Ravi Sawhney, founder and CEO of the innovation consulting firm RKS, will co-chair the DMI conference Designing the Next Economy. With a theme of "Designing the Next Economy," the conference will bring to the attention of design managers and leaders the challenges created by a world increasingly complex and always more connected.
Ravi Sawhney, CEO of RKS and Andreas Forsland, Senior Director of Brand at Citrix, are co-chairing the conference, and share the belief that the current changes impact all actors of the new economy, and that design leaders can help businesses and consumers navigate through these troubled waters.
"The recent changes in the economy have transformed the way we work," Sawhney said. "When I founded RKS in 1980, we were extremely focused on industrial design - what we knew best and what we excelled at. Today, we cannot work in a vacuum anymore."
Over the years, RKS has expanded its expertise to research, strategy, service design and interaction to adapt to the changing landscape. "What hasn't changed," Sawhney added, "is that you need to create amazing experiences that make people feel good about themselves."
KOR water co-founders Eric Barnes and Paul Shustak have seen firsthand the effect of empowering users. Their iconic water bottle, launched in 2005, was adopted by a tribe of eco-conscious consumers that took it upon themselves to spread the message; a story they will share with the audience of the conference in their speech "Design Everything. Products are Ephemeral; Brands are Forever."
"When thinking about designing the next economy you have to scale back and understand the big picture, how things connect together and where they are headed to. That's why highly recognized design thinkers such as Larry Keeley will be so valuable in giving us the high level view on our profession," said Sawhney. To balance these deep thinking, a couple of author-lead workshops at the end of the two days will give a chance to find concrete applications for the design frameworks described in "Triumph of the Commons'" by Brian Collins, and "Predictable Magic" co-authored by Deepa Prahalad.
"Regardless of which aspect of the economy you happen to be passionate or involved in, now is the time for design to help jumpstart transformations where it matters," Andreas Forsland concluded. "Let's connect the dots in Santa Monica and start designing the next economy."