On 3rd March to the Economist conference “The Big Rethink”.  An interesting day with some fascinating insights and perspectives.  Among the highlights were

  • Neil Taylor of TheWriter (www.thewriter.com) with a call to better use of language and some compelling examples or how to communicate more effectively.  (and one of the most attractive and useful brochures I’ve ever seen)
  • Cory Doctorow with some worrying thoughts about the value proposition behind Digital Rights Management and who really benefits
  • David Butler (VP Design at Coca Cola) with perfect clarity that design, in his mind, is targeted at improving the bottom line and some interesting examples of designing ‘systems’ to underpin both innovation and commonality / scaleability across a huge organisation
  • Tom Wright and Vinay Gupta, the entrepreneurs behind WhipCar (www.whipcar.com) explained the amazingly rapid take-up of their business, in which private individuals rent their car to other individuals to the benefit of both. It seems to me to require a view of the car as just another consumer durable (and the difficulty I have with that says more about me than about their business model and target users)

Fascinating conversation over lunch with Hannah Macmurray of Green Car Design who described the new dynamic open to designers as the distributed components of the electric car (e.g. wheel motors) removes the constraints that have plagued designers of the IC powered car.

Well run and well facilitated.  A good one