'Why should I care?' - Driving civic engagement through the power of design

This special event, featuring a series of talks, was organised by Service Design Days and the BBC on October 24 2023.


From voting in elections to running a local community event, there are many ways people can actively take part in shaping society. This civic engagement involves many actors (from individuals to governments) and happens on many scales (from hyper-local to nationwide).

This is undergoing a lot of change. Shifting cultural norms and emerging technologies are upsetting the status quo. As society becomes increasingly divided by misinformation, polarisation and isolation, the issue of engaging people with society is more important than ever.

As a public service media provider, the BBC is at the core of this struggle. That’s why we want to start an informative dialogue among (service) designers, policy makers, researchers and community engagement professionals to find communication opportunities and yield innovative solutions to improve civic engagement. People who are fully engaged in their cities, neighbourhoods or communities are motivated to vote, contribute to their local environment, shape politics, advocate, and act as stewards of public spaces and activities.

We invite you to join this series of talks to explore the role of design in enabling people to shape their communities, government and society at large. 

You’ll dive into rethinking the design processes to help citizens take action on behalf of themselves and their communities, shaping public policy and highlighting the connecting factors and strengthening forces between policy and service design, designing ways to increase democratic participation amongst (young) people, and collaborating with organisations to combat misinformation around the world.

Would you like to join the conversation about transforming the way citizens can maximise their own opportunities and choices? Let’s find ways to use the power of design to make it more likely that people will play active civic roles, and codesign tools and methodologies that encourage public participation, constructive communication and collaborative behaviours.


18:00 - 19:00

Talks by Shirish Kulkarni, Lara Monday and Nick Ritchie

19:30 - 20:30

Talks by Yvonne Murphy and Andrew Knight

From 20:30 onwards

Close and head to the pub - Tables booked at Tiny Rebel


Location & travel

The event will be held in Betty Campbell Studio on the ground floor of 3 Central Square. This is accessible from street level. Accessible toilets are available throughout the building.

All guests must enter through BBC Security and will have their bags checked at the door. Guests are advised not to bring knives or sharp objects with them as these will be confiscated.

BBC Cymru Wales, 
3 Central Square
Cardiff, CF10 1FT
(view on Google maps)

By public transport
The studio is right opposite the Cardiff Central Train Station. Bus stop: Wood Street (bus lines 4, 92, 92B, 93, 94, 95, 13, 25, 32, 62, 63, 15, 64, 66, 95, 96, 96A).

By car

John Lewis car park, NCP Westgate Street or Cardiff Central Station car parks are all within walking distance.