An ambitious approach to galvanise and support the UK’s 1.69 million-strong design community to address the climate cris

An ambitious approach to galvanise and support the UK’s 1.69 million-strong design community to address the climate crisis is being launched today (23 September 2021) by Minnie Moll, Chief Executive of Design Council – the government’s advisor on design.  

Speaking at Planted Unearthed, part of London Design Festival, Moll will outline Design for Planet – Design Council’s strategic shift to achieve a sustainable, climate-first future. The shift in focus recognises the fundamental need for us all to redesign our lives to save our planet, and champions the power and responsibility of designers to shape a better world.  

Through Design for Planet, Design Council will rally designers to bring about the societal shifts needed to accelerate the government’s transition to net zero and ensure the planet will thrive for future generations. The organisation will give a platform to visionaries from the sector who are leading the way in sustainability, and support others in the industry to imagine a better world, create the resources for it and catalyse change. Design Council’s work chimes with the Government’s one step greener campaign to create a mass movement of green steps to culminate in large collective action.  

Planted Unearthed is the first of many events Design Council will be attending and hosting to share best practice by designers who are leading the way in sustainability and climate action. These events will complement Design Council’s core business of commissioning research, delivering programmes and influencing government policy – all of which will now emphasise Design for Planet.   

Minnie Moll, CEO at Design Council, says: “Design shapes the world and designers have the power and the responsibility to help address the climate emergency. Design for Planet is the start of a new era, one that moves from destruction to regeneration. Through our shift in focus, we will partner with experts and leaders in sustainability to create resources that will empower designers. We will champion and amplify those who are already creating change. We will advocate for policy and systems change to support the 1.69 million-strong design community to achieve our ambition of a more sustainable future. We look forward to supporting designers across all disciplines to develop and deliver a hopeful future for people and our planet.”  

Design for Planet Festival

Design Council will hold the first  (9 and 10 November) at V&A Dundee. The live-streamed event will welcome over 100 invited experts and thousands who will participate online from across the UK and beyond. The two-day event will champion design as a powerful agent of change – featuring talks, practical sessions and design tools that will help all kinds of designers co-create the conditions needed to work more sustainably.  

The event will run alongside the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and is organised by Design Council in partnership with V&A Dundee, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The National Lottery Community Fund, Architecture and Design Scotland and Snook.  

Speakers will be announced over the coming weeks, including:   

  • Dr Leyla Acaroglu: UN Champion of the Earth and award-winning designer, sociologist, and sustainability provocateur.  

  • Sophie Thomas: A leader in sustainable design, behaviour change and material process for over 20 years, through her design agency, Thomas Matthews ltd. Sophie has held a number of campaigning posts including, Director of Circular Economy at the RSA. 

  • Natsai Audrey Chieza: Co-founder of Faber Futures, Natsai is a leading thinker on the transformative role design can play in the equitable development of biotechnology. 

  • Kate Raworth: A rebel economist behind the ‘doughnut economics’ proposition which challenges humanity to meet the needs of all, within the means of the planet.  

  • Chris Lefteri: For over ten years, Chris’ studio work and publications have been pivotal in changing the way designers and the materials industry consider materials. 

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