social innovation & design

Mr Green Collar Jobs goes to the White House

Van Jones, the founder of Green For All who I met last month in Los Angeles has been appointed Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the Obama White House. Working with the Council on Environmental Quality, Jones will help to shape the new Administration’s energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest […]

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The innovator next door

McKinsey&co has published a book called What Matters. It contains “answers to ten big questions, whose answers will shape our collective future”. I conributed a short text called “The innovator next door” . I know the title sounds rather like A Little House On The Prairie – especially compared to some of the grand ideas […]

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From mega, to micro: What You Can Do With the City

The atmosphere at last week’s Megacities conference in Delft was subdued. I don’t suppose my own talk, which ploughed a similar path to the Debt, Diesel and Dämmerung narrative I mentioned yesterday, helped lighten the mood very much. Spirits were low because it is becoming clear that mega solutions of any kind – whether or […]

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Redemption

I’m sorry, but if I hear one more “expert” on the box describe the financial crisis as “psychological” I’m going to barf. I also heard a French commentator today blame “the redemption factor” – which sounds biblical, but apparently refers to the price being put on that huge red chunk of the pyramid (see story […]

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Design for social impact

I was critical, at the time it was announced, of a plan by the Rockerfeller Foundation to convene a meeting about Design for Development. Their starting point was “to bring together the world’s best designers with people and organizations that work on the world’s most important and complex problems” – an objective that struck me […]

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Work/Life balance

In January, as I do every year, I resolved to balance work and life in a more mature way. It’s now September 16th, and….well, we’re not quite there yet.

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Dott 07 wrap event

Before we close the doors at Dott 07 for the last time, the final Dott 07 Explorers Club will take place in Newcastle on Wednesday 12 March. We will look back at Dott projects and discuss: what did we learn? and what happens next? We’ll have updates from the community design projects, including news from […]

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Why our design festival has no things in it

The house is cold, someone keeps turning the lights off, and the greywater toilet is blocked again. As a way of life, sustainabilty often sounds grim. The media don’t help: they tell us we have to consume our way to redemption. The shopping pages are filled with hideous hessian bags; and ads that used to […]

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How to live well – but lighter

For three years now Doors has been involved in a Europe-wide project called EMUDE (it stands for “Emerging User Demands for Sustainable Solutions”. That’s European research for you!). A network of design schools, acting as ‘antennas’, has collected examples of social innovation in a wide variety of contexts. Many of these seem to be more […]

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