The potential of [design] thinking – capturing simple observations about what’s been previously overlooked, and applying these in both efforts, to keep regulation relevant and to finesse tech-enabled invention – is by no means limited to the taxi cab. Rachel’s current interests go beyond any one New York City government agency or one policy issue. “More broadly,” she says, “bureaucrats face an exciting, if daunting challenge: they serve citizens who, these days, also happen to be tech-savvy consumers with high expectations of commercial services in other everyday life transactions. The bar’s been raised. It’s no longer enough to throw digital capabilities at an institutional mandate to deliver tech-mediated public services. Who’s missing? Designers with empathic skills. Our process for revealing what citizens want and need can help policy makers meet their goals and broker not only what’s technically feasible but also appropriate and desirable.”

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