The best of the 2015 Better World by Design conference

The Better World by Design conference took Brown and RISD’s campuses by storm last weekend, bringing 700 attendees and volunteers together to hear from 50 incredible presenters. BlogDH had the honor of covering the three-day event from start to finish, and we live tweeted and intagrammed at you to share in the fun. Now that we’ve recovered from speaking in buzzwords like “design for social innovation” and “disruptive design,” we present to you a round-up of some of our favorite keynotes and workshops at the conference.

The conference opened on Friday with a presentation given by Annie Wu, a RISD alum and employee of Greater Good Studio in Chicago. Wu’s presentation centered on the principle of applying human-centered design to the often neglected, “unexotic underclass,” or those who lie outside the realm of the privileged upper-class that many startups tend to target. Drawing on successes and failures in her own work at Greater Good Studio, Wu’s message encapsulated the conference’s theme of access and perfectly set the tone for the events to come.

Later that day, RISD graduate Elio Icaza (’15) led a workshop on a project he’s been working on called Clear Canvas. The products of Clear Canvas are designed to help students collaborate in art and science classes. The workshop involved a clear white board, with a participant seated on other side. The participants would have to work together to draw an object, an idea or an emotion without talking. The workshop stressed mindful collaboration. By being able to see the person on the other side, the participants learned to respond to each other. This workshop was a lot of fun.

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Gavin Atkinson (Brown ’13, RISD ’15) and Lukas Winklerprins (Brown ’15.5) ran a workshop titled “Speaking in Brick – Lego as a Creative Tool”, where participants used legos to explain a community they were a part of and a mental state. The workshop was inspiring, as it allowed participants to formulate and express their ideas despite different points of view.

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What to do this week: September 21- 27

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Monday, September 21

Event: Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats: US Policymaking in Colombia
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Regardless of whether you love “Narcos” or have some legitimate concerns about it, you should join the Joukowsky Forum in discussing the US’s major aid package, “Plan Colombia.”

Event: Welcome Back WaterFire
Time: 7:15 p.m.
Location: near Memorial Park

This special edition of WaterFire is a welcome back for students of the area (that’s us!) and will feature: snacks.

Tuesday, September 22

Event: Advanced screening of “The Intern
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Granoff auditorium

If you’re already stressed about getting an internship for next summer, unwind by watching Robert DiNero be the unlikely intern you aspire to be. Brown Motion Pictures is hosting this free, advanced screening.

Event: Gendo Taiko workshop
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: TF Green, Room 205

Join Gendo Taiko in an introductory class to taiko, (traditional Japanese drumming.) No experience is necessary for this rhythmic workshop.

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