A brief reflection on the current shifts in my personal life and career
Last week, I celebrated an intense year at FutureEverything. I’m taking this chance to share some changes that are taking place in my life now, one of which is that I will be leaving in August.
There are times in life where a combination of factors align to define opportunities that one cannot refuse. It feels like the right time for a change and to move on. I am also about to ride the most intense roller coaster that anyone can ride — I will be a dad soon. Meanwhile, I also landed a bit of a dream job back in Portugal. So when the stars align…
Speaking of roller coasters, my experience at FutureEverything has been remarkable regarding professional and personal growth. The last year has been particularly challenging. I have had many moments of learning and hopefully I was also able to disseminate some of my knowledge within my team. Even if the experiences I have had were satisfying but equally frustrating at times, it has helped me become both the person and professional I am today.
The people I would like to thank…
I am grateful to literally everyone at FutureEverything. However, I am particularly thankful to Drew Hemment and Tom Rowlands for giving me opportunity to join the first in-house Service Design team at the company, while helping shape the organisation in this pivotal moment.
I cannot write this post without leaving a special message to someone who totally deserves it: Vimla Devi Appadoo. She is FutureEverything’s Service Designer and Community Manager and my partner in crime. Vim has inspired me so much. We shared so many painful and rewarding moments that what we have built together will always be one of the main reasons I hold dear my time at FutureEverything. Also, to be fair the work of the design team would not have been possible without the cohesion, structure and sharp pragmatism of our programme manager, Feimatta Conteh. High five, Miss Conteh!
I have also had many people outside FutureEverything who have encouraged me to pursue the values I believe in and supported me through thin and thick. You definitely know who you are and how grateful I am for your advice and friendship. Thank you.
Projects that I am proud to have been a part of
Here are some of the projects I was involved as Design Lead at FutureEverything bellow:
CityVerve—Shaping the UK’s IoT Smart City Demonstrator
CityVerve is the UK’s IoT Smart City Demonstrator, a large scale project that aims to make Manchester a world leader in ‘Smart City’ and ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) technology. By incorporating a Human-Centred design approach, we helped define the future outcomes to be aligned to the circumstances, needs and aspirations of local people. My team brought community voices into CityVerve to shape the redesign of Manchester as a Smart City — no other smart city initiative (that at least I am aware of) is facilitating this dialogue at such scale. It gave me a sense of achievement to facilitate and influence the relationship between project stakeholders, namely local government, technology corporates and Manchester citizens — the latter being the voice we tried to empower.
Shaping the development of the GROW Observatory
The GROW Observatory is a European-wide project engaging a national community of growers, scientists and people who are passionate about the land. GROW is mobilising people across Europe to capture data and develop new knowledge on growing, soil and land, and to solve a major challenge for space science by helping to validate soil moisture data for the latest generation of European Space Agency satellites and this way help inform climate change policy.
Our role in the project is helping to shape the GROW platform. A digital hub of open knowledge and data created and maintained by growers that will be of value to the citizens themselves as well as specialist communities in science, policy and industry.
FAULT LINES — a talent development and commissioning programme
Designed and developed by FutureEverything, FAULT LINES is a programme that will support the creation of new works by artists which contribute to the dialogue between technology, innovation, culture and society. It’s vision is to support artists to develop art practice in technology innovation, while creating new opportunities and commissions to the artists involved.
The programme is encouraging work across art forms and sectors, exploring specifically how artists can have an impact on innovation in the technology sector.
Commissioned by CityVerve , “every thing every time” was the first outcome from FutureEverything talent development programme. This new artwork by Naho Matsuda, took information from citizen’s interactions within the city to tell a new story about the people and the places of Manchester.
As it can be easily observed the diversity and idiosyncrasy of work at FutureEverything is huge. I am delighted and feel privileged that I had the chance to contribute to all of them.
Joining the LabX
I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining LabX as Service Designer in September.
The Portuguese Government is embedding an experimentation culture and mindset inside the public administration. To achieve that has created LabX, which is a pilot project to innovate the public sector. The aim is to generate ideas, design and test new solutions that improve public services and the daily life of citizens and organisations within the public administration.
I have been following the evolution of this project closely since it was announced publicly. So having the opportunity to join this new team which is being created is a no-brainer.
This means that my focus and energy will be in helping to develop better public services in Portugal and public sector innovation work of the Portuguese Government. I am really excited and looking forward to work with the great team that the Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA — Agência para a Modernização Administrativa) is putting together .
It will be the very first service design team ever created within Portuguese public administration.
If you want to learn more about LabX, please check this presentation done in the Service Design in Government 2017 conference by Paulo Malta. Or stay tuned on this blog for the next months as I plan to share more about my new role and experiences in Lisbon further down the line.
What moving back to Portugal means to me?
As said I will be a dad soon. Hooray! Having and raising a family in a familiar culture and background follows the plans that Ana (my wife) and I had for us. Being the first kid means that we will need all support and guidance from our nuclear family and friends. Moreover, two babies were recently born in the family. So, we are also looking forward to contributing to the growth of the clan later this year. The cute babies in the picture (they are way cuter than the emojis) will definitely appreciate another cousin to support them in the art of trouble making.
These reasons added to the opportunity at LabX make me feel really excited about what the future will bring. As an optimistic, I always think the best is yet to come.