BDW Summit – Workshops and talks

20 November

Time for action. Time to act.

This year, 2020 we started a new decade for action towards the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. In the past 10 years, we have been able to think and ideate about how to contribute, but now it’s time to accelerate action towards reaching the 17 goals that lay out the global agenda for sustainable development until 2030.

Who could have imagined that at the beginning of this new decade our lives would change so drastically from one day to another with a pandemic?. More than ever, we believe in the power of design for improving our world with new and better products and services that create a positive impact on society from eliminating hunger to reducing inequalities to building sustainable communities around the world.

We are optimistic that in these complex moments we need to boost design as a driver for innovation that generates impact. This is a call to action and human-centered – we prefer to say society-centered – design is the main ingredient in it! Designers have the power to use their empathy and creativity to turn ideas into tangible products and services, and thus have a particular responsibility designing for a better world and in delivering the SDGs.

At this summit, experts will share with you how to turn your ideas into action. You’ll learn from successful design cases that have proven to be advantageous and valuable for businesses to advance and make a positive impact on people, on the planet or on profit. All aimed at inspiring you and helping you find the tools to start acting as well.


The summit events are 100% online. You need a pre-registration for all of them.



 Thursday, November 19th – Opening talk


Friday, November 20th

Moderator: Adam Walker

Morning Session

9:30 am Welcome & introduction to workshops / Workshop 1

10:00 am Workshop 2 



Contextmapping in health innovations

Workshop leader: Froukje Sleeswijk Visser (The Netherlands)

How can we create and implement meaningful interactions in everyday life? We have enough great new ideas and new technologies, but in implementing these we can still improve a lot as a design community. In this workshop you will learn the main principles of mapping the context of people in their everyday lives, and strategies to keep these insights alive in implementation of new concepts.

The participant’s main takeaways:

  1. Take SDG number 3 ‘good health and wellbeing’, and learn how to contribute to achieve this goal with contextmapping.
  2. Learn how to involve people as ‘experts of their experience’ in design processes.
  3. Get to know the main principles of contextmapping.
  4. Define strategies to keep insights alive in implementation of new concepts.


Closing the loop in 2030 – creating sustainable fast fashion

Workshop leaders: Paul Collins (Bang & Olufsen, UK)  & Luca Bottoni (Publicis Sapient, UK)

Given the SDGs for 2030, companies and consumers have to radically rethink their business models and the way they produce a product. As consumers, we need to learn that our consumption is the behaviour that is driving the problem. But what is the role of designers? Knowing that the fashion industry is the second biggest driver in carbon emissions after the oil industry, in this workshop session, we will aim at contextualising the problem, and ideate to significantly reduce retailers’ carbon footprint by looking at critical themes like reduction, recycling and reuse.

The participant’s main takeaways:

  1. Take SDG number 12 ‘responsible consumption and production’, and apply what this goal means to the fast fashion industry.
  2. Establish an audience understanding and our consumption behavioural themes.
  3. Learn to look at problems solving through a business, human and eco-ethnics lens.
  4. Co-create with the use of participatory design methods.


Afternoon Session

3:00 pm Welcome

3:15 pm  Talks 1


The collective future of social design.

Speaker: Nick Stanhope (Shift Design, UK)

Design plays a powerful role in helping tackle social problems. However, when design teams work independently and competitively on specific solutions, it has limited potential to understand and contribute to the big challenges we face like climate change, wealth inequality and racial injustice. As a collective pursuit, design has extraordinary potential, but the principles and values we have inherited from commercial practice needs reimagining.

Nick will share his experience of leading dozens of social design projects around the world, what he has learnt about their limitations and how his team and other collective design practitioners are experimenting with radically different approaches.

Innovation in times of crisis.

Speaker: Cristian Fracassi (Isinnova, Italy)

Innovation is difficult and takes years? In this talk Cristian will show you the contrary. Last March, his team designed and 3D-printed 100 life-saving respirator valves in 24 hours for a hospital that had run out of them. The valve connects patients in intensive care to breathing machines, and its design has been offered for free and in an open-source way to everyone who’d like to help spreading 3D printing technology and its advantages all over the world. Cristian will highlight three projects he and his team successfully executed during the current pandemic.

What does it take to innovate in a moment of crisis? How to prototype rapidly and scale fast? What is the value of teaming up with partners, such as Decathlon, and letting health professionals and engineers work together? What can we learn from that as designers? Get inspired by the engineers’ journey how to use 3D printing hack to turn scuba masks into ventilators that started with the intuition of a retired doctor. And join the conversation by asking all the questions you would like to ask about applying agile methodologies to social innovation.


4:30 pm  Break

4:45 pm  Talks 2


Designing for good by actively empowering everyone

Speaker: Carl-Emil Jensen (Too Good to Go, Denmark)

How does the food waste value chain look like, and what challenges are we facing? Carl-Emil will share Too Good To Go’s background; why and how it started; its original goal and business model; and why it changed direction. He will give you a picture on how to turn an idea into reality by sharing Too Good To Go’s story from the very first start until now. He will explain why it is important to make mistakes and learn from it. And how to build and scale a design team, and use the value of both technology and design.

Too Good To Go is not just a hybrid, community-based service, but part of a movement. Is this the way to positively contribute to the SDGs? The SDGs are aimed to tackle wicked, systemic problems. It is difficult to play a role and have positive impact.

Carl-Emil will explain you how to grow a successful community-based service with focus on food, people and planet.

Becoming relentless change agents

Speaker: Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel (Tulane University, USA)

Social entrepreneurship and social innovation both seek to improve the world through social change. Social entrepreneurship revolves around the business side of change; social innovation focuses on the processes through which that change is generated. Contributing to the SDGs isn’t only an appeal to governments and NGOs. Small and large businesses also have their role. Wherever you work as a designer, you need to take your responsibility. Now is the time to act.

In this talk Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel will share how she uses the Sustainable Development goals to ground social innovation and in addressing local issues in New Orleans. She will also share insights on how designers can use speculation about the future in social innovation, such as the Critical Utopian Action Research framework to create a path for social innovation that create new products, services or methods that address social or environmental needs. Dr. Noel will highlight the role of collaborative design methods to create change that is focused on equity, justice and the benefit of organizations and the communities they serve.

6:00 pm Wrap up & closing words

ORGANIZED BY: Barcelona Design centre

SUPPORTED BY: Barcelona City Council

IN COLLABORATION WITH: Service Design Days and Roca