You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
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Systems Thinking: Creating a Civic Space for Conversation

Through public-private partnership, bringing together people, process & policy to reimagine and redesign local government

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Human Centered Design: Improving Civic Engagement

CDL applies human centered design method to public sector problems, starting with the question: “Who are we designing this policy or service with and for?”

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Leading with Racial Equity Lens

CDL puts people first. By bringing the racial equity lens to the start of every challenge we tackle, we can better understand our stakeholders, including who is being served, and by extension, who is not, so that we can design inclusively and equitably.

What Does This Look Like In Practice?

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Phase 1: Discovery

Being that this is the most critical phase of our service design process, we like to partner with people early. We test the common assumptions from each project by spending a bulk of this phase seeking the right questions to ask. We first look at all of the available legacy data that informs this project, then we conduct a series of in-depth qualitative and quantitative research to understand the broader context of our work so that we can engage both the subject matter experts of every project as well as people at key touch points of new policies or services. By working with those whom will be most impacted by any current or proposed policies or services, and making this process as inclusive as possible, we set the right expectations and create early buy-in.

Phase 2: Co-Design

Based on the insights from Phase 1, we carefully put together our first moon shot prototype, which represents the key features of a service or a product that would make it viable for implementation. We take this back to the stakeholders engaged in the discovery phase, and co-design it with them by seeking their feedback to learn what works and what doesn't. We continue to test further assumptions that arise by learn from feedback we receive and put them back into subsequent iterations of the prototype, until we reach saturation point in our research and testing. By doing so, our service design strategy ensures that the development process is always human centered and contextually relevant.

Phase 3: Implement

When our project partners finally roll out and implement the policies and/or services, we remain on the sideline as their cheerleaders. Where appropriate, we also track the project progress on the backend, and use the data generated from the field to continue improving the service, or to make suggestions on what maybe a priority for ongoing development. As populations continue to grow and society's needs change, so do the services and policies that serve its constituents.