Design Council Summit 2012 - Who Do We Think We Are?

Design Council Summit 2012: Who Do We Think We Are?

Top designers and business people are to join UK's Government ministers including Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, at the Design Council's 2012 Design Summit on June 26. The Summit will debate how the country can exploit its uniquely 'British' assets and talents to help rebalance the economy and boost demand for UK products and services.

The Summit, entitled 'Who Do We Think We Are?' will examine the role of designing and making as a vital component in rebalancing the economy and generating sustainable growth. Scheduled midway between the Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics, it will reflect on the distinctive qualities of modern Britain and ask: "How can design turn national characteristics into economic growth?"

Some of the UK's foremost industry leaders and thinkers will lead the Summit sessions, including economist Professor John Kay, research and trends forecaster Ben Page (Ipsos MORI) and serial entrepreneurs Brent Hoberman ( and and Sara Murray ( and Buddi). Leading creative minds such as industrial designer Sebastian Conran and architect Sunand Prasad will also pitch in to the debate.

The Summit will examine inspirational case-studies of design-led success stories - from products to places. Regenerations of Manchester and Kings Cross will be presented by industry leader Sir Howard Bernstein and developer, Roger Madelin. Creating successful consumer products will be explored by Saville Row tailor Timothy Everest (Pearson Bikes) and Gerry McGovern (Land Rover). Ideas from the day will be brought together and discussed with key decision makers and influencers of Government policy, including the BIS Director General for Strategy, Analysis and Better Regulation, Tera Allas and EEF and Design Council Chairman, Martin Temple. The day will conclude with a reception hosted by the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science.

The Summit is being supported by major names in the motor industry, media and service sector, including Jaguar Land Rover, The Independent, Quintessentially and Ipsos MORI. It will be convened by Lord Michael Bichard, former Chair of the Design Council.

"With continued poor growth, the case for rebalancing the economy is clear. This Summit will shift the debate from the 'what' to defining the 'how' - how can we re-position UK plc in the eyes of the markets, and harness our national characteristics to give the UK a distinctive voice in the global economy," said David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council. "How can we turn the provenance of our products and services to support greater export success and encourage inward investment How can local characteristics of places be turned into national assets?"

The Summit is part of the Design Council's commitment to bringing together decision makers and opinion formers from design, industry, academia and government to identify new ways in which design can be included in policy-making, particularly in the drive to rebalance the UK economy. The 2011 Design Council Summit resulted in the inclusion of design throughout the Government's Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth, published in December 2011.

The identity for the Summit has been developed as a reinterpretation of the logo which was created for the Britain Can Make It exhibition in 1946, which was organised and held by the Design Council's fore-runner the Council for Industrial Design. This aimed to re-invigorate the UK economy by promoting well-designed products.

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