Design Thoughts for 2010 .. part 1

Call them “manifestos” for 2010 — although I have put own design thinking spin on them.  In the Dec 09/Jan 10 issue of Monocle, several writers teamed up to produce “A Better Blueprint” — a 10 point agenda for change in 2010.  It strikes me as a good example of using a bit of design thinking to address some big picture global issues.

Not sure I would choose the same 10 as these Monoclers but here goes — annotated by MQ re: expanding on their ideas.  Here are the first 5.

1.  SOFT POWER DIPLOMACY SCHOOL —  “a central seat of learning where aspiring diplomats can be versed in Francis Bacon not bullets and Turandot not tanks”.  They also use the example of sending engineers not soldiers and pop singers to “warm up” the international scene.  Here is a role for social change by design.

2.  CV FOR A NEW POLITICIAN — asking the question:  What do we need from a modern politician?  Charisma? Style? Content?  The example they give is the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bernard Kouchner — he founded Medecins San Frontieres, was a UN representative in Kosova and “has style”.  I see the need for politicians that are design thinkers — they think critically and creatively about each and every issue that faces them.  They think about people first and foremost.

3.  A NEW IN-FLIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ––  not sure this one would make my list.  But it is basically the idea that airline CEOs need to be more in touch with their customers’ experiences.  Monocle suggests a new post — the Chief Dignity Officer or CDO.

4.  HEALTHCARE MODEL FOR ALL — the point being that ‘healthcare tourism’ shouldn’t exist.   According to Monocle, there should be a model that combines the clinical excellence of [Canada  — MQ addition] and the US, the universal openness of the UK system and the quality of the French system.  It does seem that some good solid design thinking would help the discussion globally.  It is a classic “wicked” problem — no right answers but in need of a non-linear approach to solutions.

5.  LESSONS FOR LIFE — “It’s time to go back to basics and give kids some structure.”  The idea is to extend the school day and take over any “spare time” that kids might have to get into trouble.  It does seem that we could use some design thinking around our education systems.  Does K-12 really work in 2010?  Not sure.  We are hearing from Clyde Hertzman of the Human Early Learning Partnership that we need to be paying much more attention to 0-6;  Clyde applauds the BC provincial government’s move to all-day kindergarten but urges us to do much more.  And — what is so sacred about ending at Grade 12?  Maybe for some youth there should be an opportunity to continue their education in the workplace — maybe there is a choice to be made in Grade 9 or 10 that keeps learning happening but in a different setting.

So those are the first 5 manifestos from Monocle with some MQ comments.

2 responses to “Design Thoughts for 2010 .. part 1”

  1. Chris K

    I agree about the need to focus on education. My worry about BC’s move to full day K is that there doesn’t appear to be any accompanying changes in the learning outcomes for any of the grade levels! Wouldn’t twice as much schooling at this crucial stage not bring about higher expectations for our children? Otherwise – it’s just daycare (or an admission that we haven’t been able to get kids to targeted levels all along.)

    1. Moura Quayle

      Hi Chris:
      Whew — I am behind in responding to posts. I find your point interesting re: learning outcomes. It actually might be worth an email to Minister Margaret McDiarmid — Minister of Education. I know that Deputies and Ministers do pay attention (as does Ministry staff) when us citizens take the time to write. So I encourage you to put this thought into a quick email to the Minister. You’ll get a reply for sure! Moura

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