social innovation

How the rich get … greener

I was looking for some data about the environmental impact of aviation and came across some good news! A website for us super-rich green folk called Helium lists luxury travel and real estate companies that promote eco-friendly travel. “You can spend over a $1,000 per night and sleep comfortably in the knowledge that you’re not […]

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An angel called Pradsa

Are you shaping the tools or techniques that help other people shape their world? There is no job description for what you do. You mix dedication to social change, confidence with people and organisations, and technical knowledge or skills. You are part of a growing number of committed people using innovation and ICT to help […]

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Recombinant innovation

“As 18-month-old Alexander Barham was wheeled into intensive care, his survival depended on the expertise of the medical specialists all around him and, in no small part, on the split-second precision of the Ferrari Formula One motor racing team”. A gripping story in the Telegraph describes how a major restructuring of the patient handover procedure […]

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The “social purpose space”

Having just read Heat (see below) I arrived in a sober mood in Beijing for what people said was the first social innovation conference. Gerard Lemos, in his welcome, reminded us of our moral duty to be optimistic. Thereafter, forty five lectures made for a gruelling programme, but things do look brighter at the event’s […]

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Creative class fights back

Two steps forward, one step back. In 2003 I gave a lecture called The Post-Spectacular City at a conference in Amsterdam. I argued that today’s “creative class”, having optimised the society of the spectacle, will be remembered for leaving behind narcissistic but meaningless cities. The talk was later included in a book called Creativity and […]

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Service as a journey

Is service design the next big thing after e-everything? If the recent surge in books and conferences is a guide, service design is at least a meme – if not yet a mania. The trouble is, it can’t possibly be new. Seventy percent of the UK economy is ‘services’, for goodness sake, so someone must […]

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Slow design seminar

The way of thinking and acting that Slow Food proposes goes well beyond food and food systems. The idea of “slow” brings tradition to life, and links the quality perceived in products with the social and environmental quality of their production, and places of origin. An international seminar on the design implications of the Slow […]

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Chat about Aspen

Sorry ’bout the silence this last week,; I’ve been on the road. Still am, but Allan Cholnikov has started a discussion about what we are trying to achive with the Aspen Design Summit here. You don’t have to register or sign in, and you can choose to receive email for newly posted messages. Just click […]

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Worker correspondents

More and more companies are using so-called “design ethnographers” to help them develop products in real-life situations (rather than in design studios). This has sparked debate about the ethics of using other peoples’ daily lives as raw material for product development. But is design ethnography new? At Doors 8 in New Delhi, Alok Nandi reminded […]

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