John Thackara on Post-Meltdown Design for Resilience

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"Rob Huisman managing director of the BNO, talks to design thinker- and writer John Thackara on his keynote lecture: ‘Driving safely in the dark: Opportunities for design as the crisis unfolds'. What does the future look like and how will the world, our lives and design change?"


"We are not in a recession", says John Thackara. "This is permanent. The industrial growth society is on its way out. The good news is that a new kind of economy is now emerging, and it's full of potential for design." For the jubileum of BNO, the professional association for Dutch designers, the self-styled 'optimistic doomer' will describe what he calls the restorative economy.

"For life's real necessities, lighter alternatives are emerging," Thackara says. "This new economy is proof that we are creative enough to imagine sustainable and engaging futures - and take design steps to realize them". Provocative suggestions

In his lecture, John Thackara focused on inspiring stories from the new economy: peer-to-peer health care and i-medicine; product upcycling; ride-sharing platforms; alternative trade networks, transition towns, and digital local currencies. His talk concludes with provocative suggestions for BNO's next fifteen years - including a "BNO University". (