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Meet our Sponsor, Nava PBC

November 4, 2022

We are lucky to have Nava PBC sponsoring of this year’s Civic Design conference–and we thought you might like to get to know them better! We’ve asked them some questions that get to the heart of why they’re passionate about civic design, what it’s like to work at Nava PBC, and what makes their products and services special to public sector professionals.

Rosenfeld Media: Why are you sponsoring this year’s Civic Design conference?

Nava PBC: This is our second year participating in Civic Design and we’re excited and honored to be featured among such an impressive slate of speakers. We value the importance of uniting industry thought leaders in order to foster innovation and collaboration in the public sector. Moreover, Civic Design’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion aligns with Nava’s core values as a public benefit corporation. We aim to build digital services that are simple, effective, and accessible to all, so our teams must reflect the diverse communities we serve. Nava is thrilled to continue supporting mission-aligned initiatives like Civic Design.

Rosenfeld Media: What excites you about civic design?

Nava PBC: Our experience with federal and state government agencies has demonstrated the immense opportunity to leverage design as a tool to make government services more accessible, efficient, and effective. When building the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ first paid family and medical leave program (PFML), we used human-centered design principles to identify barriers to applying for leave and subsequently address those barriers.

Our research revealed that PFML application regulations required new parents to provide proof of birth documentation, like a birth certificate. But many parents we interviewed said they expected to start their leave application before the birth of their child, given that the time period after a baby is born is highly stressful and busy for many new parents. We shared this gap with policy and technical teams and worked together to build a feature that allowed parents to apply for leave before their child was born. Massachusetts was the first state to enact this type of policy.

In the private sector, a design decision like this might affect a small subset of people. But in the public sector, design choices we make daily impact entire communities. This can seem intimidating, but it’s also exciting.

Rosenfeld Media: What is the professional experience like for designers at your organization?

Nava PBC: The Design Organization at Nava is a highly collaborative, supportive, and value-driven team of individuals who enjoy tackling thorny challenges. Nava Designers care deeply about each other and about the work they do.

Depending on the project, Nava designers can expect to work with engineers, product managers, and project managers, which fosters strong working relationships among colleagues and promotes cross-discipline skill-building.

At Nava, we recognize the importance of professional development opportunities. Every designer has a people manager who is responsible for setting professional development goals and helping work toward these goals. Moreover, every Nava employee receives $2,000 in professional development funds annually.

Designers are also encouraged to forge their own leadership paths, whether it’s mentoring junior designers as a people manager, managing projects and delivery outcomes as a design lead, or developing expertise as an individual contributor.

Rosenfeld Media: What is your culture like, who would new employees work with, and who are the champions?

Nava PBC: At Nava, we live out our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. We aim for our staff to be majority Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) by 2025, and currently 49 percent of Nava staff identify as BIPOC. Our employee resource groups (ERGs) provide a safe space for Nava employees who want to meet colleagues with shared identities.

We also believe that we can’t do the essential work of transforming government services if our employees aren’t taken care of. That’s why Nava offers unlimited sick time including time off for mental health, highly competitive benefits, 16 weeks of fully paid parental leave, financial health services, and professional development funds.
New employees receive thorough and holistic onboarding including one-on-one sessions with leadership and several team-specific sessions.

Public servants are the champions of what we do. We provide our clients with value that improves experiences for their users. If we can deliver human-centered services while also prioritizing what the government values, everyone wins.

Rosenfeld Media: What types of value and benefits do you/your product bring to the practice and our community?

Nava PBC: Increasingly, Nava’s specialties—human-centered design, agile development, and scalable infrastructure to name a few—have become buzzwords in civic tech and beyond. We’ve been honing these specialties since our founding in 2015, and along the way have built a strong track record of successfully transforming services, programs, and agencies. Nava’s teams deeply understand business needs and the policy environment, and they consistently identify effective operational needs across programs. Our capabilities in human-centered infrastructure and service design stand out in this market, positioning us to become the first-ever large business in the digital transformation space.

Rosenfeld Media: What else should our community know about you?

Nava PBC: Delivering on our mission is at the center of what we do. As a public benefit corporation, Nava has a fiduciary duty to ensure that critical government services are simple, effective, and accessible to all. Meeting our mission is an opportunity to restore trust between people and public institutions. We focus on populations that are the least protected because the stakes are higher.

In order to meet our mission, we hold values that help us ask the right questions, make the right decisions, and ultimately best serve the public.

View Nava PBC’s sponsor page for their scheduled sponsor activity sessions and more.