“Crucial for societal impact is that all stakeholders have a say.”
“Co-design is inherently collaborative. To achieve societal impact, all stakeholders are needed. Only when all different perspectives are represented can you achieve meaningful design opportunities,” says Wina Smeenk, Professor in Societal Impact Design. She wrote “The Co-Design Canvas,” a proven tool to start openly and transparently, plan, execute and evaluate collaborations around societal challenges with different stakeholders.
“If we want ideas from socially engaged residents to take effect, it can only be done through good collaboration with other stakeholders,” Wina says. “The Co-Design Canvas is a tool for governments, citizens, businesses, nonprofit organizations, knowledge institutions and other stakeholders to communicate and collaborate transparently. It clarifies and discusses differences in interests, knowledge, experience and power relations, dwells on desired positive impact and concrete results from the beginning, and ensures that everyone’s voice is truly heard.”
The Canvas consists of eight cards about co-design decisions that can be placed together. “Together with the stakeholders you navigate through the cards flexibly,” Wina explains. “You can take different routes through the Canvas. Sometimes you have to backtrack. It’s revisiting decisions and thinking ahead.” But crucial above all is that everyone has a say, Wina believes. “If people can really bring in their interests and feel that their interests are served by the portfolio of collaborative projects then you see people put their shoulders to it and give it all their enthusiasm. Then something beautiful is created.”
“If we want ideas from socially engaged residents to take effect, it can only be done through good collaboration with other stakeholders.”