putting people first

by experientia
by experientia
22 March 2010

Participatory systems, moving beyond 20th Century institutions

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

HIR
If the 20th century was the era of the global institution–the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the multinational corporation—then the 21st century will be the era of the participatory system, argues Participle‘s Hillary Cottam in the Winter 2010 (Vol.XXXI. No 4) edition of the Harvard International Review.

“The big global challenges of our time demand mass participation. Finding solutions to climate change, managing demographic shifts, preventing and managing chronic disease, providing safe water supplies, and maintaining food security will require the pooling of diverse types of knowledge and resources and harnessing the motivation of billions of individuals and their communities.

The issue of climate change illustrates this need. Governments can commission unclear power stations, but they cannot force change in behavior–they cannot convince citizens to turn down their thermostats or fly less frequently. Solutions cannot be pushed down at people from above; they need to be pulled up from below. Our existing institutional architecture is fundamentally not up to the task. We need new, distributed, and highly participatory systems if change is to happen at scale.

Bottom-up problem solving has been around for a long time, but it has operated at the margins. No longer. As we move into the second decade of the 21st century, two factors collide that will make participatory systems central to problem solving in the decades to come. Firstly, as I have already alluded to above, the scale of the problems creates the need to harness the widest possible set of resources to problem solve. Secondly, the technology has matured and has become pervasive enough to enable such problem solving in an unprecedented way. In a Web 2.0 world it is possible to design simple, low cost, and highly adaptive participatory systems.”

Read article

Be the first to share
Related Article
31 January 2015
Privacy and human behavior in the age of information
Privacy and human behavior in the age of information Alessandro Acquisti, Laura Brandimarte and George Loewenstein (of Carnegie Mellon University) Science 30 January 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6221 pp. 509-514 This Review summarizes and draws connections between …
Related Article
27 January 2015
New Wikipedia page on “Design for behaviour change”
The new Wikipedia page on "Design for behaviour change" starts as follows: "Design for behaviour change is a sub-category of design, which is concerned with how design can shape, or be used to influence human behaviour. …
Related Article
18 January 2015
Texting is family glue for the 21st century
Recent research from the University of Kansas looks at the way technological advancements influence interpersonal communication, with a focus on familial relationships. The study tested whether the number of media used by families to interact …
Related Article
16 January 2015
Case study: Service innovation in the public sector
Case study: Service innovation in the public sector Service Design Network site This case study is based on a series of public sector projects commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with local governments in two …
Related Article
16 January 2015
Videos online of Service Design Global Conference 2014
On 7-8 October around 650 global thought leaders and practitioners from sectors such as hospitality, insurance, retail, telecommunications, finance, IT and healthcare gathered in Stockholm for the 7th Service Design Global Conference. Coming from 40+ …
Related Article
15 January 2015
Ezio Manzini’s introduction to design for social innovation
Design, When Everybody Designs - An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation By Ezio Manzini The MIT Press, 264 pages February 2015 In a changing world everyone designs: each individual person and each collective subject, from enterprises to …
Related Article
16 December 2014
World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”
WASHINGTON, December 2, 2014 — Development policies based on new insights into how people actually think and make decisions will help governments and civil society achieve development goals more effectively. A richer and more accurate …
Related Article
5 December 2014
How US state governments can improve customer service
A McKinsey Center for Government survey finds that Americans are often dissatisfied with state services—and identifies significant opportunities for improvement. Deloitte measured the satisfaction of citizens by surveying approximately 17,000 people across 15 US states. This …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

See all articles