Cork County Council’s Service Design team “Service rePublic” led by Julianne Coughlan invited 20 citizens to discuss the future of government, forms of participation and public service delivery on 26th of February, 2018, in the framework of the Future of Government citizen workshop. Participants were citizens active in public participation networks, representatives of citizen organizations, as well as less politically engaged citizens; and they were between 15 and 85 years old!
Julianne Coughlan opened the workshop by showing different perspectives of what government could mean to each individual: from democracy to public services to people’s personal or social lives, as well as differing between local, regional and national level. Based on this input, the participants came up with three topics to dive into: public services, citizen participation and democracy as well as education.
The participants discussed these topics separately on three tables facilitated by Simon O’Rafferty, Design Researcher at Environmental Protection Agency Irleand, Shane Waring, Designer at Dublin City Council Beta and Eckhard Stoermer, EU Policy Lab.
Initially, the participants developed a map of topics and actors that describes current relationships between the individual and the government. Then they looked at the future, defining a picture of the future and generating a future persona storyboard. The future public service story imagines a single digital gateway of future micro-chipped citizens who gets every public service actively delivered. Public data is openly accessible. The participation story describes an isolated person who lives alone and is connected with services only digitally. But, because of her socially active persona, she becomes an active critical thinking leader that pushes the development of a smarter future. The education story is about a better secondary education that helps finding the right future development path and selecting the courses at the college. The student funding scheme is delivered proactively. All of the discussions were lively and very rich and creative.
Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council thanked the participants for their contributions and engagement and highlighted the importance of rethinking public services for Cork County Council and the key role of public participation for the future.