Planning for D!p 3 Begins

By Ayesha Vemuri

Hello and greetings for the new year! First, our apologies for the long silence, but although we’ve been back from the winter break for two weeks now, planning our various new activities and directions for the new year has taken up most of our time and energy. Foremost amongst these is commencing our plans for the third edition of the Design Public Conclave, to be held in New Delhi on April 20, 2012, for which the focus topic is ‘Trust, Participation, Innovation.’

A major point that was reiterated several times during both the last two conclaves, especially with respect to the question of governance innovation, was that there is a grave lack of trust and a general belief that the government is disinterested in promoting the actual interests of the public. Corporations too are being increasingly mistrusted, and their honesty questioned. People appear to be losing faith in the efficacy of institutions, both public and private, observable in the wave of protests from Tahrir Square in Egypt to the Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi, and on over to Zuccotti Park in New York.There is a crisis of trust, as it were, on account of the disconnect between traditional institutions and the socially mediated public.

Citizens the world over seem to be demonstrating a burning desire to participate in making change happen, but there are no established avenues or channels for participation, and they must improvise. Social media platforms provide such an avenue, and in fact all of the many protests of the past year have been organized and intensified, at least to some degree, due to social media. The experience of social media can lead to the development of new expectations of trust and participation, and will require traditional institutions, both public and private, to reconfigure their structures to generate more inclusiveness, participation, and trust. One of the major aims of the third Design Public conclave is to explore and answer the question of how this can be achieved.

While the event isn’t for another few months, we are beginning the entire process sooner this time around, and hope for our own approach to be inspired by the topic. We hope for the planning process to be a more inclusive and participatory lead-in the to the conclave, especially via online and social media platforms. We will be hosting discussions on our linkedin group, facebook page, and through twitter (#designpubic). As always, the blog will continue to function as the main platform for the dissemination of our thoughts, but we hope to expand this avenue as well, by inviting our expert speakers and participants to contribute articles and thoughts on an ongoing basis. We also look forward to your thoughts, comments, and participation over these next couple of months until the conclave.

For more information about the Design Public Conclave, read the outbriefs and see the books from the first and second editions, and also stay tuned for announcements on the CKS and Design Public websites.

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