Archives For design of government

It has been exciting to see design thinking gaining ground in a growing range of industries over the last few years, but even I have been surprised by the enthusiasm with which some in the legal field have embraced the concept.

The law is not exactly known for creative problem solving. But it turns out that the industry is facing the same set of challenges as everyone else as disruptive technology forces regulators and policymakers to think differently. This is a moment of rich opportunity for design thinkers, and we now have evidence that the world at large is taking notice.

IDEO’s Chief Counsel, Rochael Soper Adranly, has just been recognized by the Financial Times as one of the Top 20 global General Counsels of 2017 sitting alongside General Counsels of some of the largest companies in the world.

Rochael boldly applies creative problem solving in corporate legal departments and legal firms and that has set her apart from the pack. Her approach is based on the fundamentals of design thinking, as the Financial Times explains: “Today’s general counsel need to be both business-minded and human-centered. This means . . . having a clear awareness that legal problems are human problems.”

I truly hope that many more in the legal field take up Rochael’s message of human-centered design thinking.

Illustration by Anuja Shukla

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Now that government data is becoming more readily available, there are lots of interesting uses. Here’s one that we worked on with the Sunlight FoundationSitegeist is a mobile app that helps you access US Census data and other public details about a neighborhood. This means you can check on everything from average rent prices to how people commute—in seconds.

Try it on a local neighborhood. What did you learn?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

How might we improve the way citizens and governments interact?

This is the question posed by the current Knight News Challenge, a media innovation contest open to participants anywhere in the world. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding from the Knight Foundation and feedback from a collaborative network of peers.

IDEO has customized the software platform that runs OpenIDEO.com to help the Knight Foundation transform the way they run their news challenges and issue grants. Join the challenge and submit your ideas here.

What’s your favorite media innovation today?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Reflections on Davos 2013

February 5, 2013 — 2 Comments

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I recently returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The overall sentiment there was one of cautious optimism. While there is a long list of major problems to be tackled, the immediate prospects for the global economy seem reasonably good and there is a sense that most economies will grow this year.

The theme of the week was resilience—the question being, how do companies and countries weather the increasing volatility of markets, society, and climate? One obvious conclusion is that resilience requires the ability to rapidly react and innovate in changing circumstances. Creativity and design can help make organizations more resilient.

Another theme was the growing focus on tackling global problems that are associated with basic human needs. I couldn’t help but reflect upon the Designing for Life’s Necessities post in December. Access to healthy food and clean water, achieving active healthy lifestyles, redesigning broken healthcare and education systems, creating new jobs, supporting aging communities, and mitigating the effects of global warming—these were all topics of discussion in Davos. My sense is that in the next year more large corporations, governments, and NGOs will be looking for creative ways to address these issues.

Davos is a place to meet intellectual superstars and I was fortunate to spend time with both Daniel Kahneman (father of behavioral economics) and Clayton Christensen (of The Innovator’s Dilemma fame). They both offered wise words about purpose, success, and happiness—while commenting on the dangers of taking a conventional view of success and happiness. In particular, how companies measure success today in terms of return on capital.

How will you measure purpose, success, and happiness this year?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

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(Above: image from Gov.uk/designprinciples — Principle 10, Make things open: it makes things better.)

The UK government is leading the way in using design to create simpler digital services for its citizens.

A 2010 report commissioned by the government made a series of strong recommendations, including creating a single ‘front end’ for all government digital services, releasing API’s to government data, creating a central team with absolute control over all interaction experiences for digital services, and appointing a CEO of Digital with absolute authority over user experiences across all digital channels.

Under the direction of Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, the government followed these recommendations—and they followed them very well. Continue Reading…