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In an age of austerity, rising inequality, urbanisation, ageing populations, climate change, the redefinition of the role of the state, big data and surveillance, how do we assess the risks and opportunities for design?

How realistic are the claims being made for new transformational design disciplines? Are they overly optimistic? Or perhaps overly cautious?

What are the challenges and the key questions for citizens and leaders?

This series asks questions about how design can transform our world, before it’s too late.

Explore the series

The Design Economy primer: how design is revolutionising health, business, cities and government

The Design Economy primer: how design is revolutionising health, business, cities and government

27 April 2015

This article is part of The Design Economy series. Asked recently what she saw as the single greatest driver of social change, Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation replied: “Design.” In the four sections that follow, we offer a...

The secrets of the Chief Design Officer

The secrets of the Chief Design Officer

27 April 2015

This article is part of The Design Economy series. An in-depth guide to the CDO phenomenon and the accession of design-thinking in the corporate world. As Apple’s valuation shot higher and higher in recent years, a flurry of...

Reinventing death for the twenty-first century

Reinventing death for the twenty-first century

5 May 2015

This article is part of The Design Economy series. Meet the start-ups, corporations, venture capitalists and health providers designing new, more meaningful ways of dying. In March 2015, a group gathered together for a symposium...

Can design help shrink the ‘empathy deficit’?

Can design help shrink the ‘empathy deficit’?

24 June 2015

This article is part of The Design Economy series. How designers are rediscovering their roots in social good and helping nations face the future.  In 2006 Barack Obama addressed Northwestern University’s graduating class:...

Can designers fix our ailing democracy?

Can designers fix our ailing democracy?

8 July 2015

This article is part of The Design Economy series. Technologists and designers are working together to reimagine what it means to be a citizen in the twenty-first century. While some are trying to fix what we have, others believe...