New forms of government are sprouting up everywhere: Helsinki Design Lab and Design Driven City programme of Finland, Policy Lab under the UK Cabinet, MindLab of Denmark, and the Public Policy Lab of New York are just the beginning. These actors are renewing the public sector and innovating better societal solutions in the process.
How could the same behavioural insight, prototyping culture and evidence-based policy approaches be best operationalised in Finnish government? This was the driving question behind the new Design for Government project, ran by Demos Helsinki in partnership with Avanto Helsinki and Aalto University. The DfG project was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s office and consisted of two stages:
1. Establishing a global benchmark of best practices by interviewing both global leaders in the field as well as key Finnish stakeholders.
2. An experiment as part of the DfG course at Aalto University, with students attempting to solve concrete challenges faced by the current Finnish government. Led by doctoral researcher and Demos Helsinki Associate Seungho Lee, the course also included panel discussions open to the public in March and May.
As a result, Design for Government: Humancentric governance through experiments –publication was released in the fall of 2015.