Experimentation has found its way into government and public policy. The brainchild of the polymaths of old whose expertise ranged from philosophy to chemistry and physics, the experimental method has proven itself to be an objective and preeminently effective way to evaluate the consequences of changes or the lack thereof. It has not however ventured beyond social psychology in the social sciences until recently. Now there are experimentation teams alongside the government in the UK and Denmark and within government directives for experimentation in Canada and Finland. With them as examples, other governments’ interest has been piqued.
Demos Helsinki has been developing an experimental framework for governments, (as well as businesses/startups and other organizations). It has been instrumental in building the Finnish government’s model along with aiding in the testing of policies such as universal basic income. With this experience, it has been engaged by other governments and organizations, e.g., in Assam, India to share its expertise. Within its experimentalization efforts, Demos Helsinki has incorporated stakeholder participation, ethics codes, transportation and employment opportunity development, AI, and digitization.
Projects are ongoing; models are being tailored to different contexts. However before long we will be seeing more experimentation of policy before it is rolled out full-scale.