How can we help SMEs & business – ideas from the European Growth by Design Summit

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A marvellous event by the Design Council, the First EU Summit on strategies and partnerships for growth in Brussels counted with some of the best thought on strategic design in Europe representing all the different types of institutions – government, private sector, entrepreneurs, SMEs, universities, corporate business, technology and research centres.

Before the imperative for sustainable growth and regulation update the EC presented the Action Plan for Innovation tackling as major challenges:  the use of design in value creation and circular economy, coordination of speed between public and private sectors, regulation update on copyright, investment in new skills development, superior collaboration between the public and private sector.

The key points from the Smart industry Agenda presented were:

1. Developing awareness on “Sharing is the new having” principle

2. Finding ways how can we help SMEs & business – labs, accelerators

3. Develop the user-centricity approach – work more for design solutions vs. design products

Business design is currently gaining different dimensions of impact as strategic enabler, change maker, as a platform for empathy, business imperative for transformation and thought leadership.

Still “design alone is not the answer”, but the redesign of systems, the creation of new dynamics, the education of talent, the establishment of new roles /”the CDO roles”/, new organisations; the management of diversity, skills on resilience, the spread of shared culture, as well as the mechanisms on openness and transparency.

How strategy design talent is hired and managed is a key issue for development, just as much as how design impact is measured.

“Our plan to grow through financial services failed”, “the EU is not as nice as it was”, “Creativity is one of the drivers of innovation”, were some of the messages shared.

Meanwhile were presented unique projects recently born as the social innovation winner Filisia, Design Bulldozer, SeeSense, among others available on the Design for Growth web.

“We are so crazy to believe we can inspire our future on every level”, agreed everyone in the end of the day and celebrated the rich harvest of the best business design thought and vision across Europe with art cuisine above Brussels beautiful horizons.