New Year Design Week

New Year Design Week is a set of 5 daily activities designed for working civic professionals (and really anyone who has a project to complete) to take a problem, and get closer day-by-day to betters results. After you sign up and start the Design week – it doesn’t need to be on a Monday – we will automatically email you the next day’s task every weekday.


We all have problems or projects we need to solve. Right now it’s getting to the end of the year, and our OKR’s, KPI’s, and project backlogs are piling up. You will for sure have more projects for 2022 to start and unfinished work to finish.

We’ll help you take a problem and give you structure to start 2022 with some quick wins. We’ve found that sometimes a little structure, some encouragement, a little bit of fear, and the ability to phone-a-friend is a great mixture to getting things done.

New Year Design Week is an email-based workshop program, that creates that structure (more of a benevolent forcing function); with a tempo to keep you and your team moving; all sorts of tools and inspiration to guide you; and you can always reach out to us for a consult. We like speaking to nice people.

You can go as fast as you and your team have the bandwidth to go, and you’ll get somewhere after 5 days. So it won’t waste your whole Q1. We hate wasting time.

We use people-centered design to help connect your innate knowledge of the subject matter, with people’s understanding of their own problems. You might have heard this described as user-centered design, human-centered design, and design thinking. We’re in that ballpark. 

Who should participate?

No matter your role in local government your day is about finding the most appropriate solutions. All are welcome and will find value whether your job description centers on policy, project management, delivery of local services, or are a civil or elected servant, this course will provide you the understanding of how to apply design methodologies on a daily basis.

We’ve designed this week for those with particular problems, tasks, or projects already in-progress to boost your work. 

We’ve designed the course to take 1-2 hours per day, and you can choose to do the days sequentially all in one week, or space them out. We won’t judge, and we know that things can go a little sideways at any moment.

What topics?

Do you have a particular problem or thing which you could use another way to tackle? Maybe it’s redesigning a form, or part of a service interaction, or maybe you want to redesign part of your org. We’ve used this process for all these topics (and others), the key is to keep it well defined and outcome-oriented. This isn’t going to be a huge change for you by design, but a stepping stone to greater impact.

Don’t worry: part of the prologue and Day 1 is helping you define the problem and the metrics for success.


Design Week Agenda

Day 1: Define & set metrics
Day 2: Research Prep
Day 3: Create a Prototype
Day 4: Learn
Day 5: Communicate & Extrapolate

Time budget

We suggest budgeting 1-2 hours per day, for a total of 8-12 hours. We think you might spend more time, but since this Design Week focuses on an existing problem or topic you have, then we think you will already be spending this time anyway. We don’t want to create any additional overhead, and have thought through the implementations of each day’s activities and tasks so there isn’t fluff.

The old adage is true though: the more you put in, the more you will get out of the Design Week.


The professional fee and cost for this is $0.

That’s right – zero.

We put this Design Week together because we’ve seen it work for a range of clients, and we believe that public sector professionals are the best. We love you.

We want to give back.

We also know that both parties will gain value here: we want you to be successful, and we'd love to see what you’ve completed during your design week.

Of course, we would love to work with you and your team on a full time basis, doing projects like the Listening Room, or the People’s Festival, or Local Wisdom; however, we know that budgets continue be tight and would rather find new ways of helping than not helpingg at all.

Our 2022 business plan includes us spending time prototyping new ways of working, collaborating, and finding impact. This is prototype 1 for 2022.


Who are you?

Hi. My name is Randy, I’m a design and innovation consultant at Expedition Works (you are here) where I specialize in solving hard and complex problems for people in elegant, and hopefully simpler ways. Depending on the problem need, this might look like user and customer experience design, product and interaction design, service design, strategy, or environments design. I've worked for public sector clients worldwide from Akron, OH and 7 other cities, to the Los Angeles i-Team, to Bloomberg Philanthropies, to AARP, to the Swedish Energy Agency, to the NYC Civic Engagement Commission. I believe in the power of the public sector, and believe that civic practitioners need a bit of help.

I used to work at IDEO for 12-ish years, and now I've been doing this for 13-ish months. I'd like to work with you, too.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me here:



If you are interested in beginning your New Year Design Week challenge, then please fill out the form below. We will send you your introductory email in the coming weeks (before the holidays) with everything you need to start. Then, when you are ready, you can hit the button and start next year. You are under no obligation to continue on, again the Design week is free of charge, and we will not sell your name, email, or PII (that’s just rude).

Hi. Expedition Works is a design consultancy (and a small-business!), where we design new services and businesses, new environments, new ways to engage with residents, and we conduct independent research.

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Expedition Works, LLC; New York.

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