Design Thinking in the Canadian Public Sector: an exploration of suitability for problem solving in policy development through the use of an interdisciplinary design thinking workshop.

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Isaac-Saper, Renee Levana




The Canadian federal government is in search of processes and approaches to address mounting complex challenges in the public sector. Design thinking is an approach that has been used lately in many Canadian government departments to facilitate innovation. Yet, academic literature about design thinking in the Canadian context of policy development is sparse. Research conducted in this thesis furthers new thinking in this area. A design thinking workshop based on a collaborative interdisciplinary approach was used to gain insights into the potential barriers and benefits of design thinking in the Canadian public sector.

Experienced designers and public sector experts were invited to participate in a policy design challenge. The findings revealed potential alternative solutions requiring increased interdisciplinary collaboration among government policy makers and design practitioners, incorporating experienced designers into the policy process and using results to bolster academic literature. Keywords: design thinking, policy making, innovation, Canadian public sector, interdisciplinary collaboration


Design and Decorative Arts




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Design: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Industrial Design

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Theses and Dissertations

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