Design Policy Workshops

Design & Innovation Policy
Applying design thinking methods to innovation policy creation

Design can be a difficult concept to grasp for government officials but by involving policy-makers in using design methods such as co-creation, visualisation and brainstorming, they benefit from a hands-on experience of design. Since 2012, the SEE partners have tested the Design Innovation Ecosystem framework in 23 Design Policy Workshops across Europe, involving policy-makers, designers, SMEs, academics and third sector organisations to jointly develop policies to support design for innovation.
By being directly involved in the process, the framework enabled policy-makers to take a more holistic view of the interaction within the innovation environment and subsequently to develop more targeted policies and support mechanisms. Not only was the Design Innovation Ecosystem framework a useful tool for conceptualising the environment in which design operates but policy-makers also found the methodology engaging.

With design being high on the governmental innovation agenda, we continue supporting policy-makers in devising policies tailored to their needs. Our Policy Team worked with Thailand Creative and Design Centre to develop ambitious yet realistic Design Policy proposals to implement the visions of the Creative Economy Strategy. In Lithuania, with our facilitation the design-innovation stakeholders group generated almost 70 policy ideas and in a collaborative process refined them into a set of 10 high-impact actions that build on the strengths and address weaknesses of the ecosystem.

"The lack of design policy has been an obstacle to the consistent and purposeful development of the design sector and its ability to meet the needs of wider industry. However, things are set to change."


Maltese policy-makers, academics and industry experts worked with Dr Anna Whicher on the Design Policy Monitor – a framework of 46 indicators used to analyse nine components of a country’s Design Ecosystem. As a result of the workshop, they created a set of indicators that will allow for better informed policy-making in Malta.

Contact Us

Dr Anna Whicher Head of Design Policy
Piotr Swiatek Researcher