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I have to give Dubai credit for sponsoring the biggest brainstorming session (700 people) I have ever been in on a topic of supreme importance--how to design a post-crisis world. It's a fascinating experiment by Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum and I don't know how it will turn out in the end--if the carbon footprint of 700 people flying to Dubai is outweighed by the insight and action they take to get the world back on track. But it is audacious.
The idea is to have people in nearly 70 Global Agenda Councils meet on the first day, determine the state of their "issue," (such as Design or education or the web or the Future of Latin America), how the economic crisis is effecting them and come up with an action plan on going forward. The second day is for a walk-around--connecting with other GACs to come up with new thoughts on world problems--and also shape the agenda for Davos in January.
I know it' fuzzy but let's see how it turns out.
In my Design GAC, we discussed the power of design to accelerate economic growth, identify and visualize problems and help develop new options in solving them. Sustainability is one example of where design thinking can help. We talked about how Design Thinking can promote new knowledge through experiential learning (studios and workshops), integrating different fields, and make prototypes to show people new options.
I learned in the process that the economic crisis is a great opportunity for design thinking but is hurting the business of design as companies cut back. At the same time, designers are working more in health care, energy and education. They are working more with government agencies to solve problems. Government is discovering design as a tool. This is very good news.
That was Day One. Got to go to Day Two and do some connecting.
It was an incredible group
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