dominic campbell

#21 The Local Government Designer

I met Dom Campbell on twitter eight years ago. We had a strong shared interest in wanting to change the world :) One of my very first service design projects was working with Dom and his team at Future Gov on ALISS. Fast forward to today and now Dom and Carrie lead a team of forty, with studios in London and Melbourne. I am a big fan of the work Future Gov do and applaud the impact they are having on public services as well as a wide range of social challenges. Their approach and work have been a consistent source of inspiration for Snook and I'm thrilled Dom is coming to Hyper Island to talk to the students about public service transformation and social innovation. Here's what he has to say... What's the biggest lesson you've learnt over the last year?

How to manage a growing company after taking investment. We’ve nearly doubled in size and opened an office in Australia in the past year. This has needed a lot of commitment from a lot of people to keep the show on the road and grow and succeed. At times it’s easy to lose focus on what really matters - your people and your team - when you’re focused on travelling around and winning new contracts. You just can’t afford to lose focus. Your team is everything.

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What’s your burning question of the moment?

Where does digital government go next? We’re at a bit of a cross roads where we have been doing this a while now (FG for 7 years, GDS for 5 and a whole host of others). We’re well on course to fix the basics, but with “austerity heavy” heading our way in the next 5 years, will public services open their doors to a way of creative disruption through digital and design, or freeze like rabbits in headlights and default back to old behaviours.

What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen / heard / read in last year?

As a Brummie, the highlight of my year was probably TEDxBrum. Not only did I get to pour my heart out to my home town, but I got to hear from all the amazing people pushing the city forward. There’s a real sense of energy and momentum in Birmingham right now, due in no small part to the amazing Immy Kaur. One to watch.

Oh and in terms of reads, read this.

What would be your one piece of advice to students on MA?

Go and get experience in a big company for a year or two, learn all the good and bad of working for those firms (process, structure, hard work - good and bad sides of both), apply your trade in one deep area (e.g. government or banking), get frustrated and either strike out on your own or work for a small business. It just works, trust me.

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