Ukraine: From Design Thinking Towards A Design Action Plan (Workshop Transcript)

Anna Whicher, the Head of Design Policy of the International Design and Research Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University, delivered a Design Policy Workshop to 30 stakeholders as part of the Ukrainian Design Forum: Moving from Design Thinking to Design Doing. The aim of the workshop was to explore the Ukrainian Design Ecosystem, identify the strengths and weaknesses and jointly develop some potential design policy actions as a starting point.

What is design?

Design is an approach to problem-solving that can be applied to the private and public sector to develop products, processes, services and strategies by putting users first.

What is the value of design?

Companies that invest strategically in design tend to grow faster. According to research by the U.K. Design Council, for every £1 invested in design the return is £25 and £5 in exports.

What is a Design Ecosystem?

A Design Ecosystem is a theoretical construct used by policy-makers and academics to examine the interplay between actors and initiatives in a country or region and how this can inform targeted policy action to stimulate the supply of and demand for design. 

What did we do?

As part of a full day workshop, a group of 30 engaged stakeholders took part in three activities to:

• Map the key organisations and initiatives in the Ukrainian Design Ecosystem;

• Explore the strengths and weaknesses;

• Generate ideas to enhance the Design Ecosystem.

This report is a transcript of the Design Policy Workshop. It represents a snapshot in time but of course a Design Ecosystem is always changing. These ideas were developed in one day so a much wider discussion needs to happen with a larger stakeholder group to gather further input. This is an early step towards the longer-term ambition for a government action plan to support design.

Dr Anna Whicher, Yaroslav Belinsky & Mykola Skyba

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