Design Advocacy and Policy Manager

Design Council Policy Director
Location London, United Kingdom
Application deadline 13 February 2022
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary £30kpa-£40kpa
Apply now

Design Council’s purpose is to make life better by design. And our new mission is to do that by focusing on Design for Planet. There can be no greater cause than fighting to save our precious planet.

Design for Planet will be a theme through all our work to create better places, better products and better processes, all of which lead to better performance. We commission pioneering evidence-based research, develop ground-breaking programmes and deliver influencing and policy work to demonstrate the power of design and how it impacts three key areas of the economy: business innovation, places and public services. We bring together designers and non-designers – from grassroots to government – and share with them our design expertise to transform the way they work.

Good design is inclusive design. We actively aim to employ a diverse workforce, and we have a commitment to do that (see our Black Lives Matter statement). We encourage conversations around flexibility in terms of location, hours and other arrangements so we can welcome people with different experiences, backgrounds and perspectives.

The role

The post holder will advocate and champion the role of design to our key stakeholders within policy and design commissioning, helping to create the enabling conditions for the design to thrive, including opening up the market for designers. You will have a strong sense of the value of design and be able to communicate this to a number of different audiences, including policymakers. You will need an understanding of policy, but do not need a political background. You will need strong written skills and be able to tailor communications to different audiences.

Key roles and responsibilities

Understanding the value of design

  • Spot great examples of design, and bring them together as stories to share in thought leadership and at events
  • Understand current debates and conversations about what the design sector (across architecture and built environment, industrial and product, fashion, service and digital) needs to thrive

Communicating the value of design

  • Providing briefings on the value of design for the Executive Team, media, policymakers, and commissioners of design
  • Write contributions about the value of design for Government strategies and consultations
  • Provide briefings and/or write thought leadership articles and blogs about the value of design
  • Write letters to ministers or other influencers (for example our Design Economy Ambassadors) about our work and how they can support it

Engaging stakeholders in the value of design

  • Organise policy and stakeholder roundtables bringing together people from different backgrounds to explore the value of design
  • Building effective relationships across Government, industry, public and private sector
  • Manage the process for engaging our key design sector stakeholders
  • Providing ad hoc briefings for Exec team for key stakeholder meetings

Policy development

  • Through stakeholder engagement and based on research, help to develop key policy recommendations for our Design Economy and Design for Planet campaigns.
  • Identify upcoming Government policy which could support the design sector, and form relations with relevant policymakers and sector stakeholders to influence this
  • Managing Design Council’s involvement in party conferences and ensuring visibility of Design Council at the relevant events.

Experience and skills


  • Experience in policy development, influencing or advocacy in a relevant sector.
  • Demonstrable relevant experience of engaging and influencing a wide range of stakeholders, including groups that may have limited prior experience of design
  • Demonstrable experience working collaboratively with high-profile stakeholders and partners, as well as building effective relationships.
  • Experience in using different types of media to influence change (desirable).


  • Ability to quickly draw together, synthesise and distil a variety of information into a compelling narrative
  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal.
  • Confident in researching and quickly understanding information from a broad range of sources, both qualitative and quantitative
  • Confident communicator able to engage a diverse range of stakeholders including government officials, policymakers and design commissioners.
  • Ability to work collaboratively – develop effective working relationships; understand diverse perspectives
  • Ability to organise own workload, and to work without close supervision
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good IT skills: a skilled and advanced user of all Microsoft Platforms