No droppers or white coats needed here: the public service innovation LAB of the region Champagne-Ardenne is first and foremost a place where councilors and civil servants can now come together to exchange views and invent new ways of managing the Champagne-Ardenne région or carry out public policies.
To break from the conventional layout of a meeting room, from its board and screen, touse other work methods in order to bring the citizen back at thecenterof Regional policies.A place to meetdifferently, tothink differently…
The LAB is first a friendly place, with workspaces specifically designed to host exhibitions and emulate creativity. But the LAB is above all a method inspired by Design. Going back to the sources of the problem, making WITH users and not only FOR them, putting the solutions to the test before developing them, mixing the teams to multiply points of view … Since 2010, councilors and civil servants put this into practice, working on youth-oriented policies. 4 years of a work « on the margins » that led to their natural conclusion today: building a public services innovation LAB within the Regional Council.
« Society is evolving. Technology has changed the way we relate to the world. Lifestyles and people’s perception of time have changed. Public action needs to adapt. Questioning our procedures or our daily management is not easy. However, the Regional Council chose to question the efficiency of its policies in Champagne-Ardenne, because we are convinced that nowadays innovation requires co-conception. « Jean-Paul Bachy.
In Champagne-Ardenne, this experimental approach began in 2010, in partnership with the association “the 27th Region”, which explores new ways of improving the creation and implementation of public policies. Our starting point: youth-orientated policies, or how to evaluate and improve them WITH youth people. We worked with local actors (community arts centers and youth clubs, organizations for empowerment education…) to meet young people where they live. We held out-of-ordinary meetings called « Youth meets Region » that allowed the participants to help improve the regional LycéO Card, develop a specific smartphone application (Supercapps) and discuss big issues such as mobility problems and career choices, etc … a real immersion in youth issues to better meet their needs.
Already experimented in Northern Europe and nationally recognized by Marylise Lebranchu (Minister for Decentralization and the Civil Service) when she visited Champagne-Ardenne in February 2014, this movement for the modernization of administration is slowly taking root in France (La Fabrique de l’Hospitalité in Strasbourg, a laboratory in PACA, La Fabrique Prospective in the Pays de Loire region…). Soon, perhaps we’ll have a government laboratory, just like in Denmark, or maybe a European laboratory? Talks are underway. Clearly, the methods stemming from human and social sciences, service design and social innovation have much to contribute to the administration and the public policies. We need to make room for experience, and not only for expertise. Listening, meeting and connecting people, going on the field, feeling the pulse of our territory and its inhabitants, in order to be able to improve public policies that affect them.
This is the program of the LAB for the next few months !