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Using design as a force for change
At Design Council we believe in using design as a force for change – enabling us to tackle some of the toughest economic, societal and environmental challenges. We commission pioneering, evidence-based research, develop ground-breaking programmes and use insights from these in our ongoing influencing and policy work, to show the power of design and how it impacts three key areas of the economy: business innovation, places and public services.
In March 2020 we published our new strategy, which outlines our key priorities for the next four years. Over this time, we will focus on three key areas which urgently need to be addressed: improving our nation’s health and wellbeing, and addressing health inequalities across the UK; enabling sustainable living and helping the UK’s reach its stated net zero targets; and intensifying our market making work for design by helping people access, understand and learn essential design skills.
These are complex challenges which require more than one solution – requiring input from grassroots to government. We will use our experience and expertise to bring together a wide range of stakeholders to shape a prosperous, healthier and sustainable society.
The bulk of this strategy was developed before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. As an agile and forward-thinking organisation, we are prepared to shift the emphasis of our work if necessary so we can best respond to this unprecedented situation.
Enabling sustainable living
Across the world, there is grave concern about the about the future of our planet. The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals provide a framework for how best to preserve and protect our planet, its inhabitants and resources, and we have identified one of these goals – climate change – as our primary focus for encouraging and supporting sustainable living. Harnessing the power of design, we can bring about meaningful change.
Equipping people with design essential skills
People with design skills contribute to a more innovative, resilient, productive workforce – one that is strongly placed both to deal with society’s complex challenges and bring about robust economic growth. But there is more we can do to help people learn these skills. We want to increase the use of design skills across the country, address current regional imbalances and – in doing so –safeguard the UK’s economic, social and environmental wellbeing.
Improving the nation’s health and wellbeing
The UK is gripped by a health crisis. It also has the highest levels of interregional inequality than any other large wealthy country. Design has a vital role to play in improving our nation’s health and wellbeing. Through the development of better places, products and processes that work well for everyone, we can help create a healthier and happier nation.