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Resources: Conferences & Events

14th Annual Subtle Technologies Festival 2011
June 02, 2011-June 05, 2011
In 2011 the Subtle Technologies Festival celebrates its 14th year of bringing people together to promote wonder, incite creativity and spark innovation across disciplines. Through symposia, exhibitions, workshops, screenings and performances we provide a forum to pose and explore questions and inspire work at the intersection of art, science and technology.

2011 International Design Development Summit (IDDS)
June 29, 2011-August 05, 2011
The International Development Design Summit is an intense, hands-on design experience that brings together people from all over the world and all walks of life to create technologies and enterprises that improve the lives of people living in poverty.

2nd Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity
March 26, 2010-March 29, 2010
The second international conference on degrowth will develop clear policy proposals and strategies for action on degrowth and define the key open questions and research agenda. The conference will foster interaction between participants and put emphasis on the development of cooperative research. This conference will follow a novel format. It will include selected keynote speeches and roundtables by distinguished degrowth scholars. The conference will however mainly be based on paper presentations with oral sessions, posters and working groups.

6th Annual Design, Art & Technology Symposium
October 09, 2010-October 11, 2010
DATS 2010 explores how food-related designs can help to develop a sustainable culture of healthy lifestyles through good eating. Interdisciplinary teams are creating implements, furnishings and environments to promote thinking and learning about healthy food, in every aspect of our experience. Creative works featured at DATS'10 reflect consideration of nutritious food, sensible diets, appealing tables, creative kitchens, convivial dining spaces, local growing, conscientious farming, fair trade, efficient supply chains, equitable distribution, engaging education and vibrant regional growth. The legacy of Charles & Ray Eames informs appreciation of the power in considering different scales of experience for generating effective art and designs. Powers of 10 Day is part of the DATS'10 program and inspires many of the events and featured projects.

A Better World by Design
October 01, 2010-October 03, 2010
Brings together a global community of innovators to investigate the ways in which technology, design and enterprise can change communities and the environment for the better. Sessions take place on the campuses of neighbors Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, and students from these institutions run the program.

A Better World by Design
September 30, 2011-October 02, 2011
The Better World by Design Conference is a three-day internationally acclaimed event at Brown & RISD campuses in Providence, RI, that connects students, professionals and individuals from a variety of disciplines in order to build a global community of socially conscious and passionate innovators.

AIGA Design Conference 2011
October 13, 2011-October 16, 2011
The AIGA Design Conference is a biennial gathering of the design community to celebrate design excellence, reinforce friendships and connections and stimulate thinking about the critical issues that surround design practice.

The 2011 biennial design conference is scheduled to take place at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Tickets and pricing will be available in late fall 2010.

October 14, 2010-October 16, 2010
Design has the power to change the direction of businesses, provide fuel for economies and even change lives. Provocative thinkers from a wide range of disciplines will inspire and reinvigorate at this year’s “Gain: AIGA Design and Business” conference, which will focus on the theme “Design (Re)Invents.”

Aspen Ideas Festival
June 27, 2011-July 03, 2011
The Aspen Ideas Festival will gather some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large.

Business Innovation Factory
September 20, 2011-September 21, 2011
Philanthropic and independent organization, founded in 2004, which emphasizes implementation of new ideas, especially in the spheres of healthcare, education and energy. BIF also maintains an Innovation Story Studio with digital material from its creative community.

Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders
July 24, 2011-July 29, 2011
Limited to senior executives involved in strategy or design projects, this program of the Yale School of Management aims to foster an understanding of the interreliant but often mutually misunderstood areas of business and design.

Cineforum: Climate Change: The Road to Ectopia
December 04, 2009-December 04, 2009
"The Cineforum is an innovative conference approach to help you to identify and shape your own part in creating the paradigm-shifting strategies and solutions to designing and building a positive future: Ecotopia. Combining powerful documentary films, insights from avant-garde thought leaders, cross-disciplinary workshops and carefully selected delegates, this is the seminal London event contributing to COP 15 and enabling you to play a part in designing the future."

Common Good Forum on Ending Government Paralysis
June 15, 2010
A forum organized by Common Good, with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, to expand the debate on government paralysis from partisan finger-pointing to the structural flaws of a mature democracy. Government makes laws but almost never goes back to amend or eliminate them. As a result, it is difficult to make sensible choices needed to meet current goals.

