While researching my report on design thinking and sustainability I finally had a chance to read some of Ezio Manzini’s papers on the topic. While I’d heard many good things about Ezio’s work (especially from Dave and Penny), I’d not had much of a chance to really dig into it.
The focus of the papers I read were on the concept of “enabling solutions” – that is designs that, rather than taking away problems, build people’s efficacy to solve the challenges they face, increasing their “resourcefulness” (to borrow a term from Emily Campbell’s RSA paper You know more than you think you do: Design as resourcefulness & self-reliance [PDF 356KB]).
While at the time I didn’t fully appreciate the relevance of these papers to my intended report, by the time I’d finished writing it I realised Manzini’s ideas had been very influential. Which is why I’m so excited to see that Ezio is speaking in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney next month in a tour co-organised by ASIX, TACSI, and the Centre for Social Impact.
In each state Ezio will be doing both a public forum: “Small, local, open, connected” and masterclass: “Next economy – enabling sustainable ways of living”. From the masterclass blurb:
Perhaps the world’s leading expert on sustainable design, Ezio Manzini sits at the interface between design, community and social innovation with a focus on scenario building toward solutions encompassing both environmental and social quality.
This masterclass will explore how the interplay between social and technical innovation is opening up brand new opportunities. How can we conceive and deliver “enabling solutions”? How can individuals, businesses, institutions, associations and communities collaborate in the framework of viable business models to support sustainable ways of living?
This masterclass is for policy-makers and practitioners who are interested in sustainability, social innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
I’d thoroughly recommend this tour/series to anyone interested in sustainability and/or social innovation – I’m sure it will be an engaging and inspiring set of sessions…