Almost five years ago, Design4Innovation partners set out to improve their innovation ecosystems by supporting regional SMEs to use design as a method for innovating with people at the heart of the process. Now we can enjoy the sense of achievement of impressive results across all partner regions with new initiatives that are going to:

  • foster collaboration, such as opening of Valletta Design Cluster (MT) – a unique space for creatives and the local community that mobilised over €5m in ERDF investment thanks to our project;
  • increase competitiveness and innovativeness, like a Design Voucher scheme launched in Latvia in May 2020, helping 50 SMEs to adapt to new reality, or new and improved design advisory services in Greece, Silesia (PL), Flanders (BE) and Wales (UK);
  • promote circularity, like series of educational and training programmes in Catalonia (ES); build innovative potential of SMEs through design trainings, such as REACCIONA programme in Galicia (ES);
  • improve evidence base of innovation policymaking through studies (ES, BE, PL).

However, for our final event we want to look into the future and what's next for design support to help our businesses grow in a more sustainable, more collaborative, more humane way. 

That is why we are partnering up with the European Future Forum taking place at Silesian Stadium in Chorzów (PL) from 6th to 8th October 2021. 

Our session Designing new growth – supporting SMEs to use Design for Innovation (during the first day of the Forum) will be centred around the values of the New European Bauhaus (NEB) - Beautiful, Sustainable, Together; and discussions on how to best support our small and medium businesses on transition to the new economy. 

Päivi Tahkokallio, President of BEDA - The Bureau of European Design Associations (2019-2021), will set the scene for discussion with her thoughts on the new growth and the New European Bauhaus values. Päivi is Founder and CEO of Tahkokallio Design+. With a track record in strategic and social design, he has been called the mother of Arctic design, a design approach supporting the sustainable development of the Arctic. As the recent President of BEDA (network of 51 members in 26 countries) she has been leading design policy work in Europe, with climate change, digitalisation and values as key topics.

Following that, representatives of our partner regions will discuss their experiences and insights on what the NEB values mean for SMEs:

  • Beautiful – discussion on design award schemes and their importance for SMEs
  • Sustainable – discussion on supporting eco-design and circularity in SMEs
  • Together – discussion on supporting collaboration

We hope to see you in Chorzów!