Understanding the provenance and promise of government policy
Great policy analysts see policy in its correct historical context. Too much policy innovation in Australia is a ‘false dawn’ – a new idea about to prove itself oversold in its home country, grabbed with both hands and implemented here before the report card is in. It is essential, before getting to excited by a plausible new policy idea, to understand if it is noise or signal. Knowledge Society provides policy advice to governments and helps organisations respond to changing policy contexts.
Knowledge Society, with its strong grounding in economics, history and the evolution of public policy, is forearmed and forewarned. We track global movements in economic and social policy and see the ones with enduring merit that deserve to be incorporated sensibly into the Australian policy playbook. We see long-term and are thoughtful about which policy solutions are realistic given the social forces and technological change underway.
We work in multiple policy domains, including education (school education, vocational education training and higher education), innovation and the future of work health, welfare, community, and urban development. To each of these domains we bring a deep curiosity and healthy skepticism combined with the optimism that there are better policy prescriptions that can improve services and outcomes. If your organisation seeks expertise in policy reform, evaluation, system and program design or economic analysis, get in touch.
‘Knowledge Society thinks deeply about the long-term implications of social and economic trends and the policy responses that might be required. They know the data, but are wise and imaginative about how things will play out, so you are getting the best of both worlds. It’s a rare combination.’
To understand the problem, we go beyond received wisdom
Before planning or proposing anything, we seek to gain a thorough strategic, philosophic, historic and economic understanding of your problem or opportunity. There’s no use trying to change how your staff behave, for example, if their incentives are wrong; and there’s no point creating a strategy that is destined to repeat mistakes that have been made before. Our multidisciplinary team of economists, strategists and designers can help you return to first principles to discern a way forward.
We seek empirical knowledge and learn from the evidence
Knowledge Society curates the most useful knowledge in your domain or industry, building connections with global experts and immersing ourselves in your context. We aim high, bringing our clients face-to-face with the global frontier in their sector or discipline so that they can look to the best and aspire to match their standards.
We understand the human side of things by gaining empathy
Secondary analysis is not enough. To create meaningful solutions that actually work, we use design thinking to gain a deep understanding of the needs and motivations of your customers, users, staff or stakeholders. We use empathetic research techniques to dive into the lived experience of the people who matter, uncovering insights that inspire human-centred solutions.
We design a solution that fits
Using what we have learned about your context, problem and people, we create a fit-for-purpose solution. Our method and scope depends on your circumstances. We might help you create something new – a service, product, initiative or business – or help you renew your organisation by redesigning its internal elements, helping staff build new skills or making sure major changes are managed properly.
We remove the risk from our work through testing
Implementing solutions or new ideas without testing the assumptions on which they are based is a high-risk approach to creating value. We make ideas tangible as quickly and cheaply as possible so that users and customers can experience and interact with them. What we learn from these interactions shapes more effective, desirable, feasible and viable solutions. Through this process, we name and solve disagreements and eliminate ambiguity, resulting in consulting ‘deliverables’ that stick and have value.
We execute our work and improve on it
Knowledge Society is a full-service consultancy, which means we don’t just help you create a strategy, we implement it, too. Working alongside your people, in your location, we can help you execute your change initiative or launch your design solution, continuing to improve it as we go and helping you stay true to the original purpose of the work – even if things change along the way.