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Notable Speakers for Fall Latham Series

By Kristin Gecan

August 4, 2021

What Should We Make?
On moving from purpose to action

On Thursday, September 2, 12pm CT, ID launches its fall 2021 Latham series, which focuses on fundamental design questions. In Why Does This Organization Exist?,  innovation advisor to the European Commission Michela Magas and Harvard Business Review contributor Thomas Malnight join ID’s Charles L. Owen Professor of Design, Carlos Teixeira, to discuss purpose-driven strategy for organizations.

Purpose has become a buzzword in business. But how can an organization prioritizing sustainability and equity succeed?

In “Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy,” Malnight and coauthors write about the role of purpose for a business according to their study findings:

Purpose played two important strategic roles: It helped companies redefine the playing field, and it allowed them to reshape the value proposition. And that, in turn, enabled them to overcome the challenges of slowing growth and declining profitability.

In her recent concept paper for the New European Bauhaus, for which she serves as Member of President von der Leyen’s High Level Round Table, Magas considers how Europe can use design to realize its purpose, or vision:

The beauty of design lies also in the clarity of the vision ... Europe has the potential to increase the quality of interaction with our digital world through highly evolved visual literacy. We have the opportunity to redesign and reimagine the usability and the beauty of the platforms which are now central to our society.

On October 20, we will wrap the series with What Should We Make?, a conversation about creating an ethical, responsible, and just future facilitated by ID associate professor Laura Forlano and featuring Marina Gorbis from the Institute for the Future and Kenneth Bailey from the Design Studio for Social Intervention.

The 2021 Latham series launched in spring 2021 with Why Are We Making This?, facilitated by ID associate professor Ruth Schmidt. Faculty member Chris Rudd facilitated our next discussion, For Whom Are We Making It? Recordings of those events as well as our updated events calendar are available here.