I recently sat down with Ian Wright, Managing Director of Disruptive Innovators Network, to explore human-centred design and what that can mean for rebuilding our organisations post-COVID.
This is a write up of that conversation, which you can also watch.
Dominic Campbell (DC): My background and passion has always been about places, cities and urbanism. I found myself in local government in the beginning of my career and was lucky enough to go through the ranks relatively quickly and end up leading transformation in Barnet in North London.
After five years, I got into a reasonably senior position but found that probably, the best use of my mindset was to try and find a different place in the government system. I thought about how I could create something that would allow me to influence a wider selection of government bodies.
I left local government having moved from policy into technology-led transformation. During that journey I saw the good and bad of large-scale IT implementations; the benefits they can bring but also the change methodologies that were often dehumanising. There had to be a different way of bringing a much more intuitive and human-centred approach to government change. That’s where the roots of FutureGov began 12 years ago.
Ian Wright (IW): Having set up your business at a relatively young age, you’re clearly passionate about solving problems. Working in public services, what did you feel were the main problems that you wanted to help them solve?
DC: The power of government is like a nerdy commitment to recognising the power in technology, particularly digital technology and the convening power of social on the internet. That’s what initially triggered my imagination beyond large IT systems to think more about what is the power in bringing people together on mass through the internet to actually create social mobilisation for change and working in partnership with government to change the world ultimately.
Creating FutureGov was both a passion for policy issues that are close to me such as disability rights, supporting people in older care and a whole range of child protection, which has continued to be a theme through a lot of our work from the very beginning. But also thinking directly about how do we actually make sure that we go beyond basic website approaches to digital in government to really thinking about it in a much more powerful way to solve some of these big social problems.