Sophia is a Demos Associate. She has a specific interest in service design – looking at ways in which public services such as education and health can be designed from the user outwards.
As an active member of the research team at Demos, Sophia has recently worked with a range of central and local government organisations, to help them think about how to build an infrastructure of services that are genuinely personalised, and how to create a culture that puts user engagement and co-design at its heart. Recent partners have included the Department for Education and Skills, the Care Services Improvement Partnership (sponsored by the Department of Health), Care 21 (part of the Scottish Executive), the National College for School Leadership, Kent County Council, Manchester City Council, and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Sophia provides regular advice to a range of government departments and NDPBs on public service reform. She also works with other consultancies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Bath Consultancy Group and Engine. She is also now working part-time with Kent County Council, where she is setting up a laboratory for social innovation.
Until October 2006, Sophia was deputy director at Demos. Before joining Demos in 2003, Sophia was Development Manager with the Design Council’s learning programme, which used design-based participatory methodologies to engage with practitioners and policy makers. Sophia has also worked as a civil servant at the Women and Equality Unit, where her projects included the consultation Equality and Diversity: making it happen and the development and bringing to fruition of the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act.
Sophia is author of Unlocking Innovation: why citizens hold the key to public service reform (Demos, 2007), The Journey to the Interface: how public service design can connect users to reform (Demos, 2006), Strong Foundations: why schools must be built upon learning (DfES/Demos, forthcoming), The Other Glass Ceiling: the domestic politics of parenting (Demos, 2006), and Disablism: how to tackle the last prejudice (Demos, 2004).
A new approach is needed to tackle on-going discrimination against disabled people: one that coherently leverages positive change as it emerges in society, rather than relying on legislation.
For too long debates about family life and work/life balance have focused on what families look like, rather than asking a more challenging set of questions about what families are for and why they matter. This report suggests a range of measures by which families could help themselves.
Drawing on the principles and practices of the emerging discipline of ‘service design’, this pamphlet argues that the common challenge which all service organisations face is how to create more intimate and responsive relationships with their users and customers.
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