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Posts in category 'Public services'

2 August 2011

Design research: what is it and why do it?

Design research
In a long post on reBoot, Panthea Lee has laid out some basic principles, approaches, and tools of design research so public institutions can better understand how it serves their work.

As pointed out by Tricia Wang, the article is extremely helpful in its clear distinction between design research and market research:

“Market research identifies and acts upon optimal market and consumer leverage points to achieve success. Its definition of success is not absolute, though metrics are often financial. Design research, on the other hand, is founded in the belief that we already know the optimal market and consumer leverage points: human needs. Unearthing and satisfying those needs is thus the surest measure of success. Through this process, we earn people’s respect and loyalty.”

Interesting too, the case study about rural education in Suriname.

Read article

19 July 2011

Report published on Behaviour Change

Behaviour Change
The main conclusion of the Behaviour Change report, published today by the UK House of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee, is that ‘nudging’ on its own is unlikely to be successful in changing the population’s behaviour.

The report – the culmination of a year-long investigation into the way the Government tries to influence people’s behaviour using behaviour change interventions – finds that “nudges” used in isolation will often not be effective in changing the behaviour of the population. Instead, a whole range of measures – including some regulatory measures – will be needed to change behaviour in a way that will make a real difference to society’s biggest problems.

The committee also argues for the appointment of an independent chief social scientist.

Announcement (with video)
Report: HTML| PDF

The report launch comes only a few weeks after the publication of the Behaviour Change and Energy Use report by the Behavioural Insight Team of David Cameron’s Cabinet Office.

19 July 2011

Design and behaviourism: a brief review

Office window
Dan Lockton is publishing extracts from his Brunel University Ph.D thesis ‘Design with Intent: A design pattern toolkit for environmental & social behaviour change’ as blog posts over the next few weeks.

The first post deals with the importance of behaviourism in design for behavioural change, summarised in these eight bullets:

  • Behaviourism is no longer mainstream psychology, but many of the principles have potential application in design for behaviour change
     
  • There is a recognition that the environment shapes our behaviour both before and after we take actions—a useful insight for designing interventions
     
  • There is also a recognition that behaviour change does not necessarily happen in a single step, but as part of an ongoing cycle of shaping
     
  • Where cognition cannot be understood or examined, modelling users in terms of stimuli and responses may still offer valuable insights
     
  • Positive and negative reinforcement, and positive and negative punishment can all be implemented via designed features, and often underlie designed interventions without being explicitly named as such
     
  • Schedules of reinforcement can be varied (e.g. made unpredictable) to drive continued behaviour
     
  • Design could either exploit or help people avoid ‘social traps’ where both reinforcement and punishment exist, or reinforcement is currently misaligned with the behaviour, converting them into ‘trade-offs’ which more closely match the intended behavioural choices
     
  • Considering means and ends may provide a useful perspective on design for behaviour change. The end from the user’s perspective effectively becomes the means by which the designer’s end might be influenced

Read extract

17 July 2011

Izmo Summer School 2011 – Public Spaces in the City – Torino, Italy

Public spaces
Izmo, the Italian association focused on participatory process, local development, architecture, design and ICT, organizes an International Summer School in Torino from September 5th to 14th 2011 that proposes the public space as its theme.

The course is aimed at students, graduates, professionals and anyone interested in the issue of public space and urban regeneration.

The lectures (entirely in English language) will be held by professors of the Politecnico di Torino, University of Eastern Piedmont and St. John International University, as well as members of Izmo, and will face issues related to public space with the aim of providing insights in a broad and multidisciplinary manner.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to directly experience several methods of field research (urban drift, urban missions, interviews) that will allow them to observe and make contact with the territory and its inhabitants.

Finally, the training will be enriched by a series of meetings with experts and professionals: informal moments during which students will have the opportunity to interact and engage with those who work in the public space, such as members of Izmo.

At the end of the lecture series, participants will intervene effectively in the public space, designing and implementing a series of installations, parts of an overall project for the redevelopment of District 7 in Turin.

