Giving Compass' Take:

• Co-creation invites the relevant stakeholders of a program - the people it is intended to help - to the design table to build a program that will work for them.

• How can organizations and policymakers use this method to provide better, more efficient services? Why isn't this method standard practice? What barriers exist? 

• Learn how listening to absent parents led to a more effective child support structure.

Eric Gordon is a professor in the department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, where he is the founding executive director of the Engagement Lab.  Eric studies the use of media and technology to facilitate democratic process in the US and abroad.

Jennifer Bradley:  What does co-creation mean to you?

Eric Gordon:  Co-creation is a method of design.  It is an intervention into traditional methods where a designer would enter into a situation and get some input and eventually design for a group of people, a community, or a set of venues.  Co-creation attempts to change or alter that power dynamic and bring those who were traditionally designed forinto the fold so that they can participate in the act of creation and design themselves.

JB:  How do you use, or apply it in your own work?

EG:  Every aspect of my work is informed by co-design.  Every single one of the Engagement Lab’s projects begins with the partner.  If it is a project that we are doing with a municipality, designing a technology or a tool together with that municipality, we will go directly to stakeholders and users to inform the process and the ultimate output.

Read the full interview with Eric Gordon on co-creation by Jennifer Bradley at The Aspen Institute