What is design leadership?

Design Leadership is a unique approach to leadership that will help you tackle today’s complex challenges by navigating ambiguity, collaborating across diversity, and maintaining momentum with optimism. In essence, design leadership is about leveraging the power of design to create value, drive innovation, and lead change within an organization.

What is human-centered design?

Everything we do when it comes to human-centered design starts with understanding people, their motivations, needs and how we can make their lives better in the future.

Why is design important for my work?

Design is a mindset and methodology that can serve you in approaching almost every topic, because it looks at people and their needs and wishes. It is a powerful tool to understanding root causes, connecting deeply with people, and creating solutions that are meaningful and therefore (usually more) successful.

What does a designer do?

A designer uses their creative skills and tools to solve problems. Designers are great at looking at the current state of the world and imagining a vivid vision of the future. They use a broad, multidisciplinary range of tools to conduct research that helps them undertsand both challenges and opportunities to change the status quo. They create idea concepts and build prototpyes to manifest their thinking and show it to the audience in question (be they customers, citizens or users) in order to collect their input and feedback to iteratively improve the concept.

What's the value of design in government?

Embedding design into government, enables government professionals to connect more deeply with the people they serve in order to more accurately identify complex challenges and solve them more effectively. Design has the power to drive change, have a positive impact and improve lives.


What is Design Gov?

Design Gov is a movement that connects people who serve, to the people they serve, elevating the design capabilities of the Dubai Government and embedding transformative mindsets and skills into the heart of how government works. Design Gov will enable us to understand, imagine and co-create more compelling solutions to complex social challenges together with the people of our city.

How is this Program different than the Design gov 2019 Program?

The ambition of Design Gov’s 2019 program was to establish an experiential learning program that delivered exceptional results in the domains of:

● Leadership development: Empowering leaders to embody design-driven transformation mindsets and skillsets, who ‘walk the talk’ in leading the change.

● Solution development: Delivering high-impact actionable projects to address complex challenges.

The ambition of the the refreshed 2024 Design Gov program, is to unlock the potential within leaders and build a community of change makers to drive and scale new ways of working across governmental entities.

It achieves this by expanding the transformative outcomes across the 3 domains; leadership and solution development as well as:

● Organizational development: Weaving relationships of trust and collaboration, to establish a network of changemakers and teams to drive transformative agendas.

What is the Lead & Design program

The Lead & Design Program is equally about personal transformation and leadership development as it is about design mindsets and solutions.
Through a mixture of bespoke coaching, immersions, and project-based learning, participants will: Ignite their Design Leadership journey by embracing and mastering the human-centered mindsets, design approaches, and storytelling skills.

Own their growth as a change agent equipped to tackle complex challenges and uplift the lives of people in Dubai.

Deepen their leadership mindsets through coaching and learning immersions Apply learnings and bridge insights into real-world impact through continuous peer coaching to drive progress and forward their mission challenges.

Lead collaborative innovation processes that create human-centered solutions for complex community challenges by experiencing an AI powered design sprint and prototyping solutions grounded in empathy.

What does Program Entail?

● Kick Off: In this half-day workshop we will launch the program in an inspiring and connecting way, while also establishing expectations about the program ahead.

● Leadership Immersion: In this intensive 1 week leadership immersion we ignite passionate Design-Driven Leaders and set them up to positively impact their organizations and themselves through Human-Centered approaches and mindsets.

● Road Test 1: In this 5 week part-time journey participants deepen their leadership mindsets during inspiration sessions and bridge insights into real-world impact through continuous peer coaching.

● Design Sprints: Participants will practice HCD skills by experiencing an AI-powered design sprint, and apply learnings to forward their missions and create a team plan of action for Road Test 2.

● Road Test 2: During Road Test 2, participants will speed up progress with their missions and will receive more hands-on design coaching.

● Closure and Integration: The final 3 days will close the program with participants sharing their missions and transformative journeys to the wider Design Gov community. We will also celebrate our time together and spend our time in extensive reflection.

Where will the learning program take place?

The majority of the program will take place in Dubai.
However, after Launch (a half day meet up in Dubai), the training will start with a one week long trip abroad, followed by a two one-weeks intensives based in Dubai with 10 virtual boosts in between each of the intensives (ie. 2 sessions per week for 5 weeks).

What are the Program dates?

The schedule includes:

6-days international trip: [City led by design in Europe (to be announced later)].
‍The Lead & Design Program will run from August - December  2024.

Where will the immersion take place?



Who is eligible to apply to this Program?

This Program is developed for participants who:      
● Are driven, motivated and passionate about their work.  

● Are life-long learners and actively seek opportunities to grow.  
● Are naturally curious and open to experimenting with different approaches to solving problems to transform things for the better for their  teams, organization and society.      
● View themselves as a changemaker or intrapreneur or have the ambition to become one.        

● Have at least 5 years of experience in the public sector (in government or government-owned entities).

