Public Policy Design: Formulating a mess


Public Policy Design: Formulating a mess

Viktoras Veitas (



Communities and their governments need to understand that rising economic activity, international competitiveness, prosperity, high standards of living require more than following the pre-defined rules and strategies. It requires active creation of the future considering collective vision of community members about what that future should be. It requires “formulation of a mess” with suitable and well-chosen tools.

This talk presents Public Policy Design - the methodology for envisioning the future for a large community and mapping the steps to achieving it from the perspective of the initiator of the design process. The methodology joins (1) Social System Design paradigm (B.H. Banathy) with (2) conceptual modelling tools (E.M. Goldratt) and (3) qualitative data research methodologies and practices. Based on this methodology, Economic Research Centre offers Public Policy Design related consulting services. This talk also summarizes Economic Research Centre's experience in the business environment policy design, including detailed outline of the process, software tools and other practical issues.

Design (=“formulation of a mess”) is as a general approach to solving complex and ill-defined problems. Actually, it is a way of thinking about the problems and clearly formulating them in the first place. The talk also touches some philosophical aspects of this approach and presents ideas about how it can be used for thinking about such problems as emergence and conscious thought.

Slides of the presentation are here


Veitas, V. & Economic Research Centre. System thinking based municipal policy design for the improvement of local business environment: Šiauliai city case study. Economic Research Centre, 2007 (main text, annexes).

The speaker: Viktoras Veitas ( has a MS in Artificial Intelligence and MS in Management and Business Administration. He is consultant and partner at Economic Research Centre.