Building flexible spaces to support creativity and innovation in the public sector in São Paulo

As part of inovaDay, IntoActions also offered a four-hour workshop for staff members from Fundap, the Foundation for Administrative Development of São Paulo, as well as from the Planning Department of the State of São Paulo.

During a hands-on introductory activity, participants worked in pairs sharing with each other their most recent experience in using a government service. The objective of this activity was to apply and practice user interviews as a way to gain empathy for regular citizens who are using a variety of government services. The activity was based on a popular exercise originally developed and used at the at Stanford University.

This activity was followed by a guided reflection about the fundamental dimensions of the innovation process: a creative space that defines desired learning and behaviors; a human-centered, iterative and collaborative problem-solving process, such as design thinking; and mindsets that are crucial for creativity, such as building a lot of low-resolution prototypes without always trying to be perfect. We have learned that in order to strengthen the innovation capacity across teams and organizations and have a lasting impact, one must start first with the mindsets that support those objectives.