● Have experience with leading a team, be it a small or large team.
● Are at a pivotal time in their career where this program could help accelerate their progress.

In order to make the role successful long term, we have certain basic criteria in place that potential candidate have to fulfill to be further invited to the detailed selection process.

These base criteria are:

● U.A.E. National.      
● Working for a government (or semi-government) entity.
● Average of 5-10 years of experience working in Government.    
● Having led, or are currently leading a team(s).
● Having a direct line to decision makers.      
● Fluent verbal and written English skills.

Why should I apply for this?

We strongly believe that the Design Gov movement and its programs bring many opportunities for professional and personal growth, all while serving the Emirate of Dubai in reaching the vision of pioneering Design-Driven Government and of becoming the world's most livable city globally.
The human-centered nature of the Program will connect you with all kinds of people in Dubai, which is both meaningful on a personal and professional level as well as being important to further shape the success of our city, Dubai.

Moreover, the Program emphasizes the personal transformation and development of leaders, by shifting mindsets and connecting with a community of peers through an experiential and transformative learning program.

How do I apply?

There are three stages for recruitment:

Stage [1] Application:

Part I: Start by filling out an application form, which includes multiple choice and short answer questions.

Part II: If you are selected to continue, you'll be invited to record a 90-second video interview segment, responding to specific prompts.

Stage [2] Interview:
If your application is successful, you'll be invited to a virtual 45-minute virtual interview. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you better and understand your fit for the program.

Stage [3] Group Assessment:
The final stage involves a group exercise designed to observe applicants' behavior and interpersonal dynamics. This assessment helps us in making the final cohort selection.

*Applicants that are not immediately selected will be either waitlisted or shortlisted for future programs or cohorts.

What are the video requirements for the application process?

For the video interview portion, you will be sent a series of prompts to respond to via recording a short video on our platform:

● Your video must be 90 seconds or less in length.

● Do not add effects / other footage from other sources to your video. Just include footage of you talking directly into the camera answering the question prompt. We are just looking to hear from you, and get to know you!

● It is recommended that the video is recorded on the computer camera. Please note that the video quality is not important – your content is!

I am not comfortable with recording something on the spot - what can I do?

We understand that recording yourself can be uncomfortable, and we have done our best to create a process that gives you as much comfort and flexibility as possible:

● The video interview will not ask you to record on the spot. You will have an unlimited number of times to get your recording right. Please take your time, and upload the version you are the happiest with.

● Remember that we're not looking for influencer-level content or master filming skills. This is simply a way for us to get to know you a bit better, as a complement to your written application.

● The video will not be shared or published anywhere publicly. It will be used purely for program recruitment and selection internally.

Can I fill in the application form gradually, and will my draft answers be saved?

Unfortunately, not. This application form does not support the automatic saving of your progress. It is essential that you complete the application in one sitting, as any entered information will not be stored if the session is interrupted or closed.

What does the application process look like and how long will it take?

Stage [1]: Submission of a written application.
Stage [2]: Recording  video Interview.
Stage [3]: Candidates who pass the initial screening will be invited to participate in a 30-minute virtual interview.

In the final round of participant selection, a group of candidates who have passed the second stage will be invited to join the group assessment round.

*Applications will be reviewed periodically.


Do I need a sponsor?

This program requires two levels of sponsorship, both a financial and time investment.

Financial sponsorship:
The application process is open to all interested professionals working in government or government-owned entities as per the Eligibility Requirements.

However, you will need a sponsor to enter the Program be it from within your entity (or other sources of sponsorship for select cases).

These can be discussed in more detail in later rounds of the recruitment process.

Time investment:
Should you be invited to join this program, it will be critical to your success that your direct line manager, senior leadership and HR team are in support of your joining the program. While the 14-week journey requires a significant investment of time and effort from you, it has also been designed to serve - not solely your personal and professional growth but also - your team and the strategic initiatives of the organization you work for.

How much does it cost, how long does it take,  what is included?

The program will cost 54,000 AED (excluding expenses such as travel related cost).

What is not included in the learning program tuition fee

Lodging, travel cost, and incidentals.

Who pays for it?

Your sponsor who not only supports you in growing and progressing in your career but also in terms of financial support.

What is the role of the sponsoring entity?

The Sponsor plays a vital role in supporting the participants participation in the program. Responsibilities include:

As an organization: Covering the full tuition of the program, including the costs of flights and any other associated expenses, ensuring the candidate can fully participate without financial barriers.

As management: Ensuring that there are no scheduling conflicts for the candidate, allowing them to attend the program without any work-related interruptions.

Actively supporting the participant's mission and objectives within the program. This includes providing guidance, mentorship, and resources as needed to help the participant successfully navigate and benefit from the program.

The sponsor’s involvement is crucial for the holistic development of the participant and the effective implementation of learned skills, strategies and projects within their teams and across their organization.

Any other questions? Please let us know:
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