The theme for 2016 was “Innovation starts with Design: the future is now”; the event, held at the BMW Brand Store in Brussels, brought together 250 participants with an interest in the influence of design and creativity on EU policy: designers, public authorities, private enterprises, European institutions, Chambers of Commerce, Universities and others.
The collaboration on EU DESIGN DAYS 2016 has arisen as part of a broader collaboration between BEDA and ERRIN, whose 120 regional organisation members focus on research on innovation; some BEDA members are also ERRIN members. This collaboration allows BEDA to build opportunities for its members to connect with other design related stakeholders across Europe, which is the objective of the BEDA CONNECTS work stream of the Design Europe 2021 project.
Of particular relevance to members is BEDA’s organisation of the Design Dialogue, the closing cocktail of the main event at EU DESIGN DAYS 2016. This took the form of a dynamic presentation about the use of design as a crucial problem-solving element in tackling societal challenges faced by the EU today.
Other key highlights of the event included ERRIN’s presentation of a list of statements, drafted with BEDA participation, to EU policy makers. This was followed by a dialogue with EU decision makers around the question ‘are we ready for the future?’, a round table event in which Robin Edman, BEDA president, participated.
We also take this opportunity to share the BEDA Manifesto. The manifesto reiterates BEDA’s role as Europe-wide champions of design; it also sets out the five key areas of BEDA’s strategy for the future:
1. Enhance the awareness and understanding of design – working with national authorities to share evidence of the value of design to the European economy, and to campaign for the inclusion of design in European research programmes.
2. Strengthen the design sector’s capability to meet future needs – advocating design as a driver for growth and prosperity to the European Commission.
3. Build appreciation and use of design among EU businesses and intermediaries (Innovation Centres, Chambers of Commerce) – inspiring the public sector to use design and to share design commissioning best practice.
4. Advocate design for public sector renewal – improve effectiveness of institutions with improved user focus, and build design sector capacity to deliver this.
5. Promote design as a new approach to policy-making (and intervention) – BEDA will pursue a much broader policy agenda, including input on research, environment, health and social policy at multiple levels across Europe.
These areas are channelled into four action streams: building capacity through BEDA GA+; connecting members to opportunities for growth through BEDA CONNECTS; Setting up and running design expertise groups through BEDA CLUSTERS; and continuing to influence policy through BEDA INTEGRATES.
Download the manifesto here.