Sarah is the Co-founder and managing Director of Snook, an award winning design consultancy working at the forefront of civic, public sector and democratic innovation. Sarah focuses on making social change happen by re-thinking public services from a human perspective and regularly lectures and speaks around the globe on service design, innovation and civic engagement.
Sarah is a serial idea generator. She has co-founded MyPolice, CycleHack, Dearest Scotland and The Matter. For this work she was awarded a Google Fellowship for her work in technology and democracy.
sarah (@) wearesnook (.) com
Sarah is the Co-founder and managing Director of Snook, an award winning design consultancy working at the forefront of civic, public sector and democratic innovation. Sarah focuses on making social change happen by re-thinking public services from a human perspective.
Sarah co-founded Snook alongside Lauren Currie in 2009 and in her 7 years experience has worked with a vast array of public, private and third sector clients predominately across health, mental health and social care, education, civic and local authority and education to design services that work for people.
Her core clients include the Department for Health, British and Scottish Government, Government Digital Service, Department for Work and Pensions, Capita, UK local councils, NHS, and a variety of investment companies.
In 2009 she won Scotland’s first Social Innovation Camp successfully securing investment to design and deliver the UK’s first online police feedback platform, MyPolice – securing a Google Fellowship from NYC for her work in technology and democracy.
Across 2008 – 2010, before her start up career, Sarah worked at Skills Development Scotland designing digital career services and supporting the development of their internal design capacity. This experience was documented in her thesis ‘Embedding design in the public sector’ as part of her Masters of Design Innovation from the Glasgow School of Art.
Sarah is a serial idea generator. In 2014 she co-founded CycleHack, an initiative on a mission to reduce barriers to cycling. CycleHack brings citizens and city stakeholders together to build ideas that improve cycling over a weekend. CycleHack has successfully grown from 3 cities to over 70 in three years and continues to grow with each annual hack working with global brands like Oakley.
In 2013 she co-founded Dearest Scotland, a campaign that collected letters written to the future of the country across the referendum. The project culminated in a published book available in national book stores and an exhibition at the Scottish Government, endorsed by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Sarah is currently working on open sourcing the model as it is being replicated in India, Iran, Ireland, England and Bulgaria.
In 2012, she secured investment from Nominet Trust and won the final of the Design Council’s Working Well challenge to set up The Matter in collaboration with Young Scot. The Matter is a programme that teaches young people how to research, design and publish their own newspaper in response to a question set by an authority or organisation with a focus on increasing their employability skills and increasing civic participation. The Matter has worked with a variety of councils to publish newspapers on young people’s perceptions to Alcohol Awareness to Sexual Health and wellbeing.
Sarah has always focused on the bottom up approach and in 2009, as part of a Glasgow School of Art collaboration won the Audi ‘Sustain our Nation’ UK final to secure £20,000 for a community in Glasgow by supporting local people with design tools to build their own social enterprise.
Her experience and storytelling has taken her to Taiwan, the Philippines, the U.S, Australia, Oman and Europe to speak to Governments and design audiences and teach at national institutions in design and innovation.
Aside from design she loves Cycling and DJs part time.
She speaks regularly about design, innovation (aka making things better) and entrepreneurialism (aka taking risks on making things happen).
GOOD Magazine’s Top 100 influencers doing good in the world (2016)
Winner of Core 77 Social Impact Award (2015)
Finalist in the Lighthouse Design Impact Award (2014)
Government Knowledge Social Justice Award – SME Award for Delivering Social Justice (2014)
UK NCTJ award for multimedia campaign (2014)
Finalist of People Make Glasgow Awards (2013/15)
Winner of the Mozilla Education challenge, IC Tomorrow (2013)
Working Well Design Challenge, Design Council (2012)
Young Scot Enterprise Award (2012)
Google Fellowship, Personal Democracy Forum (2011)
Winning Project, Audi Sustain our Nation (2010)
Winner of Social Innovation Camp (2009)
Medici Service Design Medal (2009)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PpLJyeoXeA (TedX Portobello)
https://vimeo.com/62566036 (Desis Lab, Melbourne)