January 22, 2011-January 23, 2011
This interdisciplinary conference brings together designers, manufacturers and business leaders to address questions from a design point of view about what makes a socially and ecologically responsible society.

Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp
August 14, 2010
Like its namesake company, this event was founded to harness the productive capabilities of like-minded people within individual communities. Gathers professionals, most of them from the public service or nonprofit sectors, for networking and inspiration.

Cumulus Conference
May 24, 2012-May 26, 2012
Cumulus, a Helsinki-based association of more than 140 universities and colleges of art, design and media, sponsors conferences for creative professionals and leaders in education and media. Its next conference, Helsinki 2012 - World Design Capital 2012, will be held in Helsinki - Espoo, Finland, in May 2012.

D: All Things Digital
May 31, 2011-June 02, 2011
Sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, this conference is devoted to digital and technological innovation and is especially noted for impressive speakers on the order of Arianna Huffington, Evan Williams and Mark Cuban.

Design Indaba
February 23, 2011-February 27, 2011
Held annually in Cape Town, South Africa, Design Indaba is one of the few global conferences to celebrate creativity as a source of economic growth and prosperity by addressing disciplines from advertising to publishing and from fashion to performance art. Past conferences have hosted the likes of Ross Lovegrove, Stefan Sagmeister, Yves Béhar, Hella Jongerius and Terence Conran.

Design Inquiry: DesignCity Montréal
May 08, 2011-May 13, 2011
"In 2006, Montréal, Québec, Canada was designated by UNESCO as the first and only North American City Of Design. Are design qualities somehow inherent in Montréal's topographies, its citizens, its outputs? Are these qualities designed by designers or do they evolve out of the way people use the city? The notion that design practice, and the presence of designers, can alter the trajectory of a city for the better is an assumption that warrants exploration and testing. "DesignInquiry: DesignCity (Montréal) participants will explore the Ville de Montréal for five nights and six days, sleep in dorms that are still partly occupied by a nunnery, and live, work and cook together all across the city. DesignCity (Montréal) findings will be published in the DesignInquiry journal and exhibited at Design Montréal's Portes Ouvertes-a high profile series of events opening June 3."

Design Research Conference 2010
May 10, 2010-May 12, 2010
Sponsored by IIT's Institute of Design, this 9th DRC will be a conversation about the new frontiers of design research. It will host the world’s most compelling stories about the human condition and unmet needs. It will be a stimulating place to learn the most innovative new research methods. It will address the challenges facing the industry head on. Finally, it will continue to explore how design research can help us address the grand challenge of bringing meaningful things into the world.

October 14, 2009-October 16, 2009
"Design for Life" is the theme of this year's conference devoted to design and sustainability. Featured speakers include Ilse Crawford, Richard Hutten, Max Fraser and Ineke Hans.

Designers Accord Global Summit on Design Education & Sustainability
October 23, 2009-October 24, 2009
One of the key priorities of the Designers Accord is to influence design education so that the next generation of designers will have the frameworks, tools and value systems in place to practice sustainably. To this end, we are hosting the first-ever international summit on design education and sustainability in Fall 2009 to collectively tackle this great challenge." This summit will convene "100 individuals from the world's most distinguished academic and professional institutions." Insights from the Summit will be sythesized as a toolkit of best practices and methods for integrating sustainability into design education programs. The toolkit will be available online for free.

Feast Conference
October 15, 2010
The Feast Conference gathers the world's greatest innovators from across industries and society to empower, inspire and engage each other in creating world-shaking change.

GEL (Good Experience Live)
April 28, 2011-April 29, 2011
New York-based conference and community exploring "good experience . . . in business art, society, technology and life. Instead of focusing on just one thing (design, technology, user experience, business, etc.) like many conferences, Gel touches on many things. This challenges attendees to find, and learn from, the patterns that underlie good experience, even in disciplines vastly different from their own."

Green Entrepreneur Summit NYC
July 22, 2010
The Green Entrepreneur Summit on Scaling Up Without Selling Out is an interactive, engaging half-day seminar to help attendees learn successful tools and strategies for rapidly accelerating triple bottom line businesses. We'll review a comprehensive approach to reach comfortable profitability while taking care of stakeholders and the planet.

Greener Gadgets
February 25, 2010
The Greener Gadgets Conference tackles all of the issues surrounding energy efficiency and sustainable design, from innovative advances in packaging and product manufacturing to end-of-life recycling solutions. It also highlights ways in which electronics make a major impact by utilizing renewable energy in developing nations. The conference closes out with the iGreener Gadgets Design Competition, highlighting a new class of sustainable product concepts, from those that create their own energy to those that minimize the need for any electricity at all.