Read more

17 July 2011

New RSA Journal out

RSA Journal
The Summer 2011 edition of the RSA Journal explores the relationship between business and social change.

Brand values
As the social, political and commercial spheres become more intertwined, firms are increasingly finding incentives to look beyond the bottom line. Colin Crouch explores the strong moral and commercial case for corporations to contribute to social good.

The cooperative renaissance
Values-based business models offer a viable alternative to the traditional capitalist approach, argues Peter Marks. What can the public and private sectors learn from these business models in today’s post-recession landscape?

Urban ingenuity
Too often accused of being a breeding ground for poverty and inequality, cities are actually a catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurialism and social mobility. It is no coincidence that many of the world’s most successful businesses had their genesis in cities, says Edward Glaeser

The new frontier?
While most social enterprises have yet to become household names, they are well positioned for steady growth, as they have a role to play in public-service provision, believes Geoff Mulgan.

The 21st century prison
Rachel O’Brien outlines the RSA’s plans to build a social enterprise prison that makes it easier for ex-offenders to transition into society and return to work.

The power of proximity
In an age when digital technology connects us on a global scale, entrepreneurial success still depends largely on the networks, resources and demand found in local communities, says Barry Quirk.

Self-made in China
Linda Yueh asks what we can learn from the generation of Chinese entrepreneurs who are driving the country’s rapid economic growth.

Best behaviours
Monique and Sam Sternin discuss how the Positive Deviance approach uses people’s hidden talents to tackle widespread and complex social problems.

David Hume: 300 years on
David Hume is remembered as a thinker who has influenced the way we address social, political and economic challenges. James Harris explains why, three centuries after his birth, David Hume continues to intrigue and inspire his diverse readership.

16 July 2011

How technology makes us better social beings

Social media in public spaces
Sociologist Keith Hampton (University of Pennsylvania) believes technology and social networking affect our lives in some very positive ways

“There has been a great deal of speculation about the impact of social networking site use on people’s social lives, and much of it has centered on the possibility that these sites are hurting users’ relationships and pushing them away from participating in the world,” Hampton said in a recent press release. He surveyed 2,255 American adults this past fall and published his results in a study last month. “We’ve found the exact opposite—that people who use sites like Facebook actually have more close relationships and are more likely to be involved in civic and political activities.”

Read article

13 July 2011

Why UX practitioners should join the Government 2.0 movement

 
One of the most important relationships people have is with government. Cyd Harrell explores what this means for the user experience community.

“One of the most important relationships people have is with government. Whether at a local or national level, citizens interact with their governments in myriad ways, and these days those touchpoints increasingly take place via websites, phone apps, or other types of technology. Anyone applying for a business license or a building permit, paying taxes, looking up public records, or requesting benefits is participating in an interaction where they are something more than a user. These relationships aren’t exactly voluntary the way commercial relationships are, but at the same time, the public nature of these services makes the user a co-owner in a way that customers typically are not. And most citizen experiences don’t properly reflect this reality although they should, and it’s interesting to think about how they’d be different if they did.”

Read article

10 July 2011

Service design, a strong strategy for local authorities

Service design in Flanders
Design Flanders [“Design Vlaanderen”] and the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (both in Belgium) have just published a bilingual Dutch-English booklet entitled “Service design, a strong strategy for local authorities[Dutch title: “Service design, een sterke strategie voor het lokale bestuur”] – based on a seminar in Antwerp on 7 December 2010.

Abstract

Eighty-five percent of everything that local authorities are tasked with is in relation to service provision: personalised services such as in the Department of Civil Affairs and the Leisure Activities department, social services in the social centre or the OCMW (Public Social Assistance Centre), but also community services through the local services centre, domestic refuse collection service, services to ensure safety and so on. It is, therefore, not an exaggeration to say that good, customer-oriented services are a priority for every local authority.

Service Design provides a powerful strategy for improving these services. This is why the Vereniging van Vlaamse Steden en Gemeenten (VVSG, Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities) wants to put the spotlight on this relatively new discipline. This method appeals to the VVSG because of its integrated approach to service provision and the cooperative and participatory method of working together with the users and staff members of a particular service.

