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NOW: Participatory initiatives to understand user needs, align decisions, and co-design.

June 2022

Participatory processes are essential to involve people in the organizations, keeping their commitment and contribution alive, and the first step is to share points of view on the current needs and problems. It will be necessary to respond to complex questions such as:

  • How to facilitate a dialogue between the various stakeholder visions to reach a consensus on priorities?
  • What is the appropriate strategy for users and professionals to co-design?
  • How to bring together the expertise of a group of specialists to generate new knowledge?
  • Can greater autonomy be promoted in the management of their health?

Promoting collective action

Co-creation and participation are on the agenda of all companies and organizations. Citizens-customers-users are moving from a position in which they can only say yes or no, to one in which their empowerment grows little by little and ends up being decisive. The latest generation of successful companies, beyond the talent of their entrepreneurs, cannot be explained without understanding the involvement of users. The students of the Boston campus gave life to Facebook, the customers themselves make Tesla’s advertising, and the associates of Kaiser Permanente are unconditional because of KP’s active listening to its community.

NOW method diagram: participatory processes.

NOW Formula

The NOW method allows for the definition of multiple variants of participatory processes and in all of them, the key is to achieve the involvement and commitment of users, through a careful design of all the details:

  • Planning. Delimit the objectives, and contents and establish the format of the participatory process. Identify the people who should participate throughout the process and foresee how participation will be communicated and managed. Determine the technological tools best suited to the needs.
  • Testing. The design is completed when one or more rounds are conducted to test the design, validate content, and process with experts and/or users.
  • Execution. All resources must be foreseen to carry out the process as it has been definitively established after testing.
  • Exploitation. Share the analysis of the results and contributions collected throughout the participatory process.


The NOW method has been applied in a wide range of cases:

  • Innovation and generation of new knowledge.
  • Shared decisions in project management.
  • Scenario prediction.
  • Alignment for the creation, validation, and follow-up of strategic plans.

At the end of a NOW, teams will be ready to start imagining the future and create possible-desirable scenarios with the NEXT method.

More about NOW



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Josep Monguet Fierro

Josep Monguet Fierro

Professor at the UPC. Founder of “Onsanity” and “innex”. Experience in digital healthcare innovation. Research coordinator of “Master Barcelona Design” UPC-UB.