By Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder and Director, Business Fights Poverty, and Lewis Temple, CEO, iDE UK
A creative revolution is underway around the design of products and services that transform the lives of poor people. But perhaps the most exciting activity is around combining design innovation with business model innovation, so that social impact can be achieved on a massive scale.
With 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty, it is urgent that we find design solutions that are commercially sustainable and that can have a transformative social impact. There are too few examples where product and service design innovations have succeeded at scale. This needs to change.
Through an exciting collaboration between Business Fights Poverty and iDE UK, we want to help drive forward thinking on how design can change the world for the better by convening the world’s first online Design Expo – from 9 to 13 June.
We will be building on the experience of Paul Polak, The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and other pioneers who first shone a spotlight on “designing for the other 90 per cent” of the world’s population who have little or no access to the products and services that can improve their lives.
The Design Expo will include a vibrant mix of live video interviews with some of the world’s leading pioneers, live co-creation clinics with subject experts, insight articles on the latest design thinking, and an online exhibition zone showcasing the best product and service designers.
The Design Expo will celebrate product design successes, share powerful stories of the challenges facing individuals and communities, explore the complexities of getting products to market and showcase the amazing business models that have been developed.
Each day of the week will focus on one of 5 sectors: Energy (9 June), Health (10 June), Communications (11 June), Livelihoods (including enterprise, finance and agriculture) (12 June) and Water & Sanitation (13 June). The online exhibition will also be structured around these 5 sectors.
The Business Fights Poverty Design Expo 2014 will include a rich and interactive mix of activities and spaces for knowledge sharing and networking.
We want you to be a part of this!
If so, please apply to Robert Silberman, Curator of this year’s Design Expo, who will be able to let you know if your product or service meets the Expo criteria. We will need all content by 30 May.
After the Design Expo, all the content will live on in a new Design Zone – a space for the conversation to continue!
Our aim is to stimulate a broad interest in the business and social opportunities provided by this exceptional and dynamic marketplace. Help us make this vision a reality!
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