Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SEE at the European Year of Creativity & Innovation Third Flagship Conference

2009 is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (EYCI). As part of this initiative, 27 Ambassadors have been appointed to support the EYCI objective of promoting policy debate on these issues. Last week the Ambassadors published their Manifesto recommending seven lines of action relating to design, education and the knowledge economy. To coincide with this launch, the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture (D-G EAC) organised on 23-24th November, the EYCI Third Flagship Conference ‘Beyond the Crisis: Design for a Sustainable Future’.

Anna Whicher, Design Wales Research Officer, attended this event in order to collate research and best practice examples for the second SEE Policy Booklet ‘Bridging Design, Sustainability and Innovation in Regional Policy’. This is an output of the SEE project, which aims to lobby regional governments to incorporate design into their policy measures. SEE is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVC programme.

The two-day event was opened by Odile Quintin, D-G EAC, who was keen to encourage horizontal cooperation between several Commission Directorate-Generals in order to bring design up the policy agenda. Highlights from the first day included the speeches from two of the EYCI Ambassadors, Erik Spiekermann, Designer, and Damini Kumar, Design Professor NUI Maynoot, who spoke animatedly about design thinking in diverse contexts.

The conference was also an opportunity for design stakeholders and policy actors to engage with one another. Anna used the event as an occasion to network with Commission officials in order to disseminate the first SEE Policy Booklet ‘Integrating Design into Regional Innovation Policy’.

On the Tuesday, the theme explored design thinking for sustainability in innovative organisations, processes and services. For the second SEE Policy Booklet, the most intriguing presentation was from Anne Stenros, Director of Design at KONE, who discussed design thinking as a “process between analytical and intuitive thinking”. Richard Hill, Managing Partner of EuroPublic, summed up the session by emphasising the need to “brand Europe as the place to create".

The next issue of the SEE bulletin, featuring an article on EU versus regional policy developments relating to design, will be published in January 2010. The second SEE Policy Booklet will be published in March 2010.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SEE Policy Booklet Launch

On the 9th November 2009, the SEE project launched its first Policy Booklet on Integrating Design into Regional Innovation Policy at the SEE workshop in Copenhagen. SEE is a network of eleven European partners working to lobby our national and regional governments to assimilate design and creativity into public policy. The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG IVC programme.

The SEE Policy Booklet presents an overview of innovation policy priorities in the SEE partner regions. These priorities were identified from national and regional policy documents and contrasted with the strategic priorities for innovation identified by the European Commission. From this comparative analysis six key issues emerged as common across the policy agendas:

- Innovation in Services
- Public Procurement
- Collaborative Clusters & Networks
- Lead Markets & Eco-innovation
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Broadening the Scope of Innovation

For each of these priorities, the SEE Policy Booklet outlines the drivers and obstacles for enhancing the performance of regional innovation policy, explores how design can be used to address the issue, provides illustrative case studies and puts forward policy proposals.

This is the first of four SEE Policy Booklets to be published between 2009 and 2011. An electronic copy of the booklet is available to download from the SEE website: If you would like to receive future SEE Policy Booklets please email

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SEE workshop in Copenhagen.

As lead partners in the SEE network we've spent the last two days in Copenhagen at the Danish Design Centre (one of the other 10 SEE network partners) hearing presentations and working on issues related to design and sustainability.

We realised several years ago that getting partners together to simply listen to speeches is not enough to make a network effective. So to make sure we all engage meaningfully with the issues being discussed we prepare a series of activities for the partners to work through, this time facilitated for us by the Bigger Picture from Denmark; who take an interesting approach to recording the proceedings.

The output from the workshop in Denmark will be a second policy booklet that provides guidance to policy makers on aspects of design related to sustainability. The first SEE policy booklet was launched earlier this month and addresses the link between design and innovation policy.