> posted by   on October 27th 2012

DDW 2012: Innovation is a long-term commitment

I was asked by the Dutch Design Week (DDW) organisation to write down my thoughts and comments on the on-going development around design, business and education. I was inspired by the DDW 2012 slogan: “Get Inspired. Get connected. Get ready.”

I wanted to share it with you.

The article below was published in the Wednesday issue of the DDW Tabloid + Map | 24 October 2012.

Innovation is a long-term commitment

Get ready.

I am a self-made woman. I have made my passion my job. If I had followed my graduation title description, I would be unemployed today. There is no school, no certificate and no education that can guarantee a job and a future career. School provides you with the basic knowledge that you’re supposed to know and it teaches you how to learn. There are many renowned institutions in the top of the world’s ranking list, but this list assesses the past, not the future. Where is the list of schools that offer you the future? There is no such list and there never will be one, because the future is much more complicated than you think. As a trendwatcher working for more than thirteen years in one of the largest design consultancies in Europe, I found myself daily between (and within) creative minds and business reality. Yet, we have never before worked so closely with our clients as we do today. Amazing how everything changes. The so-called ‘rational’ business is discovering emotion (immaterial value), while designers talk business (design management). Bank systems fail, ‘trusted’ economic methods do not work, and consumers are part of a cross-social platform between being brand and buying brand. Maybe the Mayas got it right after all? Maybe the old world as we knew it, with its values and norms, is really coming to an end? One thing is sure, we have to get used to a new constant – CHANGE. To be able to make this work, we have to learn to adjust our knowledge and skills constantly. In the near future, there will be no designers but only creative people to provide the best solution. I truly admire the new concept of TU/e Bachelor College, where as a student you can compose your own study programme on the basis of your own interests and ambitions. The platform offers crossover programmes of all the TU/e (Eindhoven University of Technology) study programmes and departments. Be brave and get ready.

Get connected.

The future belongs to the creative society. People (teams – not individuals) will make the future companies and brands, not the other way round. Harvard Business Review predicts the ‘Age of Hyper Specialisation’, in which people have unique skills and talents that can only be useful when integrated within a team. Businessweek discusses the new Rules of Employments, which are based on the Six Degrees of Separation – the network principal. This means that you have to be connected. Collectively, the network of the creative society will achieve more than on its own. The perfect example of a new collective network is our Brainport region Eindhoven – a centre of advanced technology and design. Brainport together with the Free State of Bavaria (Germany) signed an official document to exchange knowledge in the fields of innovation and creativity. In the new future market, we will be global villages with powerful local resources and regional economies. Get connected in Design Cooperation Brainport. Let’s build Capital D together!

Get inspired.

Every year, I pay working visits to more than twenty of the most influential international trade fairs, professional events and conferences. I gain plenty of inspiration from as many different industries as possible to find cross-fertilisation for an idea that will inspire our clients and set our creative minds working. The most important factor of all is the IDEA . There are thousands of designers with the yin-yang feeling and a sense of aesthetics, but there are only a few with awareness of change. I am proud to say that Dutch designers have this unique power (due to my Polish origin I have the right to make this statement). What makes us (yes! I am part of you) so special? Is it our international attitude? Our tolerance towards racial and ethical issues? Or our Dutch cheese and famous painters? Maybe. I think that with 370 inhabitants per km2, and the highest population density of Europe, it is because we understand people. We design for people. We know how to communicate. To understand these and other future changes, you have to visit Dutch Design Week (DDW). DDW is not a trade fair for contemporary shops; DDW is a mind-blowing inspiration event for creative businesses that are aware of future change. DDW is a live trend book for future products, innovation, services, materials, and technology. Open your creative spirit and get inspired.


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