New toolkit for adopting a platform mindset and culture

In Danish Design Centre, where I have the pleasure of working as Director of Digital & Future Thinking, we have been working with the United Nations' Development program (UNDP) during the last year to experiment with redesigning international development work for the "Sustainable Development Goals era".

Concretely we have been working with a handful of UNDP country offices around the the Europe/Asia region - as well as the region's head office in Istanbul - to co-develop a mindset and a series of experiments around what became dubbed 'a platform-way-of-working'. In other words, trying to test out how the UNDP and its peers can design platforms that connect the vast knowledge and multiple stakeholders needed to secure long-term collaboration and solutions that create true impact. The goal being to have the UNDP move from a conventional project-oriented approach to a design-driven mindset, embracing a more diverse set of stakeholders in its decision-making processes.

UNDP country office leads working on platform-mindset strategies for their respective countries - as part of a grand workshop in Istanbul.

In Ukraine, for example, this collaboration has assisted the UNDP in establishing a digital marketplace for services and resources available to homeowners and homeowners’ associations to boost energy efficiency in residential buildings. In order to set up this platform, UNDP is mobilising the expertise of both traditional and non-traditional actors like construction companies, energy efficient solutions suppliers, homeowners’ associations and residents (individuals). By activating these networks, the UNDP will be able to help identify better development solutions that reflect the genuine needs of stakeholders and begin to bridge investment gaps.

Design-toolkit for transforming organisations towards a platform-way-of-working - available freely under a Creative Commons license. Download link below.

Alongside such concrete outcomes, the whole process has been compiled into a platform-way-of-working toolkit, which is publicly available under a Creative Commons license for anyone to use. It contains the design-tools (and files), a series of strategic "primers" and a collection of use cases from the UNDP-ecosystem. Find the toolkit here.

In addition, I've written up a Medium article together with Danish Design Centre's CEO, Christian Bason in which we sum up some of the learnings from the work so far.

(I would love to hear from anyone picking up these tools and using them in other contexts.)

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