Smart D8 Strategy Research & Workshop
Workshop Design & Facilitation | Smart D8
Smart D8 is a smart district and urban demonstrator to address health and wellbeing challenges with citizens and service providers in the Dublin 8 district. The initiative works through matchmaking use cases with technologies — with the aim to scale locally, nationally and internationally.
The Smart D8 consortium is led by The Digital Hub, St James’s Hospital, Dublin City Council and Smart Dublin, together with the Guinness Enterprise Centre, HSE Digital Transformation, Tyndall National Institute, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity College Dublin Research & Innovation, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, National College of Art & Design, and Health Innovation Hub Ireland. This ‘whole society’ approach offers a special opportunity to address multifaceted health challenges by demonstrating new forms of collaboration while piloting new digital technologies on our doorstep.
Following two years of success and 8 impactful and scalable pilots, the consortium of organisations earlier this year agreed to embark on a further two-year journey, and we were asked to assist in defining their strategy for the coming programme through the application of strategic design.
Our goals included finding answers to several open questions for the group, to source ideas for the forthcoming programme, but also to foster alignment between the partners and a commitment to continuing collaboration.
Prior to the workshop, we conducted 14 interviews with 17 Smart D8 stakeholders from 9 different organisations. These interviews were guided half-hour conversations, exploring the past, present and potential futures for Smart D8 from their perspective.
From these interviews, we identified 5 key themes and supporting insights for presentation to the consortium. These themes became the inspiration for our co-creation workshop with the partners.
The workshop used bespoke Design Thinking exercises to:
Exercises included a combination of group and individual work, and care was given to ensure each group was made up of a diverse mix of stakeholders bringing unique perspectives. Every step of the way the work was facilitated by our team.
The outputs of this workshop were then further synthesised into themes and suggested actions which we proposed to the consortium based on the input of the partners.
Since the workshop, Smart D8 has been building on insights, particularly as they related to internal and external communications. Through successful fulfilment of a new role of Enterprise and Learning Coordinator, Smart D8 has significantly increased capacity in the enterprise and learning domains, as well as community engagement. Smart D8 is also developing specific capabilities through the Ecosystem Manager role with the support of SFI ADAPT Research Centre and Dublin City Council for an engaged research framework.
Smart D8 continues to expand its scale and scope as an innovation district and urban demonstrator. Following their latest open call in March 2023, Smart D8 has selected four new pilot projects across the domains of menopause, physical rehabilitation, exercise and sleep apnea, and was subsequently featured in The Irish Times.
“Context Studio offered a great capacity to shine a light on the novel opportunities within the Smart D8 consortium. Their team synthesised the discussions and insights into clear themes and actionable recommendations that not only aligned with our goals, but also showcased the depth of their strategic insights and the careful consideration given to every aspect of our ongoing initiative. I wholeheartedly recommend Context Studio to any organisation seeking to catalyse innovation, collaboration, and transformative change.”
– Jack Lehane, Smart D8 Ecosystem Manager