Increasing inequality, rising social unrest and climate change suggest new approaches to economic growth are needed. Motivated to understand what a human-centred approach might bring to the challenge, this paper explores taking the value of design thinking and a prototyping mindset beyond service delivery to the level of policy research, design and development. Causal Layered Analysis (CLA) is used to understand and comparatively analyze the current growth-first narrative, an emergent participation narrative and a speculative freedom narrative. This analysis informs a reframe of the economy and a participatory experience for stakeholders in the larger economic system to explore how change might happen. Responses to the role play experience show the power of a participatory approach and provide insight into engaging diverse stakeholders as contributors in the future of the economy, not just as the passive receivers of policy. Proposals for change are presented based on candidate strategies generated in the role play.
Keywords: growth, economy, narrative, causal layered analysis, role play, reframing, system-level change