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Design and Deliver Human-Centered Futures
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Design-Thinking in Government: Sparking Civic Innovation Through UX






Heather Renée Barker

Assistant Professor of Design; Coordinator, Immersive Design Research Lab; California State University, Long Beach



Ryan Murray

Innovation Deputy, City of Long Beach



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Session Description:


See how collaboration between the Bloomberg Philanthropies funded Long Beach Innovation Team and the User Experience Design Studio at California State University Long Beach continues to facilitate user-centered, responsive solutions to stimulate economic activity. The synergy between the proven Bloomberg Philanthropies' tested Innovation Delivery approach and the experience-based, design-thinking research of the studio has identified previously unseen opportunities and revealed new possibilities; facilitating new business models and processes. This interdisciplinary collaboration has led to a productive ‘design and deliver’ solution – to get short and long term results.


Design and Deliver Human-Centered Futures: Solutions for the City of Long Beach, CA

In August 2014, Long Beach was one of more than 90 cities invited by Bloomberg Philanthropies' to apply for a grant to build an innovation team, implementing Bloomberg Philanthropies' tested Innovation Delivery approach. The City of Long Beach will receive $3 million over three years from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Mayor Robert Garcia has established the Long Beach innovation-team which will use a data-driven process to assess problems, generate solutions, and deliver measurable results. Mayor Garcia announced at his State of the City address that the i-team would be a key component of his economic development strategy and would better connect residents to City services through technology. The newly created i-team, led by Mayor Garcia and City Manager Pat West, functions as an in-house research and development unit. The first task of the i-team is to focus on economic development, advising the City on how best to stimulate growth, create jobs, and leverage City resources, including through online delivery of City services.

The i-team reaches out to businesses and higher education partners; leveraging the city’s resources to develop inclusive and interdisciplinary solutions. The collaboration with the Department of Design at California State University Long Beach has, over two semesters, generated a series of innovative strategies and tools for economic development. Through the new User Experience Design Studio, engaged in a design-research methodology well-suited to this collaboration, student design researchers have played a vital role expanding ethnographic research capabilities, validating i-team research and identifying opportunities through direct engagement with the people of Long Beach. The collaboration recently included Code for America, bringing additional civic, technical expertise to the team and mentoring design students as they were engaging in a design and deliver process. This presentation is a multi-media narrative of the range of results achieved thus far, made possible, largely by the natural fit between this design research methodology and the Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Delivery approach.


Heather Renée Barker
Heather Renée Barker earned her Master of Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Metropolitan Research and Design and developed Post-Grad work at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany. She established the Immersive Design Research Lab to develop simulated environments for interdisciplinary research. Asst. Prof. Barker’s work and teaching embrace a human-centered approach to design and strategy; collaborating with business and civic partners.



Ryan Murray

Ryan Murrayholds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Hunter College, City University of New York. Ryan is a member of the Mayor’s senior staff and is responsible for a portfolio that includes innovation, economic development and initiatives that advance equity and sustainability. Prior to this role, for fifteen years, he lived in New York City and held a variety of executive positions in nonprofit organizations and government.

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10/7/2018 » 10/9/2018
dmi: Design Leadership Conference

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