International Design in Government Conference

stylised globe animation highlighting different locations

In 2017, the Government Digital Service established a community of international designers working in, for and with governments across the world.

The international design in government community has grown to over 650 members from over 47 countries over the past year. The community has developed online via the mailing list, Slack and monthly calls.

But strong communities are built through meeting in person, so we’re running a conference. We can’t wait to meet everyone face-to-face, exchange ideas, create connections, and find opportunities for collaboration.


July 17/18

On July 16 One Team Gov Global will also be running an event. More details on this can be found in the agenda below.


Mary Ward House Conference Centre
5 – 7 Tavistock Place
London, WC1H 9SN
United Kingdom

+ other venues around central London!

Cost – it’s free!

The International Design in Government Conference is free to attend. However attendees (including presenters) will need to cover all expenses including accomodation, travel, food and drinks.

There will be afternoon coffee and tea on 17 July, however no other refreshments will be provided at the International Design in Government Conference.

Read the code of conduct


July 16
One Team Gov Global Unconference

The One Team Gov movement started in May 2017. It's a movement about public sector reform to collectively create more effective government. The one day unconference will bring together 700 people from across the world who are passionate about building better public services to improve people’s lives.

This is a separate event from the International Design in Government Conference. Remember to sign up for a ticket.

July 17
International Design in Government Conference Day 1

09:30 Arrival and check-in
10:00 Welcome and introduction, Lou Downe, head of design for UK government
10:15 Keynote 1: Lauri Lugna, Secretary General, Ministry of the Interior, Estonia
10:45 Keynote 2: Hefen Wong, Deputy Director, Co-Lab - ‎Ministry of Manpower, Singapore
11:15 Keynote 3: Chris Govias, Chief of Design, Canadian Digital Service, Canada
12:00 Breakout sessions 1 and 2 (workshops and talks)
13:10 Lunch break
14:00 Workshops
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Panel discussion
16:30 Closing remarks

Breakout session 1

Option 1 – Usable, understandable and responsible: designing government services that are fit for the future

Rachel Coldicutt, CEO, Doteveryone, UK | @rachelcoldicutt

Option 2 – A four-part accessible design strategy

Alistair Duggin, Head of Accessibility, Government Digital Service, UK | @dugboticus

Option 3 – Being a Multiplier: Why Government Designers Need to Do Less & Lead More

Michelle Thong, Service Innovation Lead, City of San Jose, USA | @michellethong

Option 4 – Setting up a government-wide UX movement: lessons learnt

Edo Plantinga, co-initiator of the Gebruiker Centraal community / Entrepreneur, The Netherlands | @edoplantinga and Victor Zuydweg, co-initiator of the Gebruiker Centraal community / Interaction designer at ICTU, The Netherlands | @VZuydweg

Option 5 – The Service Design Cycle

Vimla Appadoo, Service Designer, FutureGov (Previously, Service Designer, Department for Work and Pensions), UK | @ThatGirlVim

Option 6 – Breaking the Cycle: Creating change in government organizations when they don’t want to change

Rachel Kroft, Senior User Researcher and Strategist at CivicActions, USA | @kroft1

Option 7 – Putting 55 million vulnerable Americans first: user-centered policymaking at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Ivana Ng, Senior Product Manager, Nava Public Benefit Corporation, USA | @ngivana and Mari Miyachi, Engineering Lead, Nava Public Benefit Corporation, USA

Breakout session 2

Option 1 - Designing for a safer Scotland

Jane Reid, Lead user researcher, Disclosure Scotland, UK | @janereid73 and Stephanie Holland, User researcher, Disclosure Scotland, UK | @HollandSteph_

Option 2 - Scaling Design Methods in Government: Insights from Leading 20 HCD Workshops across an Agency

Arianne Miller, Managing Director, The Lab at OPM, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, USA | @aheienmiller @LABopm and Matthew Ford, Deputy Chief Customer Officer, Office of Customer Experience, U.S. General Services Administration, USA | @matthewdford

Option 3 - How the UX maturity score can help you

Margot Lagendijk, Consultant Communication Research at the Dutch Ministry of General Affairs, Action team member of Gebruiker Centraal, The Netherlands and Charlotte van Lijnden, Usability Analyst, UX designer at the Dutch Ministry of Justice, Action team member of Gebruiker Centraal, The Netherlands | @mlagendijk

Option 4 - Making things Better... Without a Mandate

Beth Fox, Service Designer, Province of Nova Scotia, Canada | @firebethfox

Option 5 - User-centered innovation on the ground: field notes from the challenge of tackling complex problems through design in Argentina

Pablo Fernández Vallejo, Service Designer, Argentinian Government Laboratory, Ministry of Modernisation (LabGobAr, Ministerio de Modernización), Argentina | @pablitofv

Option 6 - Designing for Disaster Recovery

Laura Kadamus, U.S. Digital Service, USA | @laurakadamus


Option 1 - A design inspired cross-ministerial collaboration model to impact trust building and policy making

