I was at the IIT Institute of Design’s Design Strategy Conference this week.
This is, no doubt, one of the best, little known, innovation and design conferences. Every year I get to meet people, learn, think, dream and be empowered to do and be more.
Carl Bass gave wonderful insights into software for crafting, and some interesting business challenges that the proliferation of apps has created. ( Hint- He gets more letters from people complaining about a $3 app than a $5000 software package)
Kim Erwin emphasized that innovation is about more than making things reality. Her book, Communicating the New, promises to provide vital insights into an often neglected and yet vital aspect of the innovation process: Communication.
Mark Tebbe provided insights into how tech will impact business. Ultra-personal, social, local, mobile, sensors, wearable, 3D printing, brain extending, photo and video capturing, nano-generators, flexible displays, voice control, robotics, virtual education…an empowering and amazing world is being co-created as you read this…
Laura Hartman and Connie Duckworth emphasized that humans living in poverty or challenging conditions, are indeed, capable market partners. ’For Profit’ and ‘Not for Profit’ companies can work together and do amazing things to educate children and adults and build economies to the benefit of all. The key messages? Walk in other’s shoes. Think like an insider and outsider. Play to strengths. Create impact then scale and larger scale will create additional impact.
Brian Love (and a team of students) and sharing the craft of crops. Yes, growing and developing crops is a craft. What was especially powerful were the tools that enabled communication and mutual education. Check out betterat/ - a platform for mentoring and personal growth.
Then there’s the story of Detroit, Gary Wozniak, and the vision driven people who are innovatively re-designing the once bustling, dynamic locus of the automotive industry; converting empty space to food and providing employment for those that aren’t easily employable. I encourage you to read the story of Recovery Park. Support it if your heart leads you to.
Creating harmony between the urban and the rural. Professor Lou Yongqi shared an ongoing evolving experiment, that is doing exactly that – and doing it in an economically beneficial and sustainable way. I especially loved the metaphor of acupuncture in this project: one stimulated point can create harmony in the system…
I hope to see you there next year!
* – Apologies to any missed presenters/presentations