After being on the panel for the Project 511 discussion, Raph Goldsworthy did a bit of mingling with the crowd. Soumitri grabbed a hold of him and introduced him to me and I had a very educational chat with him. He explained that social enterprises do have money to spend; they spend thousands on attending his Better Boards program every year, but they need an incentive to spend it. They need to be able to see the value that they will be added to their business. Raph said he may be able to get me in touch with the CEO’s of a social enterprise or two! During the discussion he talked about how it is important to go straight to the top with these things. You should have the attention of the board members, or it will be a constant challenge to squeeze money and time out of the company.
It would be great if we could also get our studio work up on Design Droplets, as we are such attention seeking world changers.
“As a collaboration between RMIT university and Project 511, North South brings the best of the design industry to your doorstep.
This event is open to recent graduates and current students working and studying in the design industry.
Our international guest Jan Stavik along with Mike Chijoff, Raph Goldsworthy and Russell Kennedy provide valuable information about design within business locally and globally.”
Project 511 was an event held on May 11th and run by RMIT students Glenn and Kate. It was a great success, with a huge turnout, delicious canapes, attractive bartenders and intellectual conversation. Interesting that all the speakers were male, I guess it’s a fairly accurate reflection of the industry. It was wonderful to hear comparisons between the design industry in Norway and Australia, miles apart in every sense of the saying. In Norway, design has significant industry and government support, in both funding and policy. Over there, it has become closely linked with businesses, being spruiked by the Norwegian Design Council as a tool that increases innovation and competitiveness in the business, a theory supported by the UK Design Council’s research that suggests design driven companies are 2.5 times as innovative.
Australia is a very different environment. Design is for the people, by the people. It has not been given credibility through government support (though Russel Kennedy mentioned a 1990’s policy that was kicked out when Howard came to power), and it is not a household term. The design community in Australia has been built from the ground up.
(To be continued…)