It is important to ask, therefore, if current design schools are preparing their students for such a future challenge. One might even question whether any change is necessary, given that the value of design thinking is precisely the way in which its professionals have been spontaneously tackling any challenge, long before this debate arose, in the most varied fields of action. What has been demonstrated is that when people with professional design experience are included in any team, and design processes and methods are employed, the results allow to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This is very useful in the business environment, but it can be decisive when applied to politics and to the great challenges of our society.
Does this mean that design policy is a job opportunity for design courses or a possible evolution in the profile of experienced professionals? My opinion is yes, and very broadly so. On the one hand, those known as policy makers (people who generate policies, i.e., elected officials, civil servants and technical departments) are increasingly relying on design professionals to find solutions, either by seeking consultative advice or by forming part of teams. A close example is the recently created Consell Local del Disseny de la ciutat de València. The term “policy design” has been used since at least the 1980s, although it is not identified with a specific professional profile. In recent years, so-called policy labs, multidisciplinary teams to support decision-makers by providing innovative solutions based on empirical research and using design methods and processes, have begun to proliferate around the world.