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Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation

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Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation


In addition to developing concepts and interventions, today’s designers and leaders must direct the implementation of those concepts and interventions. Achieving systems-level success requires cultivating and activating networks—technological, infrastructural, and social—that support new collaborative activities, process, and mindsets.

Starting in February with a pre-conference event series, Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation invites diverse leaders, including designers, executives, strategists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to explore emergent practices for activating networks and designing infrastructures that lead to large scale impact. Hosted by IIT Institute of Design (ID), the series will culminate in a two-day conference (May 22–23, 2019) featuring talks, breakout sessions, and workshops across three programmatic areas:


Activism + Policymaking

Entrepreneurship + Emerging Technologies

Adaptive Leadership for New Economies


Together, we'll discover real-world contexts where organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, policymaking, and design are already colliding. We’ll examine new tools and methodologies to evolve our individual and collective points of view about adaptive leadership and the transformative practices—and challenges—of large-scale collaboration. We’ll learn new approaches for a range of industries (food, energy, financial services, housing, healthcare, hospitality, mobility, waste, public services, technology) and disciplines (behavioral science, public policy, communications), and reveal how design can do more than think—it can do.

We will address such questions as:


How can organizations engage and activate networks for reimagining livelihoods and the platforms supporting them?

What is the role of leaders in designing sustainable solutions that reimagine the interconnectivity of social, technical and ecological infrastructures? 

How can entrepreneurs prototype large-scale transformations that weave together new technological developments and more equitable solutions?

Where might we learn from alternative or emerging models of developing and scaling access, inclusion, and equity in large-scale transformation initiatives involving multiple stakeholders?

What ethical and ecological principles — such as social justice, sustainability, and “fit”— should inform how we prototype large-scale systemic action?


About IIT Institute of Design (ID)

IIT Institute of Design (ID) continually challenges what design is and can be. We focus not just on design itself, but the impact it has on the world around us. Founded by László Moholy-Nagy in 1937 as the “New Bauhaus,” for over 80 years ID has ignited designers’ imaginations—evolving design to combine form with human behavior, conquer complexity with clarity, and challenge convention through innovation in pursuit of a more sustainable future.



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