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Design in Public and Social Innovation

Author: Geoff Mulgan at Nesta
Published Date: 8 January 2014

What’s going right and what’s going wrong? Is design a key to more efficient and effective public services, or a costly luxury, good for conferences and consultants but not for the public? This Nesta paper looks at the elements of the design method; the strengths of current models; some of their weaknesses and the common criticisms made of them; and what might be the way forward.


  • Strengths of the design method in social innovation and public service
  • Social design tools table
  • Weaknesses of design projects and methods
  • The challenge
  • Design in the context of innovation

Read the report: Design in Public and Social Innovation: What Works and What Could Work Better