How we work

Participants in Lab challenges and projects use a range of innovation tools and approaches.  To support each piece of work we create a safe and neutral space for each project that enables people to take a human centred rather than a system led approach. To embrace ambiguity, explore the issues with a beginner’s rather than an expert mindset and taking time to ensure we focus on the right questions and not what we assume them to be. Using a users’ (or citizens) perspective we explore many ideas that we prototype and test rather than jumping to solutions. The aim is to fail fast and early to create a more relevant and durable solutions.

Conditions & Behaviours of Co-Design illustration

Our criteria

While we believe that a co-design approach can be a great help, it does not mean it's always the right approach. When discussing potential projects with our partners we have two sets of criteria to guided our conversations. Firstly what is the nature of the problem we are trying to solve and secondly, what is it that they will offer that can help the project to be a success.

The majority of our work focuses on tackling complex problems that cross agency boundaries. They also align to the high level strategic agenda of both central government and Auckland Council. We also aim to focus on projects where there is an appetite and scope for radical or transformational, rather than incremental, change. 

Our challenge teams have secured senior support, to CE and Ministerial level, to explore system level innovation. Teams contribute resources in the form of relevant data, devoted people resources over a four month period and potentially other contributions. Crucially each challenge and project has included a willingness to take a human-centred approach combined with the courage and appetite to activate the case for change where the work demonstrates the potential for radically better outcomes and radically lower cost.

Challenge Criteria and Team/Partner Criteria illustrations