This is not a response to the Week 3 forum so I’m not sure exactly where to post it, but something caught my eye in the readings that I wanted to share. The “minimum viable product” pitch design is gaining traction not only in for-profit ventures, but also in government policy and academia as well. “Let’s not even think about marriage yet, let’s just move in together and I’ll decide in a couple of months if the relationship is working” echoed the design of Finland’s recent universal basic income pilot project in co-operation with Demos Helsinki (a Finnish think tank organization). The project wasn’t just a test in the viability of UBI, but also in “human-centric governance through experiments”. It was a design approach to government policy, whereby a project is quickly put together and tested on a smaller scale, constantly monitored, and edited as the experimentation continues. In short, it’s beta-testing of new initiatives.
The fourth stage of experimental design in government policy, courtesy of Demos Helsinki.
We do similar things in academia, too. Doctorate students design their research, run their experiments, and rush to publish their findings as quickly as they can, building on them and refining the experiment at a later time, in order to be the first one filling a specific knowledge gap and ensure further funding and interest. I am an outspoken advocate against competition in education, but believe this kind of design based approach is fantastic for ventures, for student collaboration, group projects, etc. It has the added bonus of taking a high-stakes evaluation and breaking it up into manageable, fixable sections, which is overall better for retention of the content.
(As a footnote, I’d also like to add that this kind of purposeful action is also one of the cornerstones of critical thinking, in case you needed more reasons to incorporate it in the classroom!)
Anyway, just wanted to share this connection in case anyone else is interested in design-based thinking. Here is the full report about experimental design for governance from Demos Helsinki: https://www.demoshelsinki.fi/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Design-for-Government-%E2%80%93-Governance-through-experiments.pdf