How can local public services take a long time view?

  • Funding cycles
  • New public management thinking
  • Evaluation cycles
  • Fundraising
  • Client contracts
  • Budget constraints
  • Politics and election cycles
  • Time pressures
  • Challenge of complexity
  • Pandemic
  • Climate assemblies
  • Housing projects
  • Urban planning
  • Children’s services, youth violence prevention
  • Foresight analysis tools and driver mapping
  • Participatory futures methods — scenarios, visioning etc
  • Outcomes-based accountability
  • Appreciative enquiry
  • Long term thinking is powerful. make people imaginative and help them buy in some ideas
  • What trends right now point to growth in a specific industry? Is this good growth? What are the outcomes we can prevent?
  • Can we use the approach/discourse similar to ‘climate change urgency’ in other policy areas, e.g. mental health?
  • How should a person’s living/housing experience feel like?
  • Whose futures are we planning for? whom are we involving? how to make it participatory?
  • Selection and promotion criteria — based on competence — not groupthink conformity
  • Prediction competitions — red teams charged with combatting cognitive biases and group-think
  • Create breakpoints in the project to make sure we achieve value
  • Use of meanwhile spaces in regeneration projects and how the space to consider the social aspects of a project in advance of finance and planning can really drive innovation
  • When people are asked to think about their offspring and future generations.
  • In the planning cycle of investment projects and thinking the unthinkable
  • It takes an inquiry, curious focused facilitation skills and another language to communicate and challenge world views



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Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese