Design Conversations

When Richard Boland held his closing speech at the Positive Design Conference he really put pressure on us, making us reflecting on to what extent us coming to Monterrey for this event really could make up for the money it had cost, the time we had to spend away from our families and for the tons of carbon dioxide we had generated by flying there. I definitely think that we achieved a good result, even from a sustainability perspective, with lots of new ideas for research and education. However, the most important result from my perspective was the interdisciplinary conversations and the academic bonding they resulted in. As you can see from the pictures, we certainly had a lot of fun!

So how do you design a conference that will lead to such conversations? I think it was a very good idea to have a mix of inspiring presentations and group work. The social events were also great, with lots of opportunities to talk and dance and explore the local culture. Another design element was the mix of people from design, management and technology from different countries but with a clear collaborative attitude. I also very much liked us creating a collective poem at the end, reading out loud the sentence we had written expressing a summary of our experience of the conference. My contribution was: “From name to face to soul mate”.

I really think the conference was a great example of positive design, with respect to both process and outcome. I’m looking forward to the next conference in Korea 2010, especially after Professor Dong-Sung Cho’s presentation of the BEST Sustainability Report. Thank you so much, both organisers and participants for a wonderful conference! I miss you all already. You have inspired me to continue to make a difference!

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