What I would get out of attending DesignCamp2015

Bachelor of Integrated Product Design (BIPD) and Bachelor of Creative Intelligence & Innovation (BCII) | Spring Semester 2015 | UTS

I decided to enrol in the BIPD BCII programme because after the global financial crisis of 2008 I saw how fragile the global financial system has become. This was largely due to the unfair skewed incentives given to the managerial class of large investment banks. They get all the upside when things are going well but pass the downside to tax payers through government bailouts when things turn sour. This was a metastasized agency problem writ large.

Figure 1: Anti-fragile designer | Design goal video for Inside Design 84610 | Autumn Semester 2015

The more I look the more I see these agency problems outside the financial system: in government, business, and communities. Surely, there has to be a way to design alternatives to these inherently flawed systems. I was sure the answer did not lie in piling up more laws in an already overcomplicated legal system. It was while thinking about this that I had the insight to abduct Tim O'Reilly's principle of ‘creating more value than you capture’ into my value rockstar concept.

Value rockstars are people or systems that create more value than they capture for society at large. I found my calling. I want to design systems that enable people to become value rockstars, to enable value rockstars to make their dent in the universe, and tip the balance away from the rent-seeking ‘fragilistas’.

Figure 2: My first explication of the value rockstar idea at TEDxSydney 2014

Of course the alternative systems must be impervious and must not break in the face of volatility (robust). Better yet, I want to go a step further to design these systems so they benefit from volatility. They would not simply be robust, but be anti-fragile. They get better with change, stronger over time. In the fast changing complex world we now live in, this is the only way to ensure the systems we build continue to perform and last.

What I would get from the Kolding DesignCamp2015 scholarship are tools, techniques, experiences, and collaborative networking opportunities for me to continue developing my value rockstar systems concept and may be even land it into a concrete project I can sink my teeth into. The project could then be further developed and implemented in my final year of BCII. I have seen some of the work the Danes have done in social innovation when we visited Index: Design to Improve Life® and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts | Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen last June for Global Design Studio: Scandinavia. I have written a short reflective report of my experiences on these visits. I am hoping I could build on and leverage this experience if chosen to attend DesignCamp2015.