Greengaged at the Design Council
September 21, 2009-September 25, 2009
Hosted by the London Design Council as part of the London Design Festival, Greengaged offers a series of free, one-day events aimed "to help the design industry tackle the big issues around sustainable design." The 2009 lineup includes: "Design for Life: Barriers to Behavior Change," "Co-Opportunity: A Day for World Builders," "Biomimicry in Design" "Crafting Mass Production" and "The Materials Behind Sustainability."

Idea Festival
September 21, 2011-September 24, 2011
Brings together creative thinkers in science, the arts, design, business, film, technology and education. Hosts presentation of annual Curry Stone Design Prize ($100,000), given to "an individual who has demonstrated breakthrough design solutions with the power and potential to improve our lives and our world."

IDSA Conference 2010 : DIY Design
August 04, 2010-August 07, 2010
What if the DIY resurgence meant the end of industrial design? When anyone can create exactly what they want by themselves, who needs a professional? On the other hand, the creativity and design awareness it brings could be exactly what ID needs. Discussion topics at the IDSA Conference 2010 include "DIY as an Innovation Engine" and "Slow Craft".

IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference
May 12, 2011-May 13, 2011
The IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference is an international executive forum addressing how businesses can use design to explore emerging opportunities, solve complex problems, and achieve lasting strategic advantage.

Include 2011
April 18, 2011-April 20, 2011
As a concept, social innovation has growing currency in society, government, academia and business. It manifests itself in many different ways in different contexts. Its meanings extend from public service and policy innovation to initiatives in assistive technology and to aspects of civic participation and creative entrepreneurship.

The theme for Include 2011 will be: The Role of Inclusive Design in Making Social Innovation Happen.

International Design & Emotions Conference
October 04, 2010-October 07, 2010
Sponsored by the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Design & Emotion Society, this biannual forum is where practitioners, researchers and industry leaders meet and exchange knowledge and insights concerning the cross-disciplinary field of design and emotion. The conference will offer workshops, research paper presentations, design case presentations, and poster presentations.

International Festival of Cultural Diversity
May 11, 2010-May 22, 2010
Sponsored by UNESCO, ten days of concerts, exhibitions, performances and a conference focused on arts, music and crafts produced throughout the world.

LEIF 2009
October 12, 2009-October 14, 2009
LEIF stands for Leaders of the Ethosphere Institute Forum. This inaugural event will convene professionals and thought-leaders from a multitude of industries and countries to "define and launch the universal standard for sustainable, integrative and evolutionary development." Sponsored by Enclave Rising.

Meeting of the Minds
September 21, 2011-September 23, 2011
Each year’s Meeting is a premier leadership summit focused on the tools that sustainable cities are actively using. For two days, participants from the public, NGO, and private sectors engage in a lively discussion on how to “connect the dots” across key sectors: building systems, energy and water resources, mobility, and finance.

Underpinning this year’s discussion is a growing imperative to make sense of the complex interplay between natural ecosystems and human infrastructure systems. The 2011 Meeting will look at how urban/regional decisions have become inextricably linked, and what elements of cross-sector partnership are critical for successful solutions.

Opportunity Green
September 21, 2011-September 23, 2011
"Forge new strategic partnerships and explore the latest in sustainable strategies and best practices to lead your organization to success. Get the inside view on the hottest topics, trends and technologies at the premier green business event focused on creating new opportunities through sustainability."

Picnic Conference
September 22, 2010-September 24, 2010
Three-day event in the Netherlands connecting media technology, entertainment, art and science. Runs concurrent Picnic Labs, workshops for the development and review of new business ideas.

October 20, 2010-October 23, 2010
A three-day summit hosted in a 19th-century opera house in Camden, Maine, that explores technology, new ideas in the social and physical sciences, and other forces of change. Presentations run from lectures to short films to musical performances. Supports fellowship program.

Re-Thinking the Future of Design
June 21, 2011-June 22, 2011
DMI’s Design/Management Thinking conversational-format conference will move beyond philosophical arguments on Design Thinking: it will grapple with the real changes in the expectations that all types of organizations are beginning to have about the Designer’s potential level of contribution — and the implications for you as a professional.

