"Government needs to get better at policy-making; more open and connected with people" with Dr Andrea Siodmok

Past Event

10 May 2018, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

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This talk is co-hosted by the Oxford Martin School and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, to celebrate their 20th Anniversary

In today’s fast changing, highly interconnected, culturally diverse world our approaches to policy need to become more responsive to change. Currently the dominant mode of policy making is still based on what we might term ‘intelligent choice’. This retains the premise that problems can be resolved through ‘best practice’ evidence-based approaches using empirical methods. We need to move however to ‘next practice’, a method which seeks to create entirely new propositions and then test them in context, so that we may learn, adapt and actively shape our understanding of problem solving.

Such new methods are at the heart of some of the Cabinet Office Policy Lab’s latest projects. These include, for example, a unique collaboration with the Government’s Office for Science, whereby we are jointly applying Speculative Design and advanced visualisation in the run up to the Industrial Strategy Ageing Grand Challenge.

About the speaker

Dr Andrea Siodmok is both a practitioner and design thinker with an international reputation for applying design for public good. Formerly Chief Design Officer at the Design Council, she is currently head of the UK Government’s Policy Lab and a Deputy Director at the Cabinet Office.

She is passionate about expanding the boundaries of design practice. From the earliest days of her career at BT’s Adastral Park Labs, through to her more recent Policy Lab projects, her work demonstrates practical ways to improve peoples' lives using design principles and practice.

Over twenty years her clients and commissions have taken her around the world (and beyond – with some of her earliest consultancy work being designing the World’s smallest x-ray machine for NASA). During that time she has worked with global corporations, government departments, charities and social enterprises on multi-award winning projects. She was an early proponent of service design, and has been a champion for public involvement in designing better public services.

As a representative of British design she has been invited to run workshops across five continents, regularly speaking and writing about design. She was appointed a member of the European Commission’s Design Leadership Board and has been a contributor to a number of books on design including: Design for Policy (with MindLab), Design Transitions, Restarting Britain and Design for Growth and Prosperity.

Andrea has a first class honours in Industrial Design and a PhD in Virtual Reality. As an academic she taught product and transportation design, a link she maintains as a visiting fellow at the University of Northumbria. Andrea is also lifetime fellow and an active member of the RSA where over 20 years she has been involved in the Student Design Awards; as a student, tutor, sponsor, judge and more recently chair of judges.

About the Policy Lab

The Policy Lab was created in 2014 to trial new approaches to policy problems including applying new tools and techniques such as design thinking, ethnography and data science. Today the Lab exists to support 17,000 policy makers across government to embed a culture of innovation in their work. Along with the Open Innovation Team, the Lab’s existence is born of a recognition that government needs to become more open, more connected to its citizens concerns and more collaborative with external experts and academics.