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OUR VISION – INNOVATIVE DESIGN FOR BETTER WORLD

The United Nations 2030 Agenda aims at sustainable development in the economic, social and environmental dimension. The Agenda is ambitious and calls upon stakeholders to change profoundly the way they do business. The notion of sustainable development requires society to come up with novel, innovative and human-centred approaches. It urges us to think creatively, innovatively and comprehensively and calls for concentrated efforts toward building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet. The concept of innovation must be viewed from a broader perspective as innovation is not always about re-inventing, but sometimes requires more unlearning than learning, new ways of working or problem-solving rather than developing new solutions.

Sustainability is becoming an issue of critical importance for designers and society as a whole. A complexity of dynamically interrelated ecological, social, cultural and economic problems interacts in the current crisis of our unsustainable civilization. However, in a constantly changing environment, sustainability is not some ultimate endpoint, but instead is a continuous process of learning and adaptation. Designing for sustainability not only requires the redesign of our habits, lifestyles, and practices, but also the way we think about design. Design is fundamental to all human activity and designers have the potential to act as trans-disciplinary integrators and facilitators. The essence of the design process is to envision novel solutions in order to meet certain real or perceived needs and express a certain intention through novel interactions and relationships. Design tends to focus on how the world could be in the future and proposes feasible pathways to create such a future.

Design’s main contributions are generally seen as the ability to quickly visualise concepts, ideas and information, to rapidly prototype and test solutions, as well as to employ creative thinking in creating novel concepts and solutions. Design thinking can be a way to reframe problems, to provide solution-based approach to solving complex problems and to encourage collaborative creativity. Design thinking and innovation go hand in hand as the approach focus on impact, system thinking, co-creation and driving transformational change.

Since sustainability requires widespread participation, communities everywhere need to begin to shape local, regional, and global visions of sustainability, and to offer strategies to engage humanity collectively in cooperative processes that will turn visions (designs) into reality. As an integrative and trans-disciplinary process, design thinking can inform more holistic solutions that promote the emergence of systemic health and sustainability as properties of the complex dynamic system that contains culture and nature, and of which we are integral participants.

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