RMI 2009: From Ideas to Solutions
October 01, 2009-October 03, 2009
Rocky Mountain Institute is convening top leaders of business, energy and security to discuss the most challenging questions of our time. This two-day symposium will explore effective opportunities in achieving economic growth for an era free of fossil fuels.

SenseMaker Dialogs
SenseMaker Dialogs is a new speaker series focused on exploring the rapidly changing hybrid activity of SenseMaking in the 21st century. No longer just focused on data and information visualization, the boundaries of what sensemaking is and what sensemakers do is in a state of rapid transformation like never before. Leading SenseMakers today have become integral to many forms of change making occurring in organizations and in societies around the world. In SenseMaker Dialogs, speakers from diverse backgrounds will explore these multi-dimensional shifts.

Service Design Conference
October 13, 2010-October 14, 2010
The Service Design Network, established in 2004 by Köln International School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Linköpings Universitet, Politecnico de Milano, Domus Academy and the agency Spirit of Creation. The basic idea is to create an international network for organizations and institutions dealing with service design. This year, the SDN conference, entitled "Connecting the Dots," will take place in Berlin.

Social Enterprise Conference
March 05, 2011-March 06, 2011
Students of Harvard’s Business School and Kennedy School of Government jointly run this conference, whose goal is to “educate leaders who make a difference in the world” and to “prepare leaders for service to democratic societies.”

Stir Symposium
October 07, 2011-October 09, 2011
The Stir Symposium seeks to provide an opportunity to collaborate, think, and discover new ways to approach big global issues. Participants from many disciplines will bring their own expertise to the table, thereby allowing us all to start addressing problems and issues in ways we never would have thought of on our own. The Stir Symposium is about collaborating and thinking in new ways, no matter the discipline: business, architecture, engineering, design, agriculture, geography, and more. Inspired by Design, the goal, and outcome, of the weekend will be an exploration of methodologies around this process of working together. In organizing this symposium, we have focused the weekend on topics that demand such a multi‑faceted approach. Participants will work in new ways to address topics such as education (Learning), conservation and sustainability (Conserving), food production and agriculture (Eating), transportation (Moving), and community or city planning (Living). Envisioned by graduate students in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University, this inspiring weekend will offer forward thinking academics and professionals a chance to stir it up and foster discussions with other disciplines in order to experience new ways of collaborating. The issues of today’s world cannot be addressed without this substantial collaboration and a new way of thinking.

Talk to Me: A Symposium
October 18, 2011-October 19, 2011

This evening and daylong program features presentations, conversations, interviews, and performances on the subjects of design and script writing, cognitive science, gaming, augmented reality, and communication, with a keynote address on October 18 by the hosts of
NPR's Radiolab, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich.

On October 19, panel discussions will be moderated by Paola Antonell; Adam Bly, founder and CEO, Seed Media Group; Majora Carter, President, Majora Carter Group; and Jamer Hunt, Director, MFA in Transdisciplinary Design program, Parsons The New School for Design.

Tasmeem Doha International Design Conference
March 21, 2011-March 24, 2011
For the past six years, Tasmeem has gathered scholars and practitioners in the fields of graphic, interior and fashion design in Doha, Qatar, to discuss critical issues in design and engage with our students and community members. The title for the 2011 Tasmeem Conference is "Synapse: Designer as Link."

Tech 4 Society: Innovations That Serve the Full Market and Change the World
February 11, 2010-February 13, 2010
Tech 4 Society is an Ashoka-Lemelson celebration that explores the cutting edge of global technological social change. It is an event where rural meets urban, low-tech meets high-tech, and where the lines between business and social, education and creation begin to blur.

TED Global
July 11, 2011-July 15, 2011
What is life? And how can it be better lived? From the secrets of the biological processes that take place in our body, to the cultural constructs that take place in our society; From the technologies and resources that make life possible and enjoyable, to the themes that define our humanity -- or threaten it: TEDGlobal 2011 will be a celebration of life, in all its forms.

TED Long Beach
February 28, 2011-March 04, 2011
A gathering place for the country’s leading entrepreneurs and social change agents, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) runs a conference in Long Beach, California, each February and a summer conference abroad (e.g., Oxford, England). TEDIndia launches in November 2009. The website offers networking opportunities as well as a chance to view videotaped presentations, which have been translated into scores of languages. Also supports a fellowship program.

TED Women
December 07, 2010-December 08, 2010
How are women and girls reshaping the future? The first ever TEDWomen invites men and women to explore this question in depth: From the developing world, where a single micro-loan to a single girl can transform a village; to the West, where generations of educated women are transforming entire industries. The diverse international program takes a long look at women through the lens of change agent, intellectual innovator, idea champion ...

