Design Innovation Network Launch

Watch the launch of the Design Innovation Network as we explore the powerful possibilities for Design to instigate positive change in innovation across sector and technology areas.

Event Details


10.00 - 14.00



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Morning Session: Design for positive change

In the morning session, we will stimulate discussion on the possibilities for Design in Innovation.

We’ll hear from six Design Innovation thought leaders, engage in an interactive panel session and you’ll have the opportunity to share what you’d like the Design Innovation Network to offer.

Webcast recording is now available


Afternoon session: Building Design in Innovation

After an inspiring morning session we’ll focus on some of the practicalities of Design in Innovation: funding, navigating design disciplines, the variety of approaches to designing and finding as well as selecting the right design talent.

We’ll initiate the conversation with a fireside chat and open the floor for audience questions and wider discussion.


Morning Session: Design for Positive Change


  • Welcome and Introduction to the Design Innovation Network – Abi Hird, Design Innovation Network Lead
  • Hello from the Design Innovation Network Advisory Panel – Chris Thompson, Chair for the Design Innovation Network Advisory Panel
  • Design as a foundational component of the Innovate UK Plan for Action
  • Six perspectives on Design for Positive Change:
    • Tim Kerby, CEO | Edinburgh Systems
      Systems thinking for innovators
    • Merle Hall, CEO | Kinneir Dufort
      Design for inclusion
    • Cat Drew, Design Director | Design Council
      Design for Planet | A perspective for the innovation community
    • Matthew Mullen, Growth and Community Leader | Thales Design Office
      Using strategic design within a global business
    • Alison Prendiville, Professor of Service Design | University of the Arts London
      Design at low Technology Readiness Levels and at the very earliest stages of innovation
    • Adrian Westaway, Founder | Special Projects
      Using design to inform decision making and to manage complexity and uncertainty – a practical example

Click here to view all the speaker biographies.

  • Panel Q&A
  • Interactive session: what would you like the Design Innovation Network to offer?

Afternoon Session: Design Innovation


  • Fireside chat on the opportunities and challenges relating to Design in Innovation in practice. Panelists for this session include:
    • Ben Watson, Innovation Leader at 3M, Vice Chair at Institution of Engineer Designers & Visiting Professor Design for Innovation | Brunel University London
      Ben leads the development of both International and UK standards relating to Design and Innovation Management Systems and has a wealth of experience in how to apply design in innovation for best effect across a range of different sectors and project types.
    • Samantha Jackman, CEO | Boost Innovations
      Samantha’s approach to understanding her users is second to none. Find out how she used design to develop innovative insights and engage with her customers.
    • Ben Griffin, Innovation Lead for Design | Innovate UK
      With years of experience in the design sector, Ben now leads Innovate UK’s work in this area. Design is fundamental to good innovation, so much so that Innovate UK has formalised it as one of their pillars in their new Plan for Action.
    • Mark Lynch, Knowledge Transfer Advisor | Innovate UK KTN
      With a strong background in design, Mark now builds, supports, and monitors a wide range of Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) projects. KTP’s offer a means of embedding strategically important capability and knowledge within a business. Find out how you can use KTP’s to embed Design in Innovation.
    • Ben Wilkins, CEO | Good Boost
      Ben’s experience in design has been pivotal to building and scaling his digital health social enterprise. The design-led approach adopted has been key to securing funding, managing risk, shaping the innovation, and delivering impact.
  • Open Q&A and discussion

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