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Book Launch Invitation 23.6.2017


Transforming Public Services By Design: Re-Orienting Policies, Organizations and Services Around People

You are cordially invited to a special book launch by Sabine Junginger (Routledge, 2017)

When: 23.6.2017, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS), Berliner Straße 130, 14467 Potsdam, on the rooftop of the former bank building
Registration: Spaces are limited. Please register via

Many people design with good intentions and still, many design outcomes neither fulfill the hopes we put in them nor the promises they make. This is particularly obvious in the public realm, where people are busy designing new laws, new policies, new programs and new services with the intent to make a positive contribution to people’s lives. The public sector is an area that constantly engages in design. Services are developed and delivered, policies created and implemented. Yet we seem to know very little about designing in this key area, which shapes and impacts the lives of millions of people. This book explains how design activities, design methods, design practices and design principles apply to the public sector.

Public sector design concerns citizens, civil servants, public managers and policy makers alike: Though they engage with a specific design at different points in time for different reasons, a successful product enables the civil servant to do her job, the policy-maker to fulfill policy intent and the individual to fulfill his obligation as citizen. Yet, we lack a clear understanding or awareness of how the design of services relates to policy implementation or policy-making. This book connects these threads and weaves them together.

Above all, this book proposes a design perspective on organizations, services, and policies. It is a perspective that differs in key aspects from traditional ways of studying the public sector. For one, it recognizes human experience and human interaction as central to all three. It shows how human experience and human interaction can inform the design of public policies, public organizations and public services and re-orient them around people. A design perspective offers an integrated view that connects issues we have traditionally looked at and dealt with in isolation from each other: policy-making and policy-implementation; service design and organizational change; policy goals and public services.

Transforming Public Services by Design offers a human-centered design perspective on policies, organizations and services. Three design projects by large-scale government agencies illustrate the implications for organizations and the people involved in designing public services: the Tax Forms Simplification Project by the Internal Revenue Service (1978-1983), the Domestic Mail Manual Transformation Project by the United States Postal Service (2001-2005) and the Integrated Tax Design Project by the Australian Tax Office. These case studies offer a unique demonstration of the role of human-centered design in policy context.

This book aims to support designers and managers of all backgrounds who want to know more about reorienting policies, organizations and services around people.


Sabine Junginger, PhD, is a founding partner of the Politics for Tomorrow initiative, Head Competence Center for Research in Design and Management, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne in Switzerland and Fellow at Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany

The book launch takes place in the frame of the “Politics for Tomorrow Digital Design Sprint”, which brings together selected participants from politics, administration, tech, science and civil society to support public innovation efforts. The event is part of building an online collection of case studies that show and support co-creative approaches in politics and administration in the German speaking area.