National Innovation Service
 
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NIS is a systems transformation agency that designs equitable public institutions.

We know that to fundamentally transform the structures of America’s public systems the concept of ‘redesign’ cannot solely be understood as shifts in policy. For a system to truly change, redesign needs to happen across these core layers:

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Our team offers ‘full-stack’ redesign, with the skills to operate within all four layers simultaneously. The NIS team has taken on systems transformation in a variety of fields, from criminal justice and violence prevention to homelessness and housing. Our team believes that designing more equitable systems can only be done in partnership with those impacted by those systems and works to center the experiences and expertise of historically marginalized communities in all of our work.

We offer our services to communities who are explicitly looking for system transformation. Our team is capable of analyzing, redesigning, and implementing new structures at any layer of a public system. Our work is designed to operate at scale from the start — matching the complexity of the problems we seek to solve. While our solutions and strategies are rooted in the communities we serve, we continuously seek to amplify local voices to influence national systems-level policy across the United States.

 
 
 
 

Approach

 

We partner with communities to reinvent systems

Our work is framed by a rigorous approach that challenges deep-rooted power dynamics and creates coalitions of community stakeholders who are able to investigate how current system design has driven and perpetuates inequitable outcomes.

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In every community, we start our work by partnering with people who have lived experience of the systems we’re redesigning. While most system reform work is done using input from ‘experts’, we understand that to design equitable and effective systems, the voices of people using those systems must be continuously centered. Going beyond input, we seek to partner with and employ individuals with lived expertise to co-design and facilitate our processes. 

Driven by our work with community members, we execute an analysis of system practices, structures, policies, and outcomes. Based on our findings, we partner with communities to assist with the implementation work, focusing on building the capacity of local leaders to continue the work. While our products vary across communities, we only take on projects that are fundamentally transformative. 

Our work consistently works to change the lived realities of those who are the most deeply disenfranchised. At NIS, we believe that when we design with and for people at the margins of current systems, we design a world that is more accessible for all of us. 

 
 

Our Work

To view our ongoing work with King County, click here.

We are currently implementing these actions with partners in the region.

We’re actively engaged with six communities across the country, who are partnering with NIS on redesign initiatives. For more information on our other projects, please send us a note through the link below.

 
 

Team

We are a team of policy experts, researchers, and designers with experience in public systems and a commitment to racial equity. 

 
 
 
Marc Dones    Executive Director    they/them/theirs

Marc Dones

Executive Director

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Marshall Buxton    Director of Design Strategy    he/him/his

Marshall Buxton

Director of Design Strategy

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Brittani Manzo    Director of Public Policy    she/her/hers

Brittani Manzo

Director of Public Policy

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Nkiru Nnawulezi    Community Psychologist    she/her/hers

Nkiru Nnawulezi

Community Psychologist

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Sydney Henriques-Payne    Organizational Strategist    she/her/hers

Sydney Henriques-Payne

Organizational Strategist

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Abigail Fradkin    Senior Advisor, Policy + Product    she/her/hers

Abigail Fradkin

Senior Advisor, Policy + Product

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My Tam Nguyen    Director of Strategic Partnerships    she/her/hers

My Tam Nguyen

Director of Strategic Partnerships

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Andrew Strong    Special Assistant    he/him/his

Andrew Strong

Special Assistant

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Contact Us

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