Professor Ezio Manzini is certainly no slouch. When he's not writing books on product service systems, he is attending international symposia on sustainable design in Curitiba, Brazil. And now he is at the forefront of yet another international conference. This time on the "role and potential of design research in the transition towards sustainability."
To be held in Torino, Italy, 10-12 July 2008 it will be a meeting point for academics, researchers and research students in the field of design theory and practice.
And while we applaud the goal of bringing together a bunch of motivated thinkers to work on sustainable solutions, we do hope they can produce some real world results. Waffly, verbose academic statements like "A recognition of the transformations undergone and underway in contemporary reality will be a trait common to all speakers, together with the intention of stepping forward as agents for a possible and positive re-orientation" don't bode well, at first glance.
But hope was restored when we spied their blog, with this illuminating entry from
Mugendi M'Rithaa: As Saki Mafundikwa aptly stated, "Africa is not poor, it just doesn't have a lot of money!" The principal question that perspectives from the continent at the Change the Change conference need to address is: "If Africa does not have a lot of money, what then does it have? Additionally, and more specifically, "How can design help accelerate and perpetuate enabling conditions that will help secure a truly sustainable future for all its denizens?" He identifies that the continent is incredibly wealthy in human capital - a vibrant, engaging and resilient people. Going on to say that "Africa needs to tell the rest of the world its own success stories- and this forum could well be the catalyst for Africa ..."