Hello, co-design community

Teamwork Photo by Zak Sakata on Unsplash

29th September 2020 was a really fun day for me because I attended the first meeting of a co-design community.

The idea came from Janet Hughes, Delivery Director working on farming and countryside at Defra (The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). It wasn’t entirely a coincidence that I was there, because I’m currently working at Defra, too.

66 people joined the co-design meeting

We told people about the meeting on Twitter, and were thrilled that 66 people managed to find time to turn up. I really didn’t know how we’d manage to get through everyone introducing themselves within the hour available, but this was a committed team and managed to tell us their names and why they joined the meetup within less than 25 minutes.

Massively over-excited: 66 people turned up for our little co-design meetup! Academics, food and farming experts, designers, policy people, local gov, central gov…. A more brilliant, energised, diverse and collaborative group you’d be hard pressed to find. Love it 🙂 🙂 :)” Janet Hughes on Twitter

We crowdsourced a co-designed definition of co-design

Janet led us in a speedy collaborative exercise to:

  • silently and individually add our own short definitions of co-design to an online page
  • read all the definitions and group them

She then named the groups as:

  1. Genuine partnership, right from the start, with a full range of people
  2. Share power
  3. Design together to meet needs, set and achieve outcomes and define and solve problems
  4. Think long-term and comprehensive

We’re having a Slack channel and more meetings

Janet announced that we’d have a Slack channel to continue the conversation. Please join us using this link to the co-design community.

We also expect to have more meetings – about monthly – which we’ll announce in our Slack channel and on Twitter.