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Design in the public sector: An interactive map by Nesta

A growing number of governments and public sector organisations have been turning to design as a new approach to help them solve complex challenges and improve the way they work. Through the creation of an interactive map, Nesta and Paris-based lab La 27e Région provide a snapshot of the sector and demonstrates the wide mix of players involved.

From specialised units in central governments to small teams in local regions, the map features almost 140 organisations working in the field of design and the public sector, in Europe and beyond.


  • The map features 42 active local authorities working in this area (cities, counties, etc) and 3 public institutions, along with 22 organisations operating at national government level.
  • On the service supply side, it has 33 specialist agencies focused on design in the public sector.
  • There are 19 associations, think and do-tanks, foundations or initiatives of general interest.
  • Worldwide, the map features 17 design schools and educational organisations applying design to the public sector.
Snaphot of the interactive map from the web. Source: Nesta.

How to use the map

  • The organisations are sorted by six different categories: governments, public institutions, local authorities, schools, private agencies, associations of general interest.
  • Each organisation is presented with its name, location, date of creation, link to the website, and details of activities and design projects.
  • You can browse the content in several different ways: through the map, by creation date on the timeline, or through the directory of all the organisations.
  • You can help build the map by submitting the details of any new actors or organisations you think should be featured, clicking the ‘˜Propose a new organisation‘ button.

The map has been developed as part of Design for Europe, a three-year EU-funded programme to support design-driven innovation across the continent.

  • Visit the interactive map here.