Service Design is a method of listening properly, while simultaneously being a method of working to reach solutions relatively quickly and in a manner that is highly visual and comprehensible for all. This is what emerged from all the statements and presentations at the seminar organised by the VVSG and Design Flanders in Antwerp on 7 December 2010, which has resulted in this report.

All articles are available in Dutch and English – here is the English table of contents:

Foreword
by Kris Peeters [Minister-President of the Flemish Government]

Foreword
by Ingrid Vandenhoudt, consultant, Design Flanders
and Jan Van Alsenoy, director, communication service, Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities

Antwerp’s single-brand strategy
by Patrick Janssens, Mayor of Antwerp

Antwerp police station reception area’s restyling
by Peter Muyshondt, chief superintendent, Antwerp Police Zone

Restyling of Antwerp district houses and city offices
by Maxime Seif, business manager, MAXIMALdesign design agency
and Paul Van Steenvoort, operations manager district and counter services, City of Antwerp

Service design toolkit
by Kristel Van Ael, creative director, Namahn design agency
and Caroline Van Cauwelaert, service design consultant, Yellow Window

Applied service design
by Bie Hinnekint, senior care department staff manager, OCMW (Public Social Assistance Centre), Ghent
and Véronique Dierinck, director of residential care centre De Liberteyt, OCMW, Chent

Det Gode Køkken [The Good Kitchen], Holstebro, Denmark
by Lotte Lyngsted Jepsen, innovation manager, Hatch & Bloom design agency
and Michael Keissner, managing director, Hatch & Bloom design agency

Authors [including all contact details]

Colofon

Download booklet [contains Dutch and English texts]

7 July 2011

Report: Behaviour Change and Energy Use

Behaviour Change and Energy Use
The Behavioural Insight Team of David Cameron’s Cabinet Office – widely known as the ‘nudge unit‘, has published the report, Behaviour Change and Energy Use, setting out how we can use behavioural insights to help people save energy and money. The report launches a series of trials and changes to (UK) government policy which will make it easier for individuals to green their homes and use less energy.

“This paper shows how government can make it easier for people to use energy more efficiently. It sets out a range of trials to test different ways of applying behavioural insights to overcome barriers to being more energy efficient. This research will help to ensure that government policy on energy efficiency will be as effective as possible in motivating behavioural change.

Chapter 1 sets out how we can encourage people to green their homes and be more energy efficient.
Chapter 2 focuses on how we can use information more effectively to encourage people to be more energy efficient. In particular, it explores how we can draw upon the fact that people are influenced by what those around them are doing (social norms), and are more likely to be influenced by information which is novel, accessible and of relevance to the individual in question.
Chapter 3 demonstrates how the Government has already done a great deal to achieve energy efficiency savings of its own. The Government set itself a target to reduce emissions from departments by 10% in just one year. The application of behavioural insights has helped the Government to surpass this objective, for example through changes to the default settings of heating and lighting systems. This chapter also recognises the work done by UK businesses, non-governmental organisations and other organisations, and sets out a new Responsibility Deal, whose aim is to encourage organisations to make public commitments to reduce energy use.

Taken together, these trials and reforms show how the Government is drawing on new evidence to encourage positive behaviours in ways that do not require a new legislative initiative or spending programme. We will evaluate their impact, and ensure that lessons learnt inform future policy.”

(via Dan Lockton)

16 June 2011

SEE Conference report by Mark Vanderbeeken

SEE Bulletin Issue 6
On 29 March, Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken chaired the European SEE Conference on integrating design into regional and national policies.

The high-level conference, which also featured Peter Dröll, the European Commission’s Head of Innovation Policy, was organised by the SEE project, a network of eleven European partners engaging with national and regional governments to integrate design into innovation policy.

The summary of the event is now available on pages 10 to 12 of the latest SEE Bulletin, the only publication entirely dedicated to exploring matters related to design policies and programmes for design support.

