Design Public III: Trust, Participation, Innovation

Today marks exactly four weeks to the third edition of the Design Public Conclave, which will be held in New Delhi on the 20th of April. All of us at CKS have been working hard over the past couple of months, concretizing partnerships, finalizing speakers and participants, developing the day’s agenda and researching our focus areas of trust, participation and innovation, amongst myriad other tasks. We have also set up a new website with constant updates and the latest news about the Design Public panel discussions, speakers, participants and more.

We thought we’d take this opportunity to share some thoughts on the conclave, our focus topics, and the draft agenda. Suggestions and comments are welcome, as always.

A Short History of Design Public the Conclave

Design Public began as a conversation around the question of how design thinking and innovation can be used by organizations and actors outside the private sector, specifically government organizations and social sector agencies.

The idea for the conclave came about in response to the many articles about Unleashing India’s innovation potential and on how India has embarked upon its ‘decade of innovation’. If it is true that India has begun to stumble into this new role as an innovation society, there are concrete steps that every sector of society needs to take to enable this new direction to actually manifest. Design Public was conceived as a platform for such a conversation to take place, in the hope that influential actors from all sectors of society could come together, ideate solutions and develop real partnerships and consortia to bring this agenda to practical realization.

At our first conclave in Delhi, we focused on the question of Governance Innovation: Can or should government agencies use user-centered design solutions to develop and deploy better solutions? The second edition of Design Public, in Bangalore, explored the public benefits of private innovation. This third edition of Design Public focuses on questions of trust, participation and how they relate to and reflect on innovation.

Design Public III: Trust, Participation, Innovation

This third edition of Design Public focuses on questions of trust and participation in relation to innovation.

As we’ve seen in this past year, from Tahrir Square in Egypt to the Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi, and on over to Zuccotti Park in New York, something has happened, something has changed. We have witnessed a crisis of trust, wherein a networked public has risen up against an establishment in which they no have faith. In this crisis, both governments and multinational corporations have found themselves against the tide. In different ways in different parts of the world, deficits of trust and the absence of opportunities to properly participate in one’s economy and society have brought things to a head.

Deficiencies of trust are often linked to the absence of opportunities for participation, and both are grave challenges in their own right. For our purposes, however, this is especially relevant because of their effect on innovation. In the absence of trust and participation, attitudes, practices and an overall culture of innovation cannot emerge.

An innovation paradigm, however, can invert this cycle, leading to opposite outcomes: new and innovative means of solving long-standing problems, greater proximity between recipients and providers of products and services, and more effective practices of participatory, collaborative and co-creative innovation. This is the larger hope and aspiration of the Design Public Conclave. On the 20th of April this year, we look forward not only to thematizing and problematizing these issues, but also to taking specific concrete steps to rearchitecting India’s innovation ecology so that together we can take strategic steps to overcome obstacles and meet unmet needs.

Read a more detailed version of the concept note here.

Draft Agenda for the Conclave

This agenda will simply provide an overview of the day. For a more detailed agenda and information on panelists, please see our website.

Panel 1: Crises of Trust are Crises of Innovation

This opening panel will address questions of trust and participation in the wake of the global spring. What are the inter-relationships between trust, creativity, design and innovation and why are these important for our future?

Panel 2: Participation, Collaboration, Innovation

Crises of trust are often linked to failures of participation and inclusion. How can activists and critics of institutions be more creative in their approaches so as to restore and repair the public trust?

Panel 3: Imagining India as an Innovation Society

This panel brings together industry and government experts to imagine the values, behaviors, ways of working, societal institutions and diverse other dimensions of society that would have to change in India to transform it into an innovation society.

Panel 4: Imagining Rural Innovation

What should or could we mean by Rural Innovation? Is this the same old thing as jugaad, indovation and tinkering? This panel brings together designers and innovation experts to talk with management thinkers to describe the specific steps and stages involved in innovation processes and how they could apply in rural areas.

Breakout One: Smarter Cities

Breakout Two: How Can we Grow Knowledge of Design and Innovation in India?

Breakout Three: 50 Steps to an Innovation Society

Concluding Plenary: What Do We Need to Do To Build an Innovation Society?

This plenary session will include leading thinkers from government and media along with sectoral experts to discuss specific steps we must now undertake in order to work towards innovation in different domain and activity areas. In some ways this is the most challenging and important session of the day, for it will lay out the next steps and future path of the Design Public process.

About Ayesha Vemuri

Ayesha Vemuri is responsible for thought leadership and outreach efforts at CKS. She has undergraduate degree in Visual Art from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she also studied such varied subjects as biology, literature and the humanities. At CKS, she is responsible for curating the Design Public blog, managing our various social media platforms, organizing Pecha Kucha Nights and contributing to the intellectual content of the Design Public Conclave and other CKS initiatives. Find her on twitter at @ayeshavemuri.
This entry was posted in Design Challenges and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *