinking in public sector here – something that I’m really interested in I wanted to reach out and make a connection, as well as to seek your opinion: Is design thinking approach no longer currently practiced in the US government? Was it like a passing fad?
Thank you for your request, I like your questions a lot. I also have a lot to say about Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design and similar frameworks in the public sector. I was fortunate to find some other similar thinkers in Europe who made a huge difference in feeling less isolated and seeing how my thinking had a “home,” much more advanced than the US.
I need to think about the current state of Design Thinking in the US. You would be amazed how organizations in Europe, New Zealand, Australia and parts of Asia are truly adopting and integrating DT into how they do business. I’m jealous.
Let me think about your questions. In the meantime visit Nesta in Great Britain and the Danish Design Center in Denmark. They are miles ahead of us in every way in how they have made DT integral to their way of conducting business as countries, both in the public and private sectors.
DT is not a fad. There are certain kinds of leaders we need to support innovation, not in name only., but seriously in public policy, program design, and evaluation. The EU has a whole section devoted to innovation. Leaders have to be comfortable with high-risk ideas, a willingness to think big and small and understand change does take time.
I’d love to learn more about what you are doing. I have so much to say on this topic; maybe a conversation would work and take less time…You are getting me where I live regarding DT and innovation. I’m working on a big project in health care, designing an entire system which is mindful of patient engagement, collaboration, and big thinking.
Thanks for the friend request, hopefully, we will stay in touch.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply Andrea.
I’m a big fan of Nesta and DDC, and learned a lot from their open sharing. I certainly hope so that design thinking is not a fad. A public policy director I worked under before once mentioned that even if the term design thinking fades away, the need for public services and policy to be centered on the citizen’s needs/experiences will always still be needed. I loved his reply.
For me, I was previously working in a design-led innovation team in the Prime Minister’s Office in the Singapore government, very much modeled after Mindlab (which unfortunately is closing!). Awesome, fun and fulfilling work. I left after a few years to chase entrepreneurial dreams, and now I run a design consultancy called Outsprint doing work solely for the government and non-profits, as well as create products and services for public good. Most recently I made Public Design Vault (https://publicdesignvault.com/), a curated directory of 500+ design thinking tools for public sector innovation professionals and designers.
Would love to hear more about your work! 🙂 The healthcare project you mentioned sounds super interesting. It’s a huge and important topic all over the world, in Singapore too. Do you share it in some form, online?
Is your twitter handle @publicbydesign? Would love to keep in touch. Mine is @jasonleowsg
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