UAE Government: Design Gov

Igniting the power of human-centered design and creative leadership within the UAE government

Design Gov aims to bring radical creativity to the UAE government by empowering creative leaders of the future with human-centered design mindsets and skillsets. This project came to life through a collaboration between ATÖLYE and kyu Collective members, IDEO and Palmwood.

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35

Government Leaders Trained

6

Projects Emerged

1

National Policy Launched

20

Days of Workshops Delivered

THE CHALLENGE

We were asked to design a transformative learning journey for the government of the UAE. The nation’s goal is to empower future leaders by embedding creative mindsets and skills into the ways government officials think and work—enabling them to imagine and co-create meaningful solutions together with the people they serve through human-centered approaches.

THE TRANSFORMATION APPROACH

Through two new roles (Chief Design Officers and Civil Designers), the UAE government is transforming itself as a nation of designers. Our guiding principles for designing and delivering transformative learning experiences was through experiential learning, reflective process and emergent facilitation.

“We are so happy to see a project like this in the government, something that will actually change human beings and change the lives of humans.”

His Excellency Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri Cabinet Member and Minister of Economy

“I was able to redesign myself as a human, as a mother, as a director, as someone who would contribute to the UAE government. I feel that I am going to build myself more and more through design.”

Shaima Al Mansoori Director of Research, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation

"This is something new and different"

Maha Al Mezaina Director of Area 2071

"This bootcamp widened my views, my understanding. It made me stretch more into the world and see how collaboration and empathy would work..."

Shaima Al Mansoori Director of Research, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation

"We can design the relation of the governments with each other. We can now design anything."

Abdulrahman Alali Acting Director Center of Expertise - Institute of Applied Technology

"We had to travel within to learn to be better creative leaders as well."

Sana Almaarzooqi Head - Project Management Office Prime Minister’s Office - UAE

"I really learned how to ask the right questions."

Tala Alansari Innovation Director District 2020

We see this as a movement that brings as many people along as possible. It's purpose is to connect the people who serve with the people they serve."

IDEO Employee

THE IMPACT

During the 10-month co-design journey with the government, ATÖLYE designed and executed transformative learning experiences for high-potential “change agents” across government entities. The program aimed to unlock the creative potential of future “Chief Design Officers (CDO)”—an unprecedented title in the government of a nation.

 

All the efforts of the participants in this program essentially led to the implementation of the UAQ Blue Economy Strategy project, carried out my Palmwood. This project truly had an impact at a national level.

 

 

THE COMMUNITY LENS

As a parallel example of a radical collaboration within the kyu Collective, ATÖLYE’s unique value surfaced when ATÖLYE activated its local and international community—where it would simply not be possible for a traditional consultancy to be tasked with—and curated a multidisciplinary team. Two key partners in the design and delivery of the program from ATÖLYE’s global Community were the facilitation agency Mischief Makers and the design education company DSIL Global.

Human-centered design at the heart of government

Project Team:

Aslı Sevinç Daver, Kerem Alper, Nazlı Cangönül, Onat Vural, Ali Özgür Arslan

Project Lead:

Mert Çetinkaya

Community:

Özgür Önurme (videography), Murathan Sırakaya (video editing), Mischief Makers (facilitation), DSIL (learning design, facilitation)

Project partners:

IDEO, Palmwood

 

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