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Using design and open policy making techniques to address complex problems

We were invited by Policy Lab and Government Office for Science’s Foresight Team to distill evidence relating to a future ageing population.

Our start point for the project was to work with Foresight to explore the vast amount of expert, peer reviewed evidence available and to pull out the key points. We would then go on to represent the data and expert opinions as a series of evidence cards.

Foresight ran an event for government policy makers – with Policy Lab and the Cabinet Office – to try and cut through the complexity and distil policy issues related to work, education and the future of an ageing population. The cards were used for an Evidence Safari, exploring the evidence. The cards were distributed around the room, grouped by evidence type. Groups could pick ‘n’ mix the cards to solve the challenges they had been set. Each team was only given a short time period for each stage of the process (e.g. 8 minutes to review the ageing population projections, 6 minutes to define the challenge, 15 minutes to prototype a policy idea etc.), so it was crucial that the evidence cards were as clear, unambiguous and visually engaging as possible. Design, science, evidence and policy making were merged to generate ideas for the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population. We were delighted to be part of this project.

Read more about this innovative approach here