social innovation

The Dementia Care Economy

Yesterday’s G8 Dementia Summit made much of the fact that millions will now be spent in a race to identify a cure or a ‘disease-modifying therapy’ for dementia.  The likely outcome will be the creation of a Dementia Industrial Complex – and the mass production of un-met expectations.A better way for nation states to spend money […]

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Transition Dogville

In Lars von Trier’s 2003 film Dogville (below) there is almost no set. Buildings in the town are represented by a series of white outlines on the floor. Dogville was a to-the-limit exercise in what von Trier calls ‘pure cinema’ – a commitment to use only real locations, and no special effects or background music, when making […]

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The Transition Companion

We can do this the hard way or the easy way. The easy way is that you skip this post and buy the book now. The hard way is that your reviewer attempts to describe a 320 page book whose contents have been shaped by the infinitely varied experiences of self-organising initiatives around the world. […]

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Design and Health: Flipping The Pyramid

It’s easy for two people to look at the same information – such as this chart (above) about health costs – and perceive totally different things. What I see is an out-of-control Medical Industrial Complex that’s heading, Icarus-like, for collapse. What many designers see is a sea of opportunity – and boy do they want […]

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Compost Candidates

Something special is happening in France. A nationwide campaign will be launched next week by the Colibris movement for the 2012 Presidential Elections – but without a charismatic leader. The campaign, instead, is for everyone to be a candidate – for a new kind of politics. In their language and tone-of-voice Les Colibris are like […]

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5% health: The risk of catabolic collapse and peak fat in modern health systems, what to do about them, and how design can help

I was emboldened, upon arriving at the Mayo Clinic ‘s Centre for Innovation last week, to learn that people with deep domain knowledge do not make the best innovators. I concluded that I was therefore well-qualified to warn one of the top academic medical centres in the world, each of whose 60,000 staff knows more […]

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World Capital of Wellbeing

Along with ‘sustainability’, ‘wellbeing’ is one of those words that is worthy, but hard to sell. Few would disagree that we need more wellbeing and less wasteful consumption – but the word lacks a visceral edge. It conjours up images of a well-run camp-site, or retirement community. Good to have, but not a destination to […]

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Design steps to heaven

I recently visted Luzern, in Switzerland, for a workshop at thethe oldest art and design school in Switzerland, Hochschule Luzern. My host, Andy Polaine had asked me to set students in the first semester of the MA Design a challenge. The task I gave them was as follows: find a neglected asset somewhere in Luzern, […]

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Of apocalypse and forest gardens

Three hundred people came to South Devon in England for the fourth gathering of the Transition Network. They were a modest cross section of the many thousands of people now involved in 330 official Transition initiatives (up from 170 this time last year) and many more less formal groups around the world that are ‘mulling […]

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