11 December 2007

Interview with Hilary Cottam

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Hilary Cottam
It took Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken quite some effort to schedule an interview with Hilary Cottam, UK Designer of the Year 2005 and former director of RED [archive site], the meanwhile closed innovation unit of the UK Design Council, and now one of the founding partners of Participle. But it was worth it.

Participle (which now finally has a webpage) is a new social enterprise designing the next generation of public services, with a focus on the big and seemingly intractable social issues of the 21st century. The two other Participle co-founders are Charles Leadbeater, the internationally renowned thinker and innovator, and author of the book We-Think, and Colin Burns, designer and formerly the CEO of IDEO London. The initiative is supported by NESTA, where Participle has its offices.

In the 30 minute interview which covered as much ground as a normal person can do in 60 minutes – Hilary is a fast talker – we discussed many of the areas that are dear to this blog, including co-creation with end-users, the power of design to transform public services and provide new approach to address seemingly difficult problems such as diabetes, and how to constructively deal with an ageing population. She also talks about her new Participle venture of course.

The interview was published on the website of Torino World Design Capital, where the author of this blog provides monthly contributions.

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