The Helsinki Design Lab launches this week with the purpose of advancing strategic design as a new discipline in tackling the problems of the interdependent world.
Strategic design is seen as an approach and a tool to promote societal and environmental transformation. It is bringing together proactive 'action players' in envisioning new opportunities and new connections to open out different approaches to exploring seemingly insurmountable and intransigent systemic challenges.
The challenge for us all is to see how the colliding of different perspectives, believes and capabilities can be harnessed to build action that can make a change.
What sets the Helsinki Design Lab apart is the concerted effort of Marco Steinberg and his team to integrate into the conversations - from the outset - the politicians, government advisors and policy makers who have access to the power and resources to implement systemic, medium to long-term change.
The 2010 Helsinki Design Lab cannot only be about discovering and articulating new opportunities for practical transformation.
The deeper and more difficult transformation of the perceptions, preconceptions and mental models of all involved – particularly those individuals in positions of significant influence – needs to emerge as an integral part of the journey. Only when that internal and personal shift has taken place, can the door open to new ways of working through which approaches can be devised to tackle together the problems of the interdependent world.
This is the transformation that will be started this week and this is the foundation stone upon which the success of the process will depend.