culture

China Girl

I have had an exciting few days in the city of Beijing. What an experience! I was invited to be part of the China Beijing International Cultural and Creative Industry Expo International. I spent time with The People's Government of Beijing Municipality and the Deputy Secretary General of China. The outcome of my trip is the creation of a new Service Design Training Course. In collaboration with China University of Communication, Snook will work with twenty teachers to design a new Service Design course.

I don't think I had quite understood how unusual it was to have "a young girl from the west" present at this kind of event. I am so flattered to have received such VIP treatment and met some amazing people! During my trip I met one person who knew of / had practiced Service Design, but their site seems to be under construction - I will be keeping a close eye...

During an interview with the Shezen Daily I was asked questions about the Chinese design industry, advice for young Chinese designers, the environment creatives need to flourish and the effect creativity can have on the economic crisis...

This little video below captures my short time being a China Girl :)

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I delivered a ten minute talk about Service Design, Scotland as a creative city and the newly published This is Service Design Thinking.  I was lucky to have the great company of Rudolf Van Wezel, the founder of Creative Company Conference, an event that is known for it's mantra:

"Business people  don't need to understand designers better. They need to be designers. That makes them better business people."

You can see me and Rudolf talk in the video below:

[vimeo 17074286]

A huge thank you to Chen and Tony for making my trip happen!

Pink Stinks

Pinkstinks is a campaign and social enterprise that challenges the culture of pink which invades every