Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Cylch Conference 2011 in Llandudno, along with attending the Wales Recycling Awards. I always feel inspired by the commitment, enthusiasm and activities of Cylch’s members network of social enterprises. This event was no exception.
My presentation focused on the role of ecodesign, particular in the context of the enterprises that recover and reuse products, such as furniture, electrical goods and clothing. I spoke about retaining material value through smarter recovery, adding value through design and the need for real partnership between sectors (e.g. designers, manufacturers, social enterprises, educators and government). I also reminded them that they are successful businesses in their own right.
I also posed the question “how are you contributing to the sustainability agenda?” reminding them that good intentions are not enough. We need sustainable businesses and sustainable results. I challenged them to go out and lead the way, retain their values and inspire others to follow.
On the 8th and 9th of September I attended the EPDE conference in London and presented a paper on strategic questions for design education for sustainability. The buzzwords that came up quite often during the conference were; change, empathy, cross-disciplinarity and transnational collaborations.
‘We are in a world of rapid change’ was the opening statement of the keynote by David Hughes and he argued that in this world, design helps customers in getting their jobs done by being functional and emotional. Design and innovation can be seen as strategies to change the techno-system. But to my understanding of Peter Childs’s keynote, if creativity and empathy feed into design, we can innovate the socio-cultural system. Peter Childs presented his own figure, but this is what I doodled. Would you agree with this model explaining two meanings of the outcomes of design and how empathy and creativity are key in changing the socio-cultural system?
On the 8th and 9th of September I attended the EPDE conference in London and presented a paper on strategic questions for design education for sustainability. The paper was a follow up from the SVID research we did in Sweden last year. You can find the paper attached and the presentation below.
I chaired a workshop on sustainability for the British Council today in London. The audience was 23 Creative Entrepreneurs from 19 different countries (Ghana, Nigeria, India, Latvia, Poland, Taiwan, Turkey etc.). These entrepreneurs were from various disciplines e.g. fashion, product, architecture and advertising.
I was lucky to have three good speakers Guy Robinson from Sprout, Tamsin Lejeune from the Ethical Fashion Forum and Chris Sherwin from Dragon Rouge (formerly Forum for the Future).
It was inspiring to be in a group of driven creative people running their own labels, businesses and trying to learn and improve how they do it. There were too many inspirational conversations to reflect on them all straight away but some of my take home points were’
- The commercial context is changing
- Big business is accelerating that change
- The cultural context is changing and the creative hubs of the future are not in Europe or the US
- Context is everything
- Creating connections is essential
- There is a need to balance commercial with self-directed sustainability projects
- Sustainability is a journey
Let’s see what comes next.