What is the end point of service design in government, anyway? The Future of Civics and Crafting it together

The end-point of service design should be successful system transformation. In our work with Civic Innovation YYC we have seen how the service design challenges that government tackles are more complex than what the private sector addresses. To survive we need new ways of thinking. This involves stepping away from definitive design mindsets. No longer chasing "design solutions." We challenge the field to embrace additive design instead. This means embedding iteration and adaptation in the construction of civic infrastructures and processes. If we don't, our solutions will be fragile and insufficient. To craft a future for our cities, every stakeholder must be systems literate. We must inspire bureaucratic culture to imagine positive and hopeful futures.


Jonathan Veale, The City of Calgary

Jonathan is inspired to reorient government around the needs and aspirations of Albertans. A co-founder of the Alberta Co-Lab, Jonathan has held senior leadership roles with Alberta's Ministry of Energy, Executive Council and the Ministry of Health. His strategic design work gave shape to Alberta’s integrated resources management system, the climate change strategy, post-carbon futures, new governance for Alberta Health Services and funding models for community-based primary care. Jonathan is currently working with the City of Calgary’s Civic Innovation YYC — bringing people and technology together to design the next generation of city services. 


Kris Kelly-Frere, The City of Calgary

I'm currently a strategist with the Civic Innovation YYC Project at the City of Calgary. This work is about helping government embrace new ideas and collaboration. We are working to build strategic design capacity within the City of Calgary administration - and to craft new channels for citizens to create with their governments. Along the way we are nurturing adaptive tools and mindsets. I do this work because I believe that government can, and must, do better. I appreciate the challenge of asking "how could I be a better ancestor" as we tackle emergent and complex problems.

I've earned a Master’s degree in Architecture and was part of the core team that designed the experiences and operations for Canada's newest science centre, TELUS Spark. I'm an Alumni of Leadership Calgary, The Banff Centre, and have broad experience applying both design and strategic thinking at a range of scales. My work also includes an active art practice, community leadership and critical writing. In another life, I was a tap dance instructor. I can't stop drawing.