Last month at Co Prod, Snook invited conference attendees to explore our ‘Coproduction Crusade’ in search of a rigorous process. The title itself was tongue in cheek but we wanted to show real examples along a timeline of projects, skills, techniques and activities we had undertaken to suggest how design and coproduction can be done.

Using a designed board game, we led participants through different stages of the ‘coproduction process’. We produced ‘factoids’ outlining key issues affects communities.  Crime, health, employment were amongst the headers we used to think about how a community could co-produce solutions to solve social issues.

Inside the ‘co-design’ goody bags were key assets;  families, buildings, resources, teenagers, local businessmen etc. The challenge was solve the social issue through co-production focusing on the communities key assets.

This was an exercise in visualising how coproduction might look/be done.  It was also an exercise in participants being able to understand the small ‘d’ of design and the value of it.  Peter Gorb once said,

“People can’t understand the design process because they can’t see it.”

Perhaps this is the same with coproduction.  By using designed character cards, pathways on a board and visuals of areas participants in the crusade were able to SEE their process.  We captured it visually, in the form of a storyboard.  One participant discussed the power of the way we worked together:

“We talk and talk about this until we are blue in the face, but you have just brought to life a story around what we were discussing and made it tangible.  You could make an action plan out of that right now for a new project.”

One participant commented on the value of design;

“It’s all about visualisation and prototyping.  Those are the two things that set design apart from other disciplines.”

The day ended with David Boyle reminding the audience there is no silver bullet or magic pill for this stuff, we don’t have the answers but Snook does have a ‘co-production crusade’ that brings the process to life … hopefully a step in the right direction.