Connecting Business and Design – support for funding

Commencement date: June
Project status: Ongoing
Partners: College of Business, RMIT University

This competitive grant (up to $5k) has been generously provided by the College of Business, RMIT University to stimulate co-operation between academic staff from the College of Business (including TAFE) and RMIT designers or other design professionals to bring design into business.

DESIS-Lab Melbourne ran a workshop on 18th June 2013 at RMIT Design Hub to generate ideas and proposals collaboratively among the various participants, and develop it further to outline a viable proposal for submission for the Research Grant Scheme in Business & Design. This co-generation and participatory model is something that DESIS champions, drawing on the strengths and knowledge that the researchers can contribute towards.

As a result, two proposals have been successful in obtaining the grant

DesignMind: Design Thinking for Social Enterprise Communication
Why do social enterprises cease to operate? In what ways do social enterprises make use of design thinking? These intriguing questions have long-term consequences for social policy, for the effective operation of social enterprises and to the application of design thinking by social enterprises. The aim of this study is to examine the role and effects of design in the development of communications strategies for social enterprises.

Team members:
Heather Douglas, School of Management, RMIT
Judith Rogers, School of Architecture & Design, RMIT
*Joshua Fartch, Annecto
*Anna Lorenzetoo, Swinburne University of Technology
Mark Daniels, Social Traders

Consuming Design: Understanding Design Thinking by Business Minds
This project explores questions on 1) how can design be infused into business, in this case, the marketing curriculum? 2) what existing understanding do business students have of design – how do they categorise and make sense of design? 3) How do these same students reflect on design principles after they are embedded in the curriculum?

Team members:
Kaleel Rahman, School of Economics, Finance & Marketing, RMIT
Francis Farrelly, School of Economics, Finance & Marketing, RMIT
Linda Robinson, School of Economics, Finance & Marketing, RMIT
*Marina Paronetto, Kmart Australia

*DESIS-Lab Melbourne members

This book is about the many ways in which people are creating new and more effective answers to the biggest challenges of our times: how to cut our carbon footprint; how to keep people healthy; and how to end poverty.
It describes the methods and tools for innovation being used across the world and across different sectors – the public and private sectors, civil society and the household – in the overlapping fields of the social economy, social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. It draws on inputs from hundreds of organisations to document the many methods currently being used around the world.

The materials we’ve gathered here are intended to support all those
involved in social innovation: policymakers who can help to create the right
conditions; foundations and philanthropists who can fund and support;
social organisations trying to meet social needs more effectively; and social entrepreneurs and innovators themselves.

In other fields, methods for innovation are well understood. In medicine,
science, and to a lesser degree in business, there are widely accepted ideas, tools and approaches. There are strong institutions and many people whose job requires them to be good at taking ideas from inception to impact. There is little comparable in the social field, despite the richness and vitality of social innovation. Most people trying to innovate are aware of only a fraction of the methods they could be using.

This volume – part of a series of methods and issues in social innovation – describes the hundreds of methods and tools for innovation being used across the world, as a first step to developing a knowledge base.

Design, When Everybody Designs by Ezio Manzini
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