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Design for Social Innovation – towards an integrative practice.


Some of the questions asked by participants at the beginning of the Design for Social Innovation symposium in Auckland in July.

Well the NZ design for social innovation symposium has been and gone for 2015. As has the more recent D4SI series of workshops in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide.

Both these events, along with the earlier DESIAP event  give a bit of a picture of the kind of energy and activity happening in our region around the role and application of design-led approaches to social purpose.  Another event at Seafarers this week in Auckland also puts the spot light on Design for Social Good.

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Design for Social Innovation


I’m currently co-organising the Design for Social Innovation Symposium along with Lee Ryan (Springboard Ideas), Billy Matheson (Auckland Council) and Desna Whaanga-Schollum (Nga Aho). The symposium, taking place on the 15th and 16th of July 2015, aims to explore the emerging intersection of design, social and impact in Aotearoa.

One of the catalysts for the symposium is the growing investment and interest in co-design and social design approaches in Aoteaora. We are hoping to bring together a range of practitioners from different sectors to connect and share learnings, as well as challenge ourselves around where we want to head in the future. We are particularly keen to explore what is happening at the intersections of different disciplines, what is needed for co-design to have greater social impact, and what co-design practices that are “of here” might look like.

Find out more on the website

Building Organisational Co-design Capability

This week was the first Design 4 Social Innovation Conference in Sydney. An amazing two days of indepth discussion and examples of the real-world application of design for social innovation in Australia and overseas (see tweets Storified here). On day two of the conference I gave a Master Class on Building Organisational Co-design capability. The Master Class was based on my work with health, social and education organisations, as well as generous contributions and input from other practitioners and organisations reflecting on their own experiences#.

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