Francisco Noguera

Better by Design Conference Next Week: You Should Try to Make It to Providence

betterdesignIf you’re interested in the power of design and design thinking to address the challenges of poverty and environmental degradation, please read on. If, on top of it, your schedule is open for next weekend and your budget allows you to, book a ticket to Providence and?grab a seat at?the fascinating conversations that will take place at the Better World by Design conference.??

I remember reading with curiosity about Cooper Hewitt’s Design for the Other 90% exhibition a little more than a year ago. It is promising to see how, in such short time,?it?has?grown into?a movement of its own within the base of the pyramid conversation,?thanks?to?the leadership of people like Amy Smith, Paul Polak and Paul Hudnut. Not only is it taking off in the academia. It is also beginning to mainstream?into the traditional design practice. For example IDEO, one of the world’s leading design consultancies, has embraced the concept and created a set of initiatives under the umbrella of “Design for Social Impact”.

The conference will be hosted by BetterxDesign, an initiative of the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. Speakers will include figures like Paul Polak, Jocelyn Wyatt, Niti Bhan, Cameron Sinclair and Iqbal Quadir. Interesting panel discussions include one on Social Entrepreneurship (which will feature Sami Nerenberg, who teaches a Design for Social Entrepreneurship course at RISD), Appropriate Technology for the Developing World (featuring Kickstart) and Urban Housing with the participation of Architecture for Humanity.???I believe I won’t be able to make it this time, but very much look forward to hearing about the conversations in the conference. Plase contact us if you’d like to share your impressions on this field and the conference. We will have a few posts coming from some of our NextBillion allies attending, so stay tuned if you’re interested in seeing how this field continues to evolve. ?