The EU Eastern Culture and Creative Partnership has embarked on a mission to champion the cultural and creative industries in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Last year, I participated in their conference in Tbilisi and from 14-15 September this year, I was invited as an expert for the first Ukrainian Design Forum: Moving from Design Thinking to Design Doing.
"The EU Eastern Culture and Creative is supported by the European Union and partners and focuses on research, training and networking. We have trained 50 business leaders in creative business methods."SIMON WILLIAMS
DIRECTOR, BRITISH COUNCIL, UKRAINE
"Ukraine must embrace design as an ingredient for bringing more products and services to the market. It is good design that makes people buy products. Design should be part of every stage of the development process."TIM WILLIAMS
TEAM LEADER, CULTURE & CREATIVITY PROGRAMME
It was refreshing to have the conference not only launched by the Minister for Culture but also to have him stay for the morning and demonstrate a broad understanding of design.
"We want to integrate Ukraine into the global and European stage through design. The Creative Industries are 4% of GDP in Ukraine. We want to understand the latest design trends and what models might work in the Ukraine."MINISTER OF CULTURE
I was fortunate enough to be the keynote speaker for the overarching theme of the conference, how to strengthen the design ecosystem in the Ukraine. I provided an overview of design in different contexts, insight into the value of design and examples of actions to stimulate the Design Ecosystem.
"A Design Ecosystem"
The theme of Design Ecosystems continued with experts from Portugal, Ireland and Sweden.
"We need more governments to develop design policies to enhance the performance of design-driven innovation. It is not always necessary to have a national design centre if the Design Ecosystem is performing.JORGE PINTO
"The 2015 Year of Irish Design promoted design in its widest interpretation and was intended to put Irish design on the map. We wanted to develop the design sector and boost exports. It was an initiative involving over 600 events at home and abroad. The Design 4 Growth programme was piloted and has received additional funding."LOUISE ALLEN
DESIGN AND CRAFT COUNCIL OF IRELAND
"The first attempt at designing a concept is almost always wrong. That's why we prototype."
It is important to prioritise a small number of achievable and specific actions based on the national (or regional, or city) context. In essence, what would the top five or ten actions be to enhance the Ukrainian Design Ecosystem?
As part of a full day workshop, a group of 30 engaged stakeholders identified the following key actions:
Conduct research on the number of designers in the Ukraine and how businesses understand and use design.
Implement workshops for children on design as problem-solving.
Provide training for designers in service design in the public sector.
Integrate design managers within innovation agencies.
Pilot a mentoring programme connecting designers and small businesses.
Develop a business case with specific actions to engage government.
Integrate service design into the curriculum of design education.
Provide training for government officials in design methods.
Showcase Ukrainian designers in public spaces.