RCA GROUP: BIANCA BENVENUTO, DANI SOTO, KAREN ROZENBAUM, NATALIA CARRASCO
MY ROLE: STRATEGIC SERVICE DESIGNER (STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS, RESEARCH, INTERVIEWS, OVERALL STRATEGY), PROJECT MANAGER (CONTACTING STAKEHOLDERS), CREATIVE THINKER (FLUXONOMY 4D MATRIX, matrix of power), VIDEO EDITOR
As part of BEGIN (BEGIN - Blue Green Infrastructures through Social Innovation) project, we were approached at the RCA to understand the community around Broomfield park, in Enfield, and deliver a proposal to build resilience.
With a Service Design mindset and tools, we did an immersion with the local Friends Group, interviews with members of the Council and users of the park, to identify the social capital, their assets and stakeholders.
To begin to understand the key players of such an extensive project, I developed a stakeholder map (image below). And to validated it, we did a workshop with a member of the Council, were I led the conversation and facilitation process.
After that, we interviewed the key players to understand their needs and concerns and using The Matrix of Power I could map out the main influencers in terms of influence and and power. By also introducing a new tool I learn from the Fluxonomy 4D, we were able not only to consider the physical and capital aspects of the park and the Local Authority but also the social and community values.
It was our understanding, then, that if we wanted to engage a broader public to take responsibility of the park, it was necessary, first, to create a sense of ownership and channels, both physical and digital, for them to contribute. Also, a new common vision and roles between the main stakeholders — the Council and the Friends Group — needed to be establish.
We managed to do a prototype with the park users, through Urban activation activities, to learn who they are and what motivates them. Furthermore, we created a new manifesto for the Friends Group (which I gathered the recordings and edited) to increase their visibility, and a workshop with diverse departments from the Council to rethink their expectations and define new roles. The responses from all groups were very positive.
Our proposal was to develop a new organisation for social innovation around parks, Open Park, to help city planners and local groups to lead this transformative process, engaging a broader community, encouraging them to take action through open challenges around the park.
Moreover, through a series of workshops with the Council and the Friends Group, we could align expectations and redesign their goals to, then, be able to connect with other skilled shareholders and attract new volunteers.
“I feel your work is most relevant to the BEGIN challenges. Your project maintained a higher theoretical understanding of social innovation throughout the project and you were also connected to your stakeholders.”
—John Makepeace, Research Associate/BEGIN project
“Huge congratulations, it’s an explendid piece of work. I think back over the last 5 years, 2nd term work, I don’t think I’ve seen anything better, so really strong piece! We’ve talked about stakeholder analysis and yours it's just in the right level, so many congratulations on that.”
—Dr. Nick de Leon, Head of Service Design, RCA