What is #LiveDesigning or Versioning?

The reason for #livedesigning the #AVA2016 platform & related social conversations is that like most living things, it does not necessarily have a "Final" or "Published" form. This is common with many digital platforms and will be the same with digital governance. Changes are "pushed" live as improvements are made via an ongoing collaborative design process. As #ThoughtLeadership tied to #SocialLab experiments & real world data trends, relevant "election cycles" will emerge: some decisions and turnover in representation will be made in shorter cycles, like days or months, whereas other cycles will be more responsibly handled in 5, 10 or even 25 year increments.

Regardless of the amount of time a particular process takes, being able to talk about a "live" design, frequently referred to as versioning in tech, is a chance to set realistic expectations about what a design/creative (vs. reactive) process looks like. Thanks to technology, our political systems can now behave more responsively to our needs (does anyone believe the "DMV experience" can be improved?) but that can only happen if we become excellent teachers and communicators about the experiences we're managing & how those experiences connect to the big picture of governance.

The early phase of almost any creative process is messy and imperfect. A lot of times, folks feel like they've got to hold their cards close to their chests or emerging ideas will get crushed before they even have a chance to grow. It will take a comprehensive communications strategy in order for change-makers to get comfortable with announcing, "Hey! We're naked & unashamed: in the discovery phase of the next version of a live design," knowing that citizen stakeholders comprehend a common design language and can be patient and supportive when required. That means publishing progress live to promote a sense of accountability and security comes with citizen responsibility. If work is in rough draft phase don't be a tool: you don't know where a creative process is going to lead anymore than the people in the thick of one, so it's important we know how to be polite, engage in constructive criticism that asks helpful questions at the right time, and offers to clear obstacles so people can focus.

Figuring out how to communicate with one another productively is a major objective of the Sanctuary pod. It feels awful to find out *after* the fact that something you said or posted was hurtful or harmful, but had you known a particular idea was in its infancy vs. ready to ship, you might not have jumped all over it, prematurely concerned for example, about legal and investor relations, when the poor guy was merely sharing a sketch.

Collaborative design & creative environments have a very different energy than competitive ones. There's an intimacy & trust implied when trying out a new bit, riff or design for a select audience that understands that not every design risk will "work" or "read" or "play..." Sometimes the best processes are about generating a bunch of options, then editing them down. Other processes may work in the reverse. Regardless, we can reference lots of "failing fast" methods, from versioning technology sites & apps to improvising sketch comedy, where experimental ideas get incubated, to see how concepts stack up against metrics that are often also being designed & evaluated at the same time. Then we make judgment calls and choices, knowing we'll modify what we're working on based upon our findings, tracking incremental results & evaluating at predetermined milestones. 

This allows for organized segments of time & resources to be allocated for for open flow and creative time as well as brass tacks delivery modes.

Working with talented #ThoughtLeaders and designers in every discipline is essential to redesigning a governance that functions not only in light of today's technologies but that is prepared to version right alongside progress in every sector, but We The People aren't necessarily trained in collaborative, #designthinking processes. It's imperative that this happens, or else the gaps governance will continue to be managed by non-elected people and organizations by default.