Design as a catalyst for change – September 2016
Dorte attended the Design as Strategy Forum 2016 run by Good Design Australia. The event was held at the UTS Business School in the inspirational Frank Gehry designed Dr Chau Chak Wing Building. The Forum brought together representatives from a broad range of industry sectors including marketing, law, accounting, financial services, insurance, education, government, and design to explore the nexus between commerce, creativity and culture and how design is being used as a catalyst for change.
The Forum presented a diverse and inspiring array of speakers talking about how they are using design thinking to affect change within their organisations. While there were many fantastic talks, two stood out. Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect, spoke about the power of design to unite people around a common theme of place through storytelling, creativity and optimism. Ali reminded us that “vision costs nothing” and that design must “dare to be different” to truly inspire people and ultimately to succeed.
Wing Commander Jerome Reid and Dr Sam Bucolo, Professor of Design Innovation at UTS, spoke about how the Royal Australian Air Force is using design thinking to re-design their procurement process to better respond to an increasingly unpredictable and complex environment. At the core of their process was involving all stakeholders in open conversations up front to share real insights from customers about challenges and issues with existing equipment. Using the core design principles of empathy and placing the user at the centre of the process, they have a developed a clear vision of what is required and where they are headed longer term. As a result, they have drastically reduced lead times, minimised the likelihood of early obsolescence and are in the process of understanding implications for their future workforce capability.
The forum clearly demonstrated that the principles of design thinking are being successfully applied across public and private sectors to drive change and improve business outcomes. When applied strategically, design can reap great rewards – it can co-create visions that inspire and unite people, it can help drive innovation and productivity, and it can deliver significant time and cost savings.