Leadership + The New Economy: Fernando de Mello Franco

Lecture, 6pm

The nature of today’s environmental and social innovation requires designers, policymakers, and other leaders to enable large scale transformation by activating multiple stakeholders and bridging dispersed networks. Fernando de Mello Franco, former Secretary of Urban Development of the City of São Paulo and founding partner of MMBB Architects, will discuss how we can approach complex problems that affect large populations and design solutions that seek to correct inequities rather than reinforce them. Fernando and his team co-designed “Connect the Dots,” the grand prize winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2016 Mayors Challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Panel, 7pm

The rapid growth of the world’s urban population poses complex and ambiguous challenges to existing food production and consumption systems, and contemporary infrastructures can prevent desirable transitions. For example, when designing interventions to promote access to affordable and healthy food, leaders often have to choose between environmental sustainability, social equity, or economic security.

About Fernando de Mello Franco

Fernando de Mello Franco is the former Secretary of Urban Development of the City of São Paulo (2013–2016), where he led the executive branch of the revision of the city plan and the regulatory framework for urban development policy. During this time, he was also the President of SP Urbanismo (2013–2016), a public company focused on urban design and development and led the design of urban projects for the city. The founding partner of MMBB Architects, an architecture and urban design company specializing in the development of public and institutional designs, Fernando is also the director of the Institute of Urbanism and Studies for the Metropolis URBEM, an NGO focused on urban design projects with social impact.

Fernando currently teaches design at Mackenzie University. He has also taught at São Judas Tadeu University (2005–2011) and University of São Paulo (1992–2005). In 2009, he was a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. Fernando consults on urban planning, design, and development for the World Bank, UN Habitat, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, and he is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam (IABR). He has a PhD in Urban Environmental Structures (2005) from the University of São Paulo.

About the Latham Lectures

Richard Latham (1920–1991) was an influential figure in strategic design who studied design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the early 1940s. Latham believed that the principles of design should be the core of business planning. Committed to this philosophy, he worked only with those who had a deep respect for users—and who understood that sustaining their organizations depended upon this respect. Today, Latham Fellows connect to Latham’s philosophy and are selected because of their ability to challenge the boundaries of design and transfer knowledge about design planning and its value. Fellows give a lecture hosted by ID and share their emerging ideas with the ID community and the wider public by publishing freely available digital content in the form of a paper, article, or other presentation that acknowledges their fellowship.

About ID Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation

In addition to developing concepts and interventions, today’s designers and leaders must direct the implementation of those concepts and interventions. Achieving systems-level success requires cultivating and activating networks—technological, infrastructural, and social—that support new collaborative activities, process, and mindsets.

Starting in February with a pre-conference event series, Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation invites diverse leaders, including designers, executives, strategists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to explore emergent practices for activating networks and designing infrastructures that lead to large scale impact. The series will culminate in a two-day conference (May 22–23, 2019) featuring talks, breakout sessions, and workshops across three programmatic areas:

  • Activism + Policymaking
  • Entrepreneurship + Emerging Technologies
  • Adaptive Leadership for New Economies

Together, we'll discover real-world contexts where organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, policymaking, and design are already colliding. We’ll examine new tools and methodologies to evolve our individual and collective points of view about adaptive leadership and the transformative practices—and challenges—of large-scale collaboration. We’ll learn new approaches for a range of industries (food, energy, financial services, housing, healthcare, hospitality, mobility, waste, public services, technology) and disciplines (behavioral science, public policy, communications), and reveal how design can do more than think—it can do.

About IIT Institute of Design (ID) 

IIT Institute of Design (ID) continually challenges what design is and can be. We focus not just on design itself, but the impact it has on the world around us. Founded by László Moholy-Nagy in 1937 as the “New Bauhaus,” for over 80 years ID has ignited designers’ imaginations—evolving design to combine form with human behavior, conquer complexity with clarity, and challenge convention through innovation in pursuit of a more sustainable future.

Our new home in the Kaplan Institute, just south of the Loop, is near the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Red and Green Line stops, 90/94, and Lake Shore Drive.