SDGC15 Friday Afternoon Keynote 2 Nick de Leon





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Published on Nov 12, 2015

Head of Service Design | Royal College of Art

Dr Nick de Leon’s career has spanned the disciplines of design, business and digital technology at a senior executive level over three decades. He heads the department of Service Design at the Royal College of Art. This wholly postgraduate programme has rapidly become one of the most influential programmes of its kind globally. It undertakes projects for some of the world’s major corporations such as Samsung, Sainsbury’s and Fiat as well as working with the UK Government, including the Cabinet Office at Downing Street, the National Health Service and the Ministry of Justice. With around 50 experienced designers and 10 industry and government sponsored projects running at any time, it is one of Europe’s largest design studios dedicated to service design.

Prior to taking up his current position he was the Director of Design London. Design London was formed in 2007 following the Treasury’s Review, Creativity in Britain. It became the UK’s flagship centre for interdisciplinary design led innovation. Design London brought together the disciplines of design from the Royal College of Art, engineering from the Imperial College and the business of innovation from Imperial’s Business School.
He began his career as an industrial design engineer for IBM and over a 30 year career held a number of executive roles in IBM in product development, sales and marketing, including European Director of Marketing and heading up Business Development for its services division in Europe.
He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Imperial College London, a Masters degree from the Royal College of Art and a PhD on Innovation in Cities from Imperial College Business School. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Art and a visiting Fellow of Imperial College.

“Innovating Policy, Transforming Services”
How Service Design is helping governments create value for and with citizens, through better policy making and public service innovation.

At a time when public sector budgets are under increasing pressure, national and local governments are faced with an inexorable growth in demand for public service provision driven by both demographic and socio-cutural changes. This is creating an imperative not only for innovation in the way public services are delivered, but also in the development of policy and even reconsideration of the role of government in the provision of services.
The Royal College of Art is working at the forefront of public sector innovation with the UK Cabinet Office and central government departments in Health, Justice and the Environment, as well as with local government and city agencies. This involvement is not limited to the UK. The RCA Service Design Research team has helped with the set up of the Public Policy and Services Innovation Lab for the Chilean Government, Laboratorio Gobierno. The Lab was commissioned by the office of the President, Michelle Bachelet and the first policy and service innovation on health and social care integration went live recently. The health and social care integration project was by two members of our team, both from Chile.
Their work builds on work we’ve been doing for the UK Government and the Cabinet office and Department of Health and Ministry of Justice. The RCA Service Design department and its work with the Cabinet Office also features strongly in the UK best selling book, More Human, written by Prime Minister David Cameron’s policy advisor Steve Hilton.

In this session we will present our work in the UK and Internationally, and share our insights into the effectiveness and limitation of service design as a tool for policy development as well as public service provision.


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