Civic Design Method

It has long been clear to me that an academic degree cannot or should not define me as a person. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same way.

For this reason, I have found myself in the strange but extremely passionate need to work on imaginaries that can help us define a new discipline, a new professional figure or new approaches useful for those of us who move on a daily basis with the desire to generate some kind of change or positive impact on society. This is how I have dedicated myself to give strength and meaning to the concepts of Civic Innovation and Civic Design.

These concepts fascinate me for their capacity to put on the same level and in the same field, imaginaries related to the politics and governance of a territory, to the professional and structured practices and also to the actions of any person interested in improving their territory.

After years of experiences and experiments, I have decided to focus more deeply on defining a general framework that can bring us closer to understanding Civic Design as a practice with its own method or at least with a recognisable form or approach.

This is how the Civic Design Method was born, understood as a collection of reflections, tools and methodologies with the capacity to programme and activate processes of Collective Intelligence with an impact on the Territory.

The Civic Design Method is structured around a continuous cycle generated by three essential actions: Doing, Thinking and Situating, where the order may vary as well as the starting point: at each turn the whole ecosystem is enriched with new inputs, people and objectives.

We understand that learning and improvements in any process can be produced through a theoretical process of research (thinking) but also through the process of execution or production itself (doing): situations or unforeseen conditions determine the need to act differently than planned, generating a discovery, a new learning. 

One of the essential elements of this method is strongly related to the introduction of the Located approach. An approach that emphasizes a cyclical process allows us to constantly re-position everything that has happened, achieved and learned to improve and adjust the steps that follow. In this way we are able to include in the process also a more external and global dimension. 

The method proposes a working structure with a circular and cyclical approach.

Circular because it allows you to start with any of the three tools and continue with the most preferred order.

Cyclical because once the three tools have been used, it is possible to start again with a new iteration that allows to take advantage of the findings and decisions taken previously during the first iteration with the three tools.

In order to make better use of the tools, it is also advisable to read the part of the glossary that allows those who approach this method to understand some of the dynamics or frames of reference that usually characterise collective processes, work with communities and the activation of collective intelligence.

Finally, it is worth specifying that the tools can be used individually or collectively. In the second case, it is essential to bear in mind that it is necessary to be accompanied by a facilitator. There is a strong advantage to using the tools collectively, which stems from the possibility of more quickly highlighting the different ways of interpreting the context and prioritisation. It helps a lot to highlight the most confusing and uncertain points. In this way, by working collectively, they can be used to find a first point of consensus on divergent visions more quickly, thus avoiding situations of open contrast and blockage due to a strong divergence between two or more actors involved.

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