WRITTEN ON January 15th, 2008 BY William Heath AND STORED IN Uncategorized

IdealGov and thinkpublic invite you to MindtheGap, with a new competition which will ease frustration, unleash creativity and express collectively how public services could be better. I hope that MindtheGap will make real the IdealGov theme of Wibbipedia (collection of “wouldn’t it be better if…”s). Meanwhile Debs at thinkpublic is working on TheRealWorkExperience, a project to attract design graduates into public services work where – heaven knows – they are sorely needed. Hence the collaboration.

Details below, but the basic idea is you observe a public service, describe how it could be better, help construct a Wibbipedia and create a culture of better designed public services and win a few prizes along the way.

Tell your friends! Tell anyone who ever complains about a public service! Tell anyone who ever has an idea about how a public service could be better! Do take part, and enjoy. We look forward to hearing from you.

UPDATE: the entry form is here.


We all want good public services. When we get them we can say thank you. When we’re disappointed we should say “wouldn’t it be better if…?”

So together with thinkpublic Ideal Government invites everyone to help design better public services in a new competition called “Mind the Gap”. It’s open to anyone who wants to express their desire for better public services.

“Mind the Gap” is a collaboration between thinkpublic’s ‘Real work experience’ programme for design graduates and Ideal Government’s “Wibbipedia” philosophy of collecting ideas about how public services could be better.

Who can enter?

This is for anyone who uses public services and feels they can express how they could be better. All you have to do is describe a public service exactly as it is, and then describe just how good it could be.
This can be with words or illustration – whatever medium works best. Kable and thinkpublic people can enter but can’t win prizes.

How do I enter?

1. Describe plainly and accurately a positive or negative experience you have had with a public service. It could be when you visited the doctor, used public transport or the local library, got taxed, waited in a call-centre queue, got arrested or applied for asylum for example. Share this experience in some way, using a photograph, words, illustration or whatever medium best conveys it.

2. Say “Wouldn’t it be better if…” Then design, draw, make, write or film how you think this service should be.

3. Send it in!

Mail mindthegap[at]therealworkexperience.com
or post it to
The Real Work Experience ”Ideal Government” competition
c/o thinkpublic
5 Calvert Ave
London, E2 7JP
Entries will appear on TheRealworkExperience and IdealGovernment
Judges from thinkpublic and Ideal Government will select a monthly winner. We’ll work out some goodies for prizes as we go along. All winning and commended ideas will be collected and credited in a “Wibbipedia” collection of ideas for service improvements in the public sector. The aim of the Wibbipedia is to illustrate the potential of better design thinking for improving public services.

2 Responses to “IdealGov and thinkpublic invite you to MIND THE GAP”

AndreM wrote on January 16th, 2008 1:33 pm :

I have many ideas but don’t know how to put them in reality

Lisa Botfield wrote on April 3rd, 2008 7:45 pm :

I set up a self employed business last year, slowly I built up a small debt (less than 4k) but I later found out I could have claimed £40 a week in working tax credit which would have halved this debt. Why is it that when we own money (tax for example) the government can back date it, but if we are “owed” money we can only back date it a couple of weeks. Very unfair system – one rule for all is the way forward

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