social innovation & design

5% health: The risk of catabolic collapse and peak fat in modern health systems, what to do about them, and how design can help

I was emboldened, upon arriving at the Mayo Clinic ‘s Centre for Innovation last week, to learn that people with deep domain knowledge do not make the best innovators. I concluded that I was therefore well-qualified to warn one of the top academic medical centres in the world, each of whose 60,000 staff knows more […]

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Design steps to heaven

I recently visted Luzern, in Switzerland, for a workshop at thethe oldest art and design school in Switzerland, Hochschule Luzern. My host, Andy Polaine had asked me to set students in the first semester of the MA Design a challenge. The task I gave them was as follows: find a neglected asset somewhere in Luzern, […]

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Of apocalypse and forest gardens

Three hundred people came to South Devon in England for the fourth gathering of the Transition Network. They were a modest cross section of the many thousands of people now involved in 330 official Transition initiatives (up from 170 this time last year) and many more less formal groups around the world that are ‘mulling […]

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What Does Social Innovation Actually Mean?

The organiser of a conference in Poland asked me write an introduction to the programme: what is social innvation, and why does it matter?

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Tech push and social pull

I’ve been reading a special issue of Innovations called “Energy for Change: Creating Climate Solutions” which claims to be “as thorough a survey of energy and climate solutions as has yet been compiled”. (I’m not putting a link here because the publisher – naughtily – has changed a contents page into an order page since […]

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From philanthrocapitalism to an eco-social economy

This scary hand smashing through the wall to get you is the logo of last month’s Insead conference on social entrepreneurship; its slogan was “Reaching For Impact”. I’ve written critically here before about the assumptions that underly “design for development” – so I won’t repeat the whole argument. And as I said here we are […]

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Doctors with iPhones

I’ve been back from New York a week and I’m still mesmerised by the story of Hello Health. Tamara Giltsoff, a service designer, introduced me to this wondrous new outfit who are making it easy again to see the doctor. The Hello Health website tells the story better than I can, so I’ll quote it […]

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With the iBorg in New York

The May edition of Doors of Perception Report (our monthly email newsletter) is now available here

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Velowala: ternary thinking in practice

Naomi Klein writes in today’s Guardian that “hope alone won’t save the world. It’s time to hope less, and demand more”. I’m not sure. I find Klein’s piece enervating. Will demanding things from mainstream politicians like Obama be more productive than waiting hopefully for them to save us? I don’t think so.

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