How might we supercharge the local government to build thriving communities as we enter a decade of social and ecological change?
Over the last twenty years, the internet has changed everything. “Digital” captured our imagination as we began to answer how we design 21st-century organisations and human-centred public services, fit for people’s raised expectations and fit for the future. For the last ten years, we’ve witnessed the power of digital and design-led approaches firsthand in shifting hearts, minds and ways of delivering public services, acting as the platform for more rapid and radical change to come, have no doubt.
Undeniably, the internet will continue to be one of the most disruptive forces in our society in the coming years. But another force, one that despite its world-changing importance has remained comparatively intangible and lacking the urgent attention it needs, has at last moved front and centre this year — the climate.
The speed at which digital has shifted the world (communications, relationships and expectations) and the speed at which we now have to adapt to climate change is a striking parallel. The impact and adjustment to both will continue to be exponential. As we enter a new decade of unprecedented social, systemic and planetary change, we’ve reached an important juncture in our history. What can we learn from a decade of digital disruption and the ways in which organisations and society have adjusted to its demands as we now consider the best ways in which to respond to the same exponential demands to climate change?
Local is the future
Last year, people across the UK called on the government to take environmental action seriously at every level. In what represents an unprecedented political opportunity, two-thirds of local councils, motivated for change, have now passed climate emergency motions. But many are struggling to know where to begin. The scale and speed of change needed are daunting by anyone’s measure.