Also in the publication:
– A discussion on design supply and demand and the policy repercussions by Dr Qian Sun of the University of Salford;
– A policy map with interviews from Italy, Finland, Estonia and South Korea;
– Background on Dublin’s bid For World Design Capital 2014;
– Case study on Argentina’s seminar programme ‘Design and Business, Concepts that Merge’;
– Case study on Wales’ Service Design Programme;
– A short concluding reflection on the SEE project legacy.

Download SEE Bulletin Issue 6

(Conference presentation and audio recordings are also available for download)

14 June 2011

Experientia wins Italian National Prize for Innovation in Services

Stemma Italia
Experientia wins Italian National Prize for Innovation in Services, sponsored by the Italian government and Confcommercio.
The President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, awards the prize.
 

Rome, Tuesday 14 June 2011

Today, the president of the Italian republic, Giorgio Napolitano, awarded Experientia srl with the prestigious National Prize for Innovation in Services, for their project Low2No, for having “planned a residential area in Finland with low CO2 emissions, using innovative methodologies devised in Italy.”

Experientia is an international experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy, which helps international companies and organizations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

The winning project, Low2No (also known as C-Life), details Experientia’s role in the development and implementation of service offers for a low-to-no carbon emissions building development in Helsinki, involving user-centred service and participatory design methods. The entire construction project will be completed in 2013.

At the award ceremony at the Quirinale (the Italian presidential palace), Michele Visciola, the president of Experientia, accompanied by the CEO Pierpaolo Perotto, received the prize from President Napolitano.

“It is an honour for us to receive this prize from the hands of the President of the Republic,” Visciola declared, “It demonstrates that in Italy, we have young, quality businesses that can compete on an international level in terms of excellence.”

Jan-Christoph Zoels, the director of the service design project, highlighted the importance of the project by stating, “Beautiful and well-engineered, sustainable houses are not enough. Half of the contribution to a community’s carbon footprint is based on people’s lifestyles. We aim to support sustainable lifestyles and services during a building’s entire lifetime.”

Experientia has worked on the planning and design of services, to create, within the Low2No project, a “Food Hub” (offering services related to the purchase, consumption and sharing of regional, organic food, an ethical and sustainable alternative to the products commonly offered in the Finnish market); an “Eco-laundry” (using highly efficient practices and detergents with a low environmental impact); and a communal, wood-fuelled sauna (an eco-friendly response to the presence of a private electric sauna in most Finnish homes).

During the day, at a separate event organised by the ConfCommercio and hosted by ConfCommerico president Carlo Sangalli, the representatives from Experientia, including senior partners Jan-Christoph Zoels and Mark Vanderbeeken, and project team member Camilla Masala, met with the press and public.
 

WHO IS EXPERIENTIA?

Experientia is an international experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy, which helps international companies and organizations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first. Experientia puts people and their experiences, past and future, at the centre of strategic innovation, guiding the company’s processes of research, strategy development, solution creation, prototype design and testing.
 

THE PRIZE

The National Prize for Innovation was founded by the Italian government as a key initiative of the National Day of Innovation, an annual event to raise citizens’ awareness of the theme of innovation. It is also an opportunity for the principle public and private actors to take stock of the state of innovation in the country and share identified strategic objectives within the European framework and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Through this prize, the government honours the best examples of creativity and innovation in the sectors of industry, design, university and public research, public administration and services, including financial services.

ConfCommercio, the Italian “Confederation of business, professional activities and autonomous work”, was responsible for the selection for the design section of the National Prize for Innovation in Services, which included “Innovation in Business”; “Innovation in Tourism”, “ICT and Service Design”. Experientia has won the prize for the ICT and Service Design category.

This year, the National Day of Innovation holds particular significance, not only because of the presence of the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, and the Minister for public administration and innovation Renato Brunetta, but because it coincides with the celebrations of 150 years of Italian Unity.
 

THE PROJECT

The winning project, Low2No (also known as C-Life), aims to facilitate behavioural change for more sustainable lifestyles. Experientia has designed a service platform for the low-to-no carbon emissions building development in Helsinki, involving user-centred service and participatory design methods.

