01. Feb 2022
Five Things to Explore in February
This month, our design nerd and future enthusiast program director Sara Gry Striegler puts Social Innovation on the agenda. Striegler highlights several important and inspiring things for you to explore if you are also eager to create a caring, imaginative, and compassionate society
On the very first day of this year, it felt like a new (long-awaited) beginning from the political landscape: our Prime Minister was clear. Looking at our well-renowned welfare state in her speech on January 1st, we have to realize that it’s fragile and broken. We need to address the challenges we’re facing in completely new ways.
"Too much time goes by with process, bureaucracy, controls, and schedules. It erodes the joy of work. This makes it difficult to recruit. And it provides welfare that does not always live up to expectations. It's time to get to the core. What is really the most important thing in our welfare?"
Prime Minister of Denmark
We couldn’t agree more – the urgency is now (and has been for years, to be frank); but what are the actions to put forward, and where do we look to get inspiration and take action?
Podcast: What if care work was actually valued?
Not only in Denmark but across the globe, job satisfaction in care work is decreasing. Many of our Danish partners in the municipalities and the educational institutions have difficulties in recruiting coming students and laborers for the care jobs.
What if our society at large supported and rewarded the people who choose to take on the responsibility and what if our communities could be living even more intergenerational, connected, and continuously caring? This podcast dives into some of these questions, dreaming of what could be in the future – opening our eyes to the future of care.
Design tool: New days ahead – how do we take action?
Our Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also made a bold move in her speech on New Year’s Day (read the speech in Danish here, and English here – scroll down). She stated to eliminate our extensive regulation and legislation in the area of the elderly and start all over again. A clean slate – a fresh piece of paper to draw the lines of legislation that relies on clear values: dignity, freedom, and self-determination.
But what would that actually mean going forward and translating it into tangible ways of developing the future of aging? And what are the ugly and new questions we need to ask ourselves? What if all the people in the middle of their lives didn’t know the most — but the least? And what if we could extend our empathy beyond generations, spaces, and species?
It calls for new types of dialogue and perspectives, to ensure that we are not just reproducing the system that seems broken – and that certainly calls for creativity and collective imagination.
Here at the DDC, we have created a tool and a frame to address this challenge using scenario-based design and speculative design. And this February we are ready to launch! So stay tuned for the tasting menu of the resource, tools, and artifacts. For example, you’ll be able to explore one of the future fragments – the new care gel. In Denmark, people are desperate to solve the problem with too few “warm hands”. Therefore, people begin to implement the care gel in Danish nursing homes. The gel is a kind of antidepressant that reduces negative feelings in connection with loneliness and lack of physical closeness.
Use the tool to get inspired and provoked (!), and as a framework for debates, political dialogues, and innovative development processes. It all launches on February 25.
Read more about the project here.
Book: Explore worldwide cases on design for social innovation
Interested in how the field of design for social innovation is growing around the world? Recently the book ‘Design for Social Innovation: Case Studies from Around the World’ was released. It celebrates the many heterogeneous and dynamic forms of how designers engage critical challenges and tackle some of the top questions: What are the business models behind social innovation projects? Who are the organizations investing in the field? What evidence do we have of impact by design? The book captures 45 richly illustrated stories and case studies from six continents and our profound work within the future of healthcare, Boxing Future Health is one of them. From advocating to understanding and everything in between, these cases demonstrate how designers shape new products, services, and systems while transforming organizations and supporting individual growth.
Learn more about the book here.
Opening of an immersive future lab for healthcare in 2050
The Future Lab Exploratoriet is an immersive installation of four distinct scenarios taking shape as physical installations you can walk into, immerse yourself in, and explore: what does it feel like, smell like, and sound like in the future? The future scenarios are a tool that aims to create a reflective space about the health system’s workplaces of the future and the perception of health through a series of personal human stories.
The University College of Copenhagen inaugurates Exploratoriet as a didactic tool and teaching resource for students, but also a valuable innovation resource for collaborations with private companies within the broad healthcare field and public organizations.
The Exploratoriet has been developed in collaboration with experts in design, scenario development and futures research, where the ambition is to offer new ways of teaching that support an innovative mindset and meet the need to develop the welfare system of the future.
Read more about our work with future scenarios here and here.
Mission workshop: How to?
The results are in! We’ve just finished our survey in collaboration with OECD – OPSI Observatory of Public Sector Innovation on missions where we picked your brain to identify on-going mission work, gaps, and potentials: Who does missions? What type of missions do you work with? And HOW do you all make missions work?
We have more than 40 countries represented in the survey and a wide range of societal challenges are tackled both within healthcare, social and environmental. It’s really an emerging field that holds so much potential!
The insights are fundamental for so many businesses and organizations around the world, including us here at the DDC. We believe missions are mandatory in changing our shared future for the better – both in terms of the social, digital, and green transitions we’re facing.
In this survey, ‘mission doers’ from around the world shared with us what it really takes and what bumps and hick-ups we need to tackle together.
Join us on February 11, at 12:00 CET to learn more about our findings and contribute with your curiosity – and kick off the international community of practice. Sign up here.
Can’t get enough of design and innovation? We hear you. And we have you covered.
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