My Last Day at Groundwork UK

Leaving Groundwork UK's offices for the last time
Leaving Groundwork UK’s offices this evening for the last time. As you can see from this picture, the weather wasn’t kind to me.

Today is not just any other Wednesday for me. Today is my last day at Groundwork UK, the environmental charity I have been working for on a fixed term basis this past year.

Leaving is Hard to Do 

As anyone who has ever left a job will tell you, the process of leaving throws up a mixture of feelings. Overall, however, I am pleased with my year at Groundwork UK and proud of the contribution I have made in my capacity as in-house lead on all things Innovation and Collaboration. And, just as importantly, I am excited about the possibilities which lie ahead of me as I start a new phase of my career.

I am in the process of writing case studies to illustrate the difference I made at Groundwork UK and to pull out wider learning points. I hope to share these on my website over the coming weeks.

On to the Next One

So what’s next, then? Currently, my plan is to balance freelance work for socially minded organisations with having the time and space to develop and implement my own projects.

I remain passionately committed to using my wide-ranging skills, knowledge and experience to help organisations and citizens develop innovative solutions to complex social challenges. In particular, I hope to draw on my expertise in public policy, social innovation and digital technology to help people achieve change.

I am also looking forward to once again having the chance to work on independently developed projects. I am proud of Roots of Reggae, the intergenerational project I developed whilst living in London. Over the next year I want to make time in my working life to develop similarly worthwhile and enjoyable projects alongside my freelance roles.

Thanks for reading. I will keep you posted as to how I am getting on. As ever, please feel free to get in touch should you wish to hire my services or discuss an opportunity to work together.

Governance International Guest Post: The Case for Design in Public Services

Using design techniques to involve users in developing solutions to social challenges
Using design techniques to involve service users in developing solutions to social challenges. Photo by Francis Clarke, taken at thinkpublic public service workshop

I am pleased to be able to tell you more about the guest blog post I was recently asked to write, which is now live on over on the Governance International website.

Governance International is a non-profit organisation which helps agencies to achieve outcomes for citizens through excellence in public governance. You can find out more about Governance International by visiting their website and by following them on Twitter, @govint_org

What Can Design Offer Public Services?

In my post I expand upon my call last month for design culture and  techniques to be embraced by those beyond the creative industries in order to tackle the major social challenges we are facing. The post is particularly aimed at public service decision-makers but is also relevant to anyone interested in social change.

Drawing on examples from my experience of leading design-led service transformation projects across the public sector, I show design techniques provide an authentic means of involving citizens and service users in the process of change. This helps ensure solutions are rooted in people’s experiences and expectations. I also make the case for design as a structured and cost-effective framework for generating, testing and developing new ideas, thus reducing our over-reliance on limited case study evidence for interventions.

Get In Touch

Please get in touch if you would like to comment on any aspect of the post. You can either comment  below or on Twitter @francisclarke.

 I am also very happy to discuss any ideas you might have for projects or how you can hire my services: 

Email: francis@francisclarke.co.uk

Mobile: 07749374339

Twitter: @francisclarke

The Case for Design in a Nutshell (or rather a Bike Shed)

My bicycle locked to the 'upgraded' cycle facilities (note the bike now sticks out beyond the shed)
My bicycle locked to the ‘upgraded’ cycle facilities (note my bike now sticks out beyond the shed) Photo: Francis Clarke

Latest News

I’ve just written a guest post for another website, expanding on my call last month for design culture and  techniques to be embraced by those beyond the creative industries in order to tackle the major  social challenges we are facingI can’t say much more about it right now but I will be sure to share a link to the article as soon as it is published. 

As I was writing the guest post I came across a minor example of why anyone with an interest in making a positive difference in the world should keep an open mind about design. At the time I shared my thoughts on Twitter and received a modicum of interest so I thought I would write about it here.

Continue reading “The Case for Design in a Nutshell (or rather a Bike Shed)”

Marriage and Other Happenings

View of Central Park and New York City skyline.
View of Central Park and New York City skyline.

As I sit down to write this post it is a Friday afternoon, the sun is shining and the first May bank holiday weekend is almost in sight. For these reasons, I’ll keep this post nice and short.

Visitors to the site may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet, with no new blog posts since my last one on design culture, which I published in March. I’ve also taken a break from Twitter and have only slowly been getting back into the swing of things this week.

The reason for the temporary hiatus is that I have recently got married and, in the run-up to the big day and then the honeymoon my focus has elsewhere. I’m pleased to say everything went smoothly and my wife Sarah and I, along with our family and friends, had a wonderful day at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth. After getting married we spent just over a week in New York. I’m pleased to report that whilst New York is no Birmingham it is still definitely worth a visit. To prove it, here is another pic:

The iconic Nathan's Hot Dog concession in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
By the seaside: the iconic Nathan’s Hot Dog concession in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York

I’m happy to report that married life is agreeing with me and the return to reality this week hasn’t proven too hard going. Looking ahead to the summer, I am excited about the changes I am making in my professional life. After a challenging yet enjoyable year at Groundwork UK I am returning to my freelance work next month. Please do get in touch with me to discuss how you can hire my services and the ways I can help you develop innovative solutions to the challenges you face.