The Critical Gift of Design
December 16, 2010-December 17, 2010
“The Critical Gift of Design” is a workshop-based conference hosted by Parsons and organized in collaboration with the Köln International School of Design. The conference features a keynote lecture by Elaine Scarry of Harvard University on Thursday, December 16, and an all-day program on Friday, December 17. Friday’s events include introductory remarks by Swiss designer Ruedi Baur that respond to the keynote address and set a framework for the conference. The following four workshops will be conducted simultaneously in breakout groups and presented for general discussion:

* The History and the Future of the Radical Gift of Design: Critical Design Discourse, Practice, and History and Their Influence on the Future of Design
* The Critical Gift of Communication: The Limits and Extents of Design as Communication
* The Gifted Theory of Design: Designing as Giving—Excess and Exchange
* The Social Construction of the Gift of Design: Gender, Pluralism, and Design Futures

The Unite For Sight Global Health & Innovation 2011 Conference
April 16, 2011-April 17, 2011
The must-attend, thought-leading conference that convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all fields of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship. Social innovation sessions by the CEOs and Leaders of Ashoka, Acumen Fund, Endeavor, City Light Capital, IDEO,, Save The Children, and many others.

United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16)
November 29, 2010-December 10, 2010
COP16/CMP6 is the 16th edition of Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) and the 6th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP).

UP Conference
November 03, 2011
At the UP conference, designers, manufacturers, industry experts and sustainability pioneers will discuss the possibilities (and impossibilities) of redesigning unsold goods to bring them back into circulation. Speakers will include Maurits Groen of Maurits Groen Milieu & Communicatie, Jean-Pierre Bienfait, CEO Makro Nederland, Jan Jongert of 2012Architecten and Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of Droog. The conference will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by journalist, author and strategic advisor Mark Blaisse (Pilgrims Consultants). Questions that will be raised include: to what extent are companies willing to acknowledge that a product is not sellable, what are the intellectual property right issues associated with redesign of existing products, what are the financial implications of the model, how will redesigned products be perceived by the market and should the redesigned products be branded as UP or should they return anonymously into the production process.

Visions of War: The Arts Represent Conflict
October 21, 2009-October 23, 2009
"The Humanities and Sciences Department at SVA presents the 23rd Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists, 'Visions of War: the Arts Represent Conflict.' This conference examines the intersection of the arts and war in visual art, writing, photography, film, design and technology. In examining war, what do artists do, see and express that is similar to or different from military historians, cultural theorists and philosophers? How have representations of war evolved along with war itself? In conjunction with the conference, there will be a series of free public events including a performance of the play The Warrior, the panel discussion Social Change, Conflict and a New Photographic Paradigm and the film series After the Wars, which is followed by the panel discussion The Scars of War: Healing Through the Arts."

Women Entrepreneurs Festival
January 28, 2011-January 29, 2011
Are you a Pre-Entrepreneur? Thinking of starting a business? ITP is hosting the first Women Entrepreneur’s Festival at NYU. The Women Entrepreneurs Festival is an extraordinary gathering of outstanding women entrepreneurs and investors (and a few men!) eager to share their knowledge and experiences with other women starting — or on the brink of starting — their own businesses. The goal of ITP’s Women Entrepreneurs Festival is to sow the seeds for a community of women entrepreneurs in NYC, to expose women who have not yet taken the entrepreneurial leap, the pre-entrepreneurs, to women who have. Festival is limited to 150 participants. Apply to Attend The deadline for application is December 20th. Applicants accepted on a rolling basis.

Worktech 11
May 17, 2011-May 18, 2011
WORKTECH11 New York is a forum for all those involved in the future of work and the workplace as well as real estate, technology and innovation. Join over 250 senior professionals from real estate, facilities, technology, executive management, architecture, design and professional advisors. Themes: * Knowledge Management * The Future Urban Metropolis * Workplace Change * The Future of Work * Leadership & People

World Economic Forum
January 26, 2011-January 30, 2011
For more than four decades, the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos has provided leaders from industry, government, academia, civil society and the media with an unrivalled platform to shape the global agenda and catalyse solutions at the start of each year. The diversity and the informal and collaborative “spirit of Davos” mean that, as well as engaging with familiar faces, participants have the chance to connect with people they don’t know, who challenge the way they think and act.



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