Design Innovation Network Launch Highlights

Posted on: 07/03/2022
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This article features the most exciting highlights from the Design Innovation Network launch event last week.

Watch the video from the launch of the Design Innovation Network below:

Design Innovation Network Launch Highlights

There were so many gems shared during our Design Innovation Network launch event last week.  We’ve distilled just a few of our key highlights but there are many more.

We’re buzzing with excitement about putting our plans into action, engaging the wider community in using design to transform innovation and creating positive change.

We’d love to know what your key takeaways from the day are and to help you explore how you might use Design in Innovation to best effect. If you’d like to chat, book a drop in meeting with one of our team.

Design is for making sure you are “Doing the Right Thing” as well as doing the thing right

Using Design to gain powerful insights early on in the process can help improve innovation outcomes, profitability, market share, and positive change. To begin the session, Abi Hird explained how using design to support “doing the right thing” is the main theme of the Design Innovation Network. The concept, backed up by the mission of the Design Innovation Network Advisory Board Chair Chris Thompson and the messaging from Ben Griffin,  became tangible through the experiences and insights shared by all eleven speakers and panelists who shared throughout the day.

Design can profoundly impact positive change when embedded early in the innovation process – even at low Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)

Using the example of Antimicrobial Resistance and Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in India, Alison Prendiville shows how design can be used to understand the key levers for positive change.  Programmes like Design Exchange Partnerships (DEP) and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) offer opportunities for businesses to engage with academics to embed design.

Design can be used to help innovators become systems-aware and cognisant of entanglements

Cat Drew shared Design Council framework principles, and Tim Kerby talked about practically what Systems Thinking means for innovators and how it can be combined with Design Thinking to address complex challenges. If you’re keen to propose a challenge for the Design Innovation Network members to explore, or up for offering your skills to addressing challenges using design, we’d love to have you on board.

Design can be strategic and cultural

Matthew Mullan showed us that even in the most regulated and traditional sectors, intentional use of design to improve innovation processes can pay off. If you’re looking to expand the influence of design within your organisation, we’d love to connect you with other like minded people.

Design produces surprising, creative, respectful and beautiful responses

Adrian Westaway shared many projects where he has used design to induce brilliant insights into what is really needed in a situation. What a refreshing alternative to the technology push! How might Design help you be clever in disrupting the status quo?

Design is about understanding different perspectives. Inclusion in design culture and organisations is a necessity

Merle Hall shared the importance of inclusive and diverse design and innovation communities – if we want to design and innovate well, inclusive culture is a must have. Most recent figures from the Design Council show that 95% of industrial designers are male! Cat Drew quoted from the same report – 77% of all designers are male. One of the themes we’ll be exploring in the Design Innovation Network is the culture of Design. How might we influence for positive change?

Everyone involved in Innovation can benefit from Design

A panel of six, with Design in Innovation experience under their fingernails, joined Abi and Chris for an afternoon discussion.

Let us know which aspects of the Design Innovation Network Launch stood out to you and how you’d like to be involved!

You can take part in a drop in or sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with opportunities as they emerge.

Watch this space for specific challenges, more events and details of a Design Innovation Network online collaboration platform.

If you’d like to watch the entire event, click here to view the Design Innovation Network Launch.

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Innovation Networks

Innovation Networks

Through our Innovation Network programme, we’ve united some of the best minds and greatest thinkers from across the UK in areas of innovation, development and new technologies.


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