25 December 2009

Designing for social innovation: an interview with Ezio Manzini

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putting people first
by experientia

Ezio Manzini
User experience strategist Steve Baty interviewed Ezio Manzini, Professor of Design at the Politecnico di Milano and one of the keynote speakers at Interaction 10, about designing for social innovation and his work with the DESIS network.

“Social innovation is a process of change where new ideas emerge from a variety of actors directly involved in the problem to be solved: final users, grass roots technicians and entrepreneurs, local institutions and civil society organizations. The main way in which it differs from traditional “garage” innovation is that here the “inventors” are groups of people (the “creative communities”) and the results are forms of organization (the “collaborative services”).

Looking attentively to the complexity of the contemporary society shows many cases of these worldwide (for more, see the Sustainable Everyday project). While the stories are diverse, they have one clear (and expected) common denominator: they resulted from the initiatives of people who collaboratively invented new ways of living and producing and who have been able to enhance them, solving specific problems and, at the same time, making concrete steps towards sustainability happen.”

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