I’m often brainstorming ideas around exactly that, the $100 million question. I’ve started to get more active in my own local government (Cambridge, MA) by volunteering in its participatory budgeting process. Simultaneous with this article, I prepared a toolkit for getting started with HCD in government (http://www.publicsectortoolkit.com/) that I made available to some folks interested in the idea here in Cambridge. Hopefully that provides a bite-sized serving of what this human-centeredness stuff is all about, and ideally will lead to a project in which we can really demonstrate its potential.
The notion that I can bring about change as a citizen, rather than an employee of the public sector, has become more and more important to me. I personally think it’s kind of weird that one would have to make a career in the bureaucracy or elected office to effect change. So rather than seek out a role in an innovation lab or become a municipal employee, I continue to look for opportunities to be involved outside of just elections or single-issue-based advocacy.
But I’m all ears, and I’d love nothing more to collaborate on possible answers to your question. I wonder about it a lot as a result of writing this, and I’d be delighted most of all to learn that this started a conversation. My own ambition doesn’t go beyond serving as another voice in a chorus of other like-minded people who believe that we need to question some very deeply held assumptions. I’ve been hesitant over the years to get more involved politically simply because I never really found that tribe of folks who sought answers to the questions I thought were the most interesting or relevant. But I learn about more and more of those people all the time. I’d love to work together to identify the best next steps, so let me know! Thank for the response!