The Low2No service platform represents one of the principle points of contact with the soul and mission of the zone. It will contribute to making sustainability an integral part of the daily activities and lives of the residents and workers of the area. It will support locals in adopting the change and transformation of their usual habits, and give them the possibility to communicate and compare themselves with their peers, through the project’s elements of participation and socialisation.

The project is a collaborative effort between international engineering and planning firm Arup (London), architectural firm Sauerbruch Hutton (Berlin), and user experience design consultancy Experientia, on behalf of Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the developer SRV and the housing agency VVO. Experientia’s dual role on the team involves the design of an advanced smart metering system (a digital energy-consumption metre) for residential households, and the design and implementation of a service platform for the entire zone.

Low2No is a mixed-use block. It comprises 14,000 square metres of mixed residential space (both rental and privately owned) with 6,500 square metres of office space and a business incubator and 1,800 square metres of commercial space.

The involvement of future residents and entrepreneurs in identifying their needs and generating shared ideas and solutions has a created a user-centric service platform, within which the client represents more than a simple final element of the chain, but becomes a key actor in the implementation and supply of the services themselves.
 

CONTACT
Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687, info at experientia dot com
 

14 June 2011

Experientia vince il Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei Servizi

Stemma Italia
Experientia vince la terza edizione del Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei Servizi, istituito dal Governo Italiano e Confcommercio-Imprese per l’Italia.
Il Presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano consegna il premio.
 

Roma, martedì 14 giugno 2011

Oggi il Presidente della Repubblica Italiana Giorgio Napolitano ha insignito Experientia Srl del prestigioso Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei Servizi per il suo progetto C-Life/Low2No, “per aver progettato in Finlandia un quartiere cittadino a bassa emissione di CO2 con metodologie innovative elaborate in Italia.

Experientia Srl è una società di consulenza internazionale con sede a Torino, fondata per aiutare aziende e organizzazioni ad innovare i propri prodotti, servizi e processi attraverso una piena valorizzazione dell’esperienza degli utenti.

Low2No è un progetto che mira alla realizzazione entro il 2013 di un quartiere a impatto zero in un’area della città di Helsinki. Il nome Low2No fa riferimento alla caratteristica del progetto di ridurre progressivamente le emissioni di anidride carbonica generate, partendo da un basso (“low”) impatto delle stesse fino a (‘‘to’’ oppure “2”) raggiungere zero emissioni (“no”).

Alla cerimonia di premiazione al Quirinale era presente Michele Visciòla, Presidente di Experientia Srl, che accompagnato dall’Amministratore Delegato Pierpaolo Perotto, ha ricevuto il premio dal Presidente Napolitano.

“Per noi è un onore ricevere questo premio dalle mani del Presidente della Repubblica – ha dichiarato Visciòla – ed è la dimostrazione che in Italia esistono qualità ed imprese giovani in grado di competere nello scenario internazionale su piani di eccellenza”.

Per Jan-Christoph Zoels, direttore del progetto, “Case belle e ben progettate con i criteri della sostenibilità non bastano. Un buon 50% del contributo all’impatto di CO2 di una comunità dipende dai comportamenti di consumo di energia e dallo stile di vita delle persone. Dobbiamo progettare le condizioni affinché si affermino stili di vita sostenibili e servizi adeguati per tutto il ciclo di vita degli edifici.”

Experientia sta progettando alcuni servizi che permetteranno di creare, all’interno del quartiere, nuove imprese: ci sarà un centro denominato Food Hub (una complessa offerta di servizi legati all’acquisto, consumo e condivisione del cibo, un’alternativa etica e sostenibile ai prodotti abitualmente reperibili sul mercato finlandese); un centro “Eco-laundry” (un servizio di lavanderia altamente efficiente, basato sull’utilizzo di prodotti detergenti a basso impatto ambientale), e un centro di Sauna tradizionale comune (alimentata a legna e all’interno del quale saranno a disposizione differenti servizi).

Nel corso della giornata, in un evento congiunto organizzato da Confcommercio e presieduto dal Presidente Carlo Sangalli, i soci fondatori di Experientia, Pierpaolo Perotto, Mark Vanderbeeken, Michele Visciòla, Jan-Christoph Zoels e una delle collaboratrici al progetto Low2No Camilla Masala hanno preso parte agli incontri con la stampa ed il pubblico.
 

CHI E’ EXPERIENTIA

Experientia Srl è una società di consulenza internazionale con sede a Torino, fondata per aiutare aziende e organizzazioni ad innovare i propri prodotti, servizi e processi attraverso una piena valorizzazione dell’esperienza degli utenti. L’obiettivo di Experientia è mettere le persone e le loro esperienze, future e passate, al centro delle strategie di innovazione realizzando ricerche, creando soluzioni, progettando prototipi e testandone i risultati.

Experientia, oltre che dai 4 soci fondatori, è partecipata con una quota del 20% da Finsa Consulting Srl technology for people, che si occupa di consulenza, sviluppo ed integrazione di soluzioni ICT e di Business Intelligence, con headquarter a Genova e uffici a Roma, Torino e Milano.
 

IL PREMIO

Il Premio Nazionale per l’innovazione è stato istituito nel 2008 dal Governo italiano (presieduto da Romano Prodi) come iniziativa chiave della Giornata Nazionale dell’Innovazione, un’occasione annuale di sensibilizzazione dei cittadini sui temi dell’innovazione e di coordinamento tra tutti i principali attori pubblici e privati per fare il punto sullo stato dell’innovazione nel Paese e condividere gli obiettivi strategici da raggiungere, anche nel quadro europeo e OCSE.

Attraverso questo premio il Governo vuole valorizzare le migliori esperienze d’innovazione nei settori dell’industria, del design, dell’università e della ricerca pubblica, della pubblica amministrazione e dei servizi, inclusi quelli bancari.

Confcommercio, la “Confederazione Generale Italiana delle Imprese, delle Attività Professionali e del Lavoro Autonomo”, è stata responsabile per la selezione della sezione del design dei servizi del Premio Nazionale dell’Innovazione, che comprende le seguenti categorie: “Innovazione nel Commercio”; “Innovazione nel Turismo”; “ICT & Service Design nei Servizi”. Experientia ha ricevuto il premio appartenente a quest’ultima categoria, che è relativa ai due migliori progetti di innovazione tecnologica o di applicazione di metodologie di Service Design o di Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME).

Quest’anno la Giornata Nazionale dell’Innovazione riveste particolare importanza non solo per la presenza del Presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano e del Ministro per la pubblica amministrazione e l’innovazione Renato Brunetta, ma anche per la coincidenza con i festeggiamenti dei 150 anni dell’Unità d’Italia.
 

IL PROGETTO

Il progetto vincitore, denominato originariamente “C-life” ma attualmente conosciuto al pubblico con il nome “Low2No”, rafforza l’impegno di Experientia nello sviluppo ed implementazione di offerte di design dei servizi e della progettazione partecipata e utente-centrica, in grado di facilitare il cambiamento di comportamenti del singolo nell’ottica della sostenibilità.

I servizi Low2No contribuiscono a rendere la sostenibilità parte integrante delle attività quotidiane e della vita di tutti i giorni. Incoraggia le persone a prendere parte e sentirsi parte all’interno del progetto di cambiamento e trasformazione delle abitudini consolidate, dando altresì la possibilità, attraverso elementi di partecipazione e socializzazione, di dialogare e confrontarsi con propri pari.

Il progetto è frutto della collaborazione tra Experientia, lo studio di architettura Sauerbruch Hutton di Berlino e la società di ingegneria ARUP di Londra. Il progetto è stato realizzato per conto del fondo governativo finlandese per l’innovazione SITRA, in collaborazione con l’agenzia per l’edilizia residenziale pubblica VVO e la società di sviluppo immobiliare SRV. Experientia è responsabile sia della progettazione di sistemi evoluti di smart metering (contatori digitali) per ambienti domestici sia della pianificazione e implementazione dell’offerta di servizi per l’intero quartiere.

Low2No rappresenta un’area ad insediamento misto, all’interno della quale ad una componente di edilizia residenziale mista (edilizia agevolata – vendita – affitto) di 14.000 mq si affiancano attività lavorative (6.500 mq di uffici e un incubatore d’impresa) e una complessa offerta di servizi (1.800 mq di spazi commerciali).

Il coinvolgimento degli utenti nell’identificazione dei bisogni e nella generazione di idee e soluzioni condivise creerà una piattaforma di servizi utente-centrici, all’interno della quale il cliente non rappresenta semplicemente un elemento finale della filiera, ma diventa un attore chiave nell’implementazione ed erogazione dei servizi stessi.
 

CONTATTO
Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687, info at experientia dot com
 

8 June 2011

WHO report on mHealth

mHealth
The World Health Organisation has just issued a major (free) report on mHealth, entitled “mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies“.

Abstract
Only five years ago who would have imagined that today a woman in sub-Saharan Africa could use a mobile phone to access health information essential to bringing her pregnancy safely to term? Mobile phones are now the most widely used communication technology in the world. They continue to spread at an exponential rate – particularly in developing countries. This expansion provides unprecedented opportunities to apply mobile technology for health. How are mobile devices being used for health around the world? What diverse scenarios can mHealth be applied in and how effective are these approaches? What are the most important obstacles that countries face in implementing mHealth solutions? This publication includes a series of detailed case studies highlighting best practices in mHealth in different settings. The publication will be of particular interest to policymakers in health and information technology, as well as those in the mobile telecommunications and software development industries.

According to the Guardian, the reports “finds that 83% out of 122 countries surveyed use mobile phone technology for services that include free emergency calls, text messaging with pill reminders and health information and transmission of tests and lab results. Mobile health is already firmly established enough for the WHO to have set up a special unit five years ago, the Global Observatory for eHealth, staffed by four people in Geneva.”

26 May 2011

City as a platform

PSFK
Two talks from the 2011 PSFK conference caught my attention:

City as a platform (video)
In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, Rachel Sterne is tasked with strengthening the City’s digital media presence and streamlining internal digital communications.
In her talk Sterne demonstrated recent innovations that are shaping the city’s future. Mentioning how city resident participation is crucial with a real-time approach, attendees were shown “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr that tracks the D.O.T.’s progress in filling potholes in the five boroughs and its companion app, the roll-out of QR code technology on building permits, the NYC 311 app, as well as fielding service requests via Twitter.

Industrial Design: ID For The City (alternate) (video)
Duncan Jackson and Eoin Billings (interview), are both partners at Billings Jackson, a design firm specializing in public spaces. They spoke about their work, history and how they bridge the gap between architecture and manufacturing. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, they appreciate and embrace the the urban landscape for what it is. Crafting solutions that interpret design vision in city environments is their forté and the duo explained the value in understanding the intricacies of each place, culture, and its residents before beginning a new project. Their approach is exemplified through their architectural work, with city life exuding from each structure rather then being blurred by it.

> Check also the video and PSFK report on the Microsoft Home of the Future.

26 May 2011

Study: people with access to power meter data reduce energy use

Energy use
The simplest way to cut down on energy use isn’t to build millions of brand-new LEED-certified buildings; it’s to convince people to make changes themselves. And sometimes, having access to energy consumption data–and a friendly nudge to compete with neighbors–is enough to get people to do just that.

According to the Behavior and Energy Savings study by the Environmental Defense Fund and energy-management software company OPower, Americans who get better power meter data (from both regular and smart meters) cut energy consumption by an average of 1.8% in the first year.

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24 May 2011

Low2No Camp

Low2No
Low2No Camp is a strategic design workshop curated by think tank Demos Helsinki. In Low2No Camp thirty carefully chosen urbanists come together to create groundbreaking projects. The key players of Helsinki’s people-driven urban culture are here to take our thinking on what good life in cities can be to a new level and document it on this blog.

Urban culture – doing things together, trying out and evaluating later, joining in – is key to building those better places to live. Low2No is Finland´s flagship project on low-carbon happiness. Through designing differently and doing things together we show how the future can be brighter and smarter. Low2No is an initiative of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, and Experientia is actively working there on the behavioural change for sustainability strategy.

Low2No Camp happens in two parts. The first part takes place in DMY Berlin International Design Festival (1-5 June 2011), where the group is an exhibitor in the Maker Lab-section. On the way to Berlin and back to Helsinki they workshop and take their ideas to the next level. In the second part that happens in Helsinki we will make the ideas in to reality.

19 May 2011

Power Lines

Power Lines
Power Lines, the latest paper by the UK’s Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), follows on from the RSA’s Connected Communities report, deepening the analysis to look at networks of power and influence, and in particular those who are isolated in the community.

Abstract

In 2010, the RSA published Connected Communities: How social networks power and sustain the Big Society, which explored a new approach to community regeneration based on an understanding of the importance of social networks. It argued that such an approach has the potential to bring about significant improvements in efforts to combat isolation and to support the development of resilient and empowered communities.

This paper follows on from that report, deepening the analysis to look at networks of power and influence, and in particular those who are isolated in the community. The paper argues that the government’s efforts to build the Big Society are too focused on citizen-led service delivery. An approach based on utilising and building people’s social networks, which largely determine our ability to create change and influence decisions that affect us, may prove more effective.

19 May 2011

Compendium for the Civic Economy

Compendium for the Civic Economy
The Compendium for the Civic Economy is the latest publication by NESTA, the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (an independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative). It showcases 25 trailblazing ideas that are transforming local places and economies across the UK.

Abstract

Against the context of rapid economic, social and environmental change, a collective reflection is taking place on how to build more sustainable routes to share prosperity. In the meantime, an increasing number and wide range of change-makers have already found ways to imagine and grow a different economy in our cities, towns, neighbourhoods and villages.

This publication presents 25 case studies of the civic economy – rooted in age-old traditions of the associational economy but using new organising tactics, ways of connecting with people and approaches to collaborative investment.

They show that the civic economy is already a real, vital and growing part of many places, which actively contributes to community resilience, everyday innovation and shared prosperity. They also reveal how local leaders – that is, all those working together to improve places and their economies, whether in the public, private or third sector – can create the fertile ground for the civic economy to flourish and grow. Most importantly, the remarkable achievements of these 25 trailblazers show why we need to get better at understanding and recognising the role of civic entrepreneurship and enable it to turn ideas into action and impact.

11 May 2011

Macro design for nation building

Uday Dandavate
In his paper “MacroDesign for Nation Building“, Uday Dandavate, founder and CEO of SonicRim Ltd., elaborates on the concept of MacroDesign, a public policy perspective in understanding the role of design and design thinking.

This article is written with the purpose of drawing the attention of policy makers – politicians, government officials, and public policy consultants – to a new way of improving how citizens interface with public institutions, services, infrastructures,and processes.

As the design community in India is mobilizing ideas to co-create a new vision for the expansion of its design education infrastructure, this article aims to help public officials better appreciate the contemporary relevance of design in conjunction with two other practices that have received greater attention and public investment: invention and innovation. Understanding the interrelationship between the three practices will help policy makers plan for and boost creative energy nationwide.

The concept of Macro Design provides a public policy perspective in understanding the role of design and design thinking.

Check also Dandavate’s paper “MacroDesign with Denmark” where he describes how Denmark is about to establish an Innovationcenter in Asia to facilitate closer cooperation between Asia and Denmark for strategic innovation and design and on Denmark’s unique potential as a partner country in the global arena.

23 April 2011

Behaviour more significant than opinion when it comes to service design

Changing Behaviours
Behaviour change techniques should be used to develop public services with citizens’ motivations at the heart of their design, says a leading [UK] thinktank.

A report produced by the New Local Government Network argues that using citizen’s to design services using so-called nudge techniques can save councils money and the report sets out tools for councils to better understand what motivates their citizens.

The Changing Behaviours report also emphasises the need for a radical change to [UK] central government thinking in order for the reco/ammendations to achieve maximum effect.

The thinktank urges [local and regional] councils to allocate more resources towards improved engagement and communications methods with its citizens in order to understand their needs.

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