Design Thinking x Public Policy (August 2015)


Products and services cost less, perform better and deliver more impactful results when consciously designed with input from the end user. This seemingly simple truth has taken hold within the corporate sector, with design firms like IDEO incorporating human-centred design principles into everything from a redesign of pharmacy counters to the classroom cafeteria experience. But what about the sector that touches the greatest number of lives most frequently? 

Developed in conjunction with Service Design Toronto, my talk on "Redesigning Democracy" focused upon the ways in which the service design community could have a positive impact within the public policy space. 

 

Cyberspace and citizen surveillance (October 2013 - April 2014)

Everything from personal banking to our social interactions has acquired a digital component over the past two decades, producing vast amounts of data and raising pressing questions surrounding citizen rights and responsibilities in the digital domain. How can national security priorities be balanced with personal freedoms and protections online? 

In light of the Snowden revelations, I embarked upon research on government transparency, citizen rights and online surveillance with a professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which produced 'Augmenting State Secrets: Obama's Information Wars' for the Yale Journal of International Affairs.

 

Transitional Justice in Timor-Leste (May - August 2013)

The Centre for Global Research, housed within the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, is a leading force in examining the relationship between local developments and global trends pertaining to political science, economics and sociology. As a research assistant I contributed to the research and writing of a report detailing the range of activities undertaken by international organizations, governments, and civil society actors in regards to transitional justice processes in Timor-Leste.

 

Academic Research

BETTER POSITIONED TO ACT: A SERIES OF BEST PRACTICES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR KNOWLEDGE OUTREACH AND CIFAR 2.0 (SEPTEMBER 2013 - APRIL 2014) 

At no point in our history have we had access to the amount of information now available at the click of a button or the tap of a touchscreen. Amidst this deluge of data, the need for quality, authoritative research is required to help inform and shape public policy, discussion and debate. How can leading research organizations ensure that their findings make their way into the hands of those best equipped to implement change? 

As part of an 8-month consulting project through my graduate studies, I was Involved in creating a "best practices" report to determine the most innovative means with which to disseminate CIFAR's research to drive long-term systems change. 

 

OCCUPY WALL STREET RESEARCH (SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER 2013)

While much of the mainstream media focused upon Occupy's physical presence in camps and city streets across the United States, an equally fascinating movement was developing online, with Occupy protestors coordinating, communicating and collaborating through online mediums such as message boards and Twitter. Do hashtags and avatars represent an integral new element to social movements and mass demonstrations? And if so, how are citizen rights protected in the newly-created digital public square? 

 

A REPORT ON GOVERNMENT-LED INNOVATION EFFORTS (2013)

With the impacts of the global financial crisis continuing to be felt around the world, governments are increasingly interested in fostering innovation to drive economic growth. Government involvement, once limited to providing tax incentives and R&D investments to promising sectors and firms, has now expanded to include the development of "innovation hubs."  Are the investments worthwhile? What type of role can government play in fostering innovation? 

These questions led me to undertake a comparative analysis of the government-led innovation efforts in the United Kingdom ("Tech City") and the United States (National Network for Manufacturing Innovation), which revealed both new opportunities for government investment in fostering economic innovation while flagging a number of concerns in current approaches.  

 

A CLIMATE OF CONFLICT: AN ANALYSIS OF THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS (2010)

The human and fiscal costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq following 9/11 were well documented by the mainstream media. A cost less frequently covered was that on the environment - from fighter jet fuel to depleted uranium shells, the impact of military operations is far-reaching and longstanding...