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Is codesign the silver bullet?

Social Design Sydney

Monday, 5 March 2018 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (AEDT)

Is codesign the silver bullet?

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee GST Quantity
General admission 01/03/2018 $25.00 $0.00 $2.50
Students & School for Social Entrepreneurs members 03/03/2018 $18.00 $1.80 $1.98

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Event Details

From human-centred design to person-centred services, there’s a lot of talk about co-design in all sectors these days. But is it the silver bullet we hope for? How and when exactly does co-design lead to action?

Our panel of designers and social change agents present some successes and failures using co-design approaches for social change. We will look at how and when co-design supports change and what it needs to do better to lead to action and real impact.


Framing Codesign, Jax Wechsler from Sticky Design Studio

Informed by over 15 years of professional design experience, Jax is passionate about design for social outcomes. She is an accomplished co-design practitioner helping NGO and public sector organisations co-design and deliver more person-centred services. Passionate about building co-design capability, Jax teaches design-led innovation at UTS and runs capability building programs with government and third sector organisations. In 2013, she founded Social Design Sydney where she curates events and masterclasses to build Social Design understanding and capability. 

Jax will give an overview of co-design, provide some examples of its application and put forward some things to consider for co-design to have impact. 

Codesign & Policy, Emma Blomkamp from University of Melbourne Policy Lab

Emma currently works at the Policy Lab (University of Melbourne) where she coordinates research projects and partnerships. Her research focuses on creative and participatory approaches to the design and evaluation of public policy and human services. 

Emma was previously a project lead at Innovate Change in New Zealand, a not-for-profit social enterprise that uses creative and participatory approaches to build social connectedness that enables youth development, positive ageing and whānau (family) well-being.

Emma will share insights from her research on co-design for public policy. She'll offer a definition informed by practice and theory, helping us move beyond co-design as a buzzword. There are many claims about the benefits of co-design but there's not yet much evidence about the value co-design offers to public policy. Emma will outline some ways in which co-design may improve policy process and outcomes, and make suggestions about how we might improve our knowledge and practice in this field.

Codesign & Community, David Lilley from Holos Consulting

David has spent nearly twenty years working on place-based initiatives that seek to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. This has included initiatives branded as community development, service coordination, social planning, place management, and collective impact. David is currently Senior Advisor Community Impact at United Way Australia, an Associate at Collaboration for Impact, and Principal Consultant at Holos Consulting.


David will discuss the recent rise in popularity of co-design language and methods in community work, highlighting a number of issues that require interrogation, including: the differences between using co-design with a single or small number of organisations, and using it in a community context; the distinction between co-design and co-delivery; the critical importance of mindset; and the need for co-design training to include situated learning experiences.


Public & Social Sector Innovation,  Chris Vanstone from The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)

Chris Vanstone started his career designing biscuits and razors. For 17 years he’s been working to bring the rigour of product development to social causes. He was design lead on TACSI’s Family by Family program and worked with carers to develop Weavers, both winners of Australian International Design Awards. Now Chris oversees teams at TACSI focussed on enabling NGOs, social enterprise and government to develop services, business models and strategy that create social outcomes 

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) exists to develop, test and spread innovations that change lives for the people who need it most. At the heart of TACSI lies the fundamental belief that people are the experts in their own lives. We believe that the best innovations come from working alongside the people who face the very challenges we’re trying to solve.

Chris will explore what makes co-design such an attractive term and why it is often insufficient for change -  in the public sector and other settings. He’ll share a range of different kinds of  ‘co-design’ projects and show how TACSI is blending various traditions of design with community/international development and systems approaches to develop new services, prototype new policy and foster innovation across systems.

A panel discussion will follow.

Light refreshments will be served.

Have questions about Is codesign the silver bullet?? Contact Social Design Sydney

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When & Where

UTS : Design Innovation Research Centre
622-632 Harris Street
Ultimo, NSW 2007

Monday, 5 March 2018 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (AEDT)

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Social Design Sydney

Social Design Sydney aims to spark a conversation about Social Design in Sydney with talks and hands-on learning.

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