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Evaluation is Key: Reflecting on Authentic Co-Design in 2022



In our line of work, we are always preaching the value of looking back and reflecting on what went well and what went…not quite as well. But like anyone we often get caught up in new work and move forward without evaluating past projects and implementing the learnings going forward (or formally implementing them at least).


As we approach the end of 2022, we thought it was our turn to do the same and share not only what this year has looked like for Authentic Co-Design but also our plans for 2023.


A shift in how we do business

Authentic Co-Design is a collective of three consultants; Max Hardy, Susan Carter and Anthony Boxshall. We formed in the thick of Melbourne’s COVID lock downs with a goal to create a codified guide to co-design that is authentic and produces meaningful results.

And we did! We produced both an introductory and full self-paced course on Authentic Co-Design and an 80+ page guidebook to go with it. Training and improving co-design practices is what we are passionate about, and although we love working on projects with you – our biggest success is giving you the skills, tips and tricks to deliver great co-design work yourself!

This means that next year we’ll be focusing more on training/mentoring and less on consulting on projects as Authentic Co-Design. Of course, you can still work with us as individual consultants or approach us, and we’ll find you the right fit. We believe in the tools and skills that co-design offers and hope to support you to use these tools for their own projects, using our resources for guidance.

We’ll be building on our course offering in 2023 to include more interactive templates that help guide you through leading an authentic co-design process.


Highlights of the Year

This year we have helped teams from across the globe build their co-design capabilities. We have also had people from a wide range of backgrounds work through our self-paced courses (with us only needing to send a “couple” of reminder emails) including urban planners, environmental regulators, health professionals, climate adaptation strategists, creators of student experience, infrastructure project managers, transport planners, place-makers, policy creators, and engagement professionals.

Plus, we have worked on some pretty exciting capability building projects across the world that it would be a shame not to highlight. They include:

  • Co-designing curriculum with rural surgeons for future rural surgeons in Australia, which you can read more about here!!

  • Helping Local Government in Victoria get ready to co-design with communities to build resilience to climate change via the Resilient Communities Project run by SECCCA (the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance) and funded by the Minderoo Foundation.

  • Building co-design capability with Canadian mental health researchers launching an important new research and health delivery capability tackling PTSD in veterans.

  • Working with a large energy provider to help to start their journey towards co-designing a more renewable future.

  • Building co-design capability with tier one Universities, especially to create better student experience by building on student voice.

  • Writing a book chapter about co-design for the upcoming Edward Elgar Publishing book: Public Participation in Impact Assessment Handbook. Look out for it in 2023!

The Top Five Blogs for the Year

In no order, these are the five blogs that most of our co-design community (you!) read and re-read over the year:

We wish you all a wonderful summer break and hope you come back refreshed for 2023! If you are looking to build some skills over the break (or plan ahead for use in 2023), we have 20% off the courses when you use the code 20off2022 until 1st January 2023. See you all next year!

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