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Design: Accelerating Transformation

Design accelerates transformation! On 15 October 2020, design experts and practitioners from Switzerland and abroad discussed how design can support governments in designing efficient and human-centred public policies, how the value of design can be increased and articulated at the strategic level, and how the impact of design can be measured.

The conference combined on-site and distant formats and was held at Schule für Gestaltung Bern. In the morning, invited speakers and selected guests discussed in a closed format. Experts Eva Pauline Bossow, Sabine Junginger and Esther-Mirjam de Boer from Switzerland debated with Päivi Tahkokallio, President of BEDA who joined in from Finland. Brian Collins called in from the USA in the afternoon, when experts gave on-site short insights in their respective practice.

All inputs and discussions have broadened the understanding of the opportunities design offers society in the face of rapid change. Be it in the way public stakeholders use design to communicate with citizens – a pertinent example being the reactions against Covid-19 pandemic –, be it the question of what kind of design knowledge should be part of executive boards or of how the macroeconomic value of design is changing in times of crisis.

Valuable insights
Päivi Tahkokallio gave valuable insights into how design and public institutions in Finland are cooperating. The topic was upheld in the Pecha Kucha presentations in the afternoon: Tian Lutz and Ivo Scherrer introduced the project ‘Staatsbox’ at Zurich municipality; Beat Karrer from Fluidsolids, a design-driven company for developing sustainable materials, made a point about Designers on Board and the strategic value of designerly knowledge in Executive Boards, while Beatrice Kaufmann, HKB, discussed the strategic value of design that guided the Swiss federal Covid-19 poster campaign. These insights were lively debated with the audience on-site and via live-stream.

Video: Session 01: Integrating Design Into Municipal Processes: Session 02: Designers on Boards – SDA-Summit: 03: The Macro-Economic Value of Design:

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