Process 1: A theme to deepen our focus


As part of a team of 3 service designers, I have landed in this project after the co-design crew (young people and public servants) conducted a first round of research with users and practitioners from Falkirk Council to identify the Barriers and Enablers to the project’s vision and what the project’s vision looks like in practice. In practice, our project’s vision looks like a young person feeling loved and in a relationship with the corporate parent that is reciprocal. At this moment, the richness of findings generated from the first round of research had to be explored to deepen the focus of the project.

Our first session with the Co-Design crew was aimed at looking at all the barriers and enablers identified during the first round of research, using the Octopus clustering technique from the book “This is Service Design Doing”, introduced to the participants in the beginning of the project. As a result of this activity, the co-design crew identified three key themes to take forward in this project:

  • Healing Trauma (now renamed ‘Nurturing The Workforce’)
  • Being Yourself at Work
  • Humanising the System

The members of the co-design crew were invited to choose the theme with which they would like to work more in-depth and three working groups were formed. Each group had one service designer assigned based on our individual motivations to work with the themes. It was interesting to note how organic and fast was the formation of the groups.

Our first session ended with each group naming and describing their theme. The following two sessions were spent refining our theme’s definition, planning and preparing for further fieldwork to deepen our knowledge of this particular theme. During these sessions, all groups debated and chose who and where in the Council to engage with.

Our agreed definition of Being Yourself At Work, in the context of this project, is as follows: Being Yourself At Work means working differently supported by the organisation, and having a corporate family through love and relationships, not blood. This theme is about (i) being professional and caring at work, and (ii) recognising that each young person needs different approaches to meet their needs fully and move forward.