Building peace in the minds of men and women

Development and Dissemination of Innovative Design Solutions to address Extreme Poverty

Although creativity and innovation can bolster international development goals and the achievement of the MDGs, and provide solutions to address the needs of the poor and the marginalized, their potential is still not fully explored.

Industrial design for instance is still viewed as being part of the luxury industry, that addresses the needs of only 10% of the earth’s population. However, and as Dr. Paul Polak, the visionary CEO of Windhorse International puts it: “The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.”

UNESCO will hold a clinic on “Innovation and Technology at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday, 24 April from 10:00am to 6:00pm:
Drawing on the wealth of innovative ideas and experiences that the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum explored in their research project entitled “Design for the other 90%”, this clinic will explore how innovative industrial design, that allies science and creativity, can effectively and at low cost, contribute to answering the needs of communities that live in extreme poverty.

The clinic will draw on the necessary and resourceful alliance between creative industrial designers, artists, architects, engineers, environmental specialists, agronomists, educators, etc., and industrial design enterprises, to work together in order to address the challenges faced by communities living in poor and remote areas.

  • Join the ECOSOC Annual Partnerships Forum at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday, 24 April from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Discussions will focus on how partnerships in Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture can impact on economic and social development, and environmental conservation.

Contact : Nada Al Hassan