Design the Future
January 19–20, 2016: Training
January 20–22, 2016: Conference
San Francisco, CA

The difficulties of driving design thinking in a large organization

Ben Terrett (Co-operative Group)
4:35pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Average rating: ***..
(3.88, 8 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

To understand this presentation, attendees need only to have been frustrated while using a digital service.


Design has never been more important. We know that design can help transform digital services and deliver real value, but too often designers don’t get heard in the boardroom. Ben Terrett tells the design story of the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), an organization that has been copied around the world, including in the US and Australia, and explains how user-centered design focused on user needs and delivery can bring about real change and still be respected in the boardroom.

Photo of Ben Terrett

Ben Terrett

Co-operative Group

Ben is Group Design Director at the Co-operative Group working to re-create the Co-op for a digital era, and demonstrate a different way of doing business for an increasingly connected community.

Ben is also a partner of Public Digital a consultancy which helps transform non-UK Governments and large organisations.

Ben holds a series of non-exec roles; a Governor of University of the Arts London, a member of the HS2 Design Pane and an advisor to the London Design Festival.

He co-founded the VC backed Newspaper Club exiting the business in 2015 with a sale. He is currently an investor in Bowndling and Cavendish Keble.

He’s won various industry awards including the Design Museum’s Design of the Year and a D&AD Black Pencil.

Ben was Director of Design at the Government Digital Service from 2011 until September 2015 where he led a multi-disciplinary design team working across government on GOV.UK.

He joined the Cabinet Office when GDS was set up to deliver the recommendations in Martha Lane Fox’s “Digital by Default” report. Prior to that he was Design Director at Wieden + Kennedy, the advertising agency.

Ben’s blog Noisy Decent Graphics, blog as a UAL Governor, photos on Flickr, Ben’s Twitter and Linkedin, the GDS Design Principles.

A video of Ben’s talk at the RSA ‘From Persuasion to Usability – Design Meets the Internet’ is below and here is an interview about design with Ben on Peter Day’s World of Business.