Policy Lab process is a new black in Thai society. However, policy makers and the government started to pay attention to policy lab and policy innovation. Thailand Future Foundation was a part of Policy Lab activity which is one of the activities by PPCIL. The activity was initiated for the first time by National Innovation Agency (NIA), Thammasat University, NIDA Business School, and Event 9 Marketing. The main purpose of this activity is to encourage 50 innovative leaders from both private and public sector to work together to create “Policy Innovation” and apply it in real life.
Thailand Future Foundation introduces a Policy Lab Workshop. There are 5 procedures. First, diagnoses is searching and identifying policy issues. Secondly, discovery is to understand citizens thoroughly. Thirdly, development is creating new ideas or Ideation. Forth, delivery is creating policy innovation prototype. Lastly, demonstration is to carry out trial on citizens and spread the policy.
The activity starts from diagnosis process in order to look for and diagnose problems. Pitching competition will be held to search for interesting policy, problem, and innovation. Participants will form a team according to their interests and start brainstorming hope and fear about various policies for issues. They will also analyze policy landscape which includes people, system and context of the issue. As a result, they will acknowledge target audience, stakeholders, beneficiary, opponents, relationship system, laws, rules, and related context which will be the starting point of making policy innovation.
For discovery process, we will understand citizens thoroughly. Discovery process includes Zoom Out and Zoom In. “Zoom Out” is searching insight from system thinking of policy problem in each leader group. Zoom out is to search for in-depth information from research, analysis, statistics, surveys and information from experts. After that, Zoom In is to search for in-depth viewpoint of target group. This process is similar to design thinking because policy makers have to listen and understand citizen’s voice and create citizen empathy map. Thorough listening process adopts Theory U model from Otto Scharmer which includes 4 listening levels. First, I-in-Me level or Downloading is repeating the same old patterns of knowledge that we knew before. Second, I-in-It level or Factual Listening is paying more attention to what the speaker said and looking for something new. Third, I-in-You level or Empathetic Listening is using your heart to listen, being empathy and trying not to judge what the speaker said. Forth, I-in-Now level or I-in-Us which is Generative Listening is the highest, most informative level of listening. Individual can gain a connection with the best future that they can; an emerging and developing future, or possible futures.
Discovery process in Policy Lab helps policy makers to see a big picture through Zoom Out process and see insight from Zoom In process. Policy makers will recognize in-depth information to create policy innovation that will serve citizens’ needs.
Development process is creating new ideas and followed by delivery process, creating prototype for policy innovation. Lastly, demonstration process is experimenting with citizens and illustrating policy to them. Policy innovation process using policy lab procedure applies design thinking to know what citizens think. However, design thinking is not sufficient so it is important to analyze policy landscape to understand the system, people and context better. All in all, we should consider proper process according to different contexts when we carry out policy lab procedure. We should consider that each organization is unique.
Moreover, cooperation between the private and public sector is the most essential thing to enhance co-creation and creative policy for society and community. Personnel and staff will learn and work together systematically under policy lab procedure. It will advance their skills and potential because change and disruption happen fast. Therefore, everyone should cooperate and create new ideas and policies to solve and deal with the upcoming problems efficiently.