Fang-Jui Chang, Service Designer, PDIS (Public Digital Innovation Space), Taiwan | @FangJuiChang, Joungmin Yoo, Royal College of Art alum, UK/Taiwan and Shuyang Lin, Co-founder, PDIS (Public Digital Innovation Space), Taiwan | @shuyanglin

Option 2 - Outcome-based service mapping

Marie Cheung, Service designer, Department for Work and Pensions, UK | @mariecheungsays

Option 3 - Passion and patience - making service design work in a world of silos

Ingvild Sundby, Head of design, Program of digitalization, city of Oslo, Norway | @Ingvild_S

Option 4 - Visual metaphors of #govdesign work

Richard Hylerstedt, Unit for Idea Development and Innovation, City of Helsingborg, Sweden | @RchrdHy

Option 5 - Designing Infographics

Vosnier Cambeses Polanco, Web designer at the Council of the EU, Belgium | @vosnier

Option 6- Exploring social service patterns

Genevieve Gaudet, Xena Ni, Sneha Pai, Designers, Nava Public Benefit Corporation, USA | @genevievegau @msknee @snehapie

Option 7 - Get started with design thinking in government

Maike Klip, Lead user researcher, Education Executive Agency (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs), The Netherlands


We’ve booked space at the The Marquis Cornwallis pub. Join us for drinks, chats, and some food. The address is 31 Marchmont Street, London, Greater London, WC1N 1AP.

July 18
International Design in Government Conference Day 2

Morning workshops, 9:00–12:00

Various locations around London

Option 1 Policy Lab – How can we use design to tackle complex government policy problems?
Option 2 HM Revenue & Customs – Content strategy as part of service design in government
Option 3 Government Digital Service – From regulation to service – exploring service implications and ways of implementing an EU directive
Option 4 Snook – Developing shareable strategies for inclusive design
Option 5 Ministry of Justice – Policy design on the inside

Option 6 Transport for London – The city as a journey
Option 7 Citizens Advice – Co-designing solutions for real-world assisted digital challenges

Afternoon workshops, 14:00–17:00

Various locations around London

Option 1 FutureGov – Establishing human centred design and agile thinking inside public sector organisations
Option 2 Home Office and Inland, Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) – Mapping immigration – Co-creating an overview of global immigration work

Option 3 Parliamentary Digital Service – Journeys when you don’t have journeys

Option 4 Government Digital Service and Digital Transformation Team, Italian Government – Building Design Systems for Government

Option 5 Department for Work and Pensions – A policy design challenge: How might we reduce loneliness in society?
Option 6 NHS Digital – “It’s only design, no-one’s going to die... right?”

Gov Design London meetup, 18:00–20:30

Government Digital Service, 10 Whitechapel High St, London E1 8QS.

Let’s come back together to wrap up the conference. We’ll be hosting a public Gov Design London Meetup at the Government Digital Service with talks from the international community members.

Gov Design London aims to connect designers working in, for, or with government to exchange knowledge, share experiences, and support each other. The organisers are excited to have an international themed meetup during the International Design in Government Conference.

More info on this Meetup

How do I get a ticket?

In order to get a ticket to the conference you must be a member of the international design in government community. A link to Eventbrite will be circulated to the community and tickets will be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis.

Apply to join the community.

Convince your boss 🙏

Here is a letter to help you get approval to attend the conference.

Copy the justification letter from Google Drive.

Partner organisations



There are many airports to fly into:

Getting to London

From the airports you can take a train, bus or taxi into the city.

Airport guides on getting into central London:

Where to stay


If you’re attending One Team Gov Global too, you might want to stay near Westminster:


Here are some neighbourhoods to stay in that are close to the conference venue. All are easy to get to the venue by bus, tube, bike or taxi.

How to get around

Use Citymapper for planning how to get around the city.

Use the London Underground - also called the tube! Use contactless payment, buy a ticket for the day, or buy an Oyster card for £5 and top it up as needed. Underground stations no longer have staffed ticket offices, so you can only buy an Oyster card at the airport or certain bigger stations. There are electronic ticket machines at all stations.

Bus - London buses are well connected and really easy to use. Use contactless payment (or an Oyster card) to use the bus. No cash is accepted!

Santander Bikes - Hire a bike from £2. There are lots of bike stations around the city and the system is really easy to use.


Find step-free journeys on the Transport for London website.

All London buses are wheelchair accessible with automatic ramps and designated wheelchair spaces.

Is there anything we can do to enable you to be able to fully participate in this conference? If so, contact




Other questions

I’m arriving the night before everything starts. What’s going on the evening of July 15?

There might be something organised by One Team Gov Global, but nothing has been planned yet.

I'd like to stay and work remotely the rest of the week. Where can I work?

Find out who else is attending

Join the #intl-conference channel on Slack.

Need to get in touch?

Email the community -

Email the organisers -

Get in touch with other people attending on Slack - #intl-conference