Design Council Chairman Martin Temple outlines our ambitions and shares some news about changes at the top of the organisation.

Design Council has entered an exciting new phase. Over the last few months, we have been working very hard to devise, define and strategically plan where we believe we should be heading as a charity. 

Our organisation has long been recognised as a leading authority on the use of strategic design in the UK, and our training and knowledge has been shared around the world. We use design as a strategic tool to tackle major societal challenges, drive economic growth and innovation, and improve the quality of the built environment. Our approach is people-centred and enables the delivery of positive social, environmental and economic change.

With the positive news of continued grant funding from BIS until March 2020, and more recently the £3.65m award from the Big Lottery Fund for a design-oriented approach to improving people's experience of life as they age, our priorities are able to shift – we are now able to start thinking even bigger. Our new strategy, accompanied by a suite of services, focuses on addressing issues of national significance, while we will continue to make the case and grow the market for design in areas of the economy where it is underused. 

Having overseen this transformation, our current Chief Executive John Mathers has decided that he will be stepping down in November of this year. Having guided Design Council through a period of significant change, he believes the organisation will benefit from new blood to take it into this new phase.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Design Council to thank John for his stewardship of Design Council over the last three and a half years.

When John announced the decision at a recent Design Council team meeting, he had this to say: “The organisation is now very different to the one I joined, with great progress in major initiatives such as Design for Europe, our groundbreaking Design Economy research, the UK’s first product accelerator programme, Spark, and support to cities and places around the country. I’m very proud to have been part of Design Council in such a vibrant period in its history.”

We are now looking for a dynamic and inspiring Chief Executive to own, drive and deliver our new strategy. Above all, we are looking for a passionate advocate of design who can demonstrate vision and strategic insight to ensure Design Council remains relevant, contemporary and sustainable, and that we continue to grow the market for design.

Our Trustees have asked Executive Directors, Madeline Denmead and Clare Devine, to take over full Executive responsibility for delivering the strategy and managing the activities of Design Council until the appointment of the new CEO. John will be focusing on outward-facing activities until he leaves in early November.

I’d like to wish John the best of luck for the future and congratulate the Design Council team on a very successful period, long may it continue.

If you would like more information about the role, please contact Perrett Laver on +44 (0)20 7340 6200.  You can find further details and information on how to apply on their website [reference 2573]. 

Applications close at midday (BST) on Friday 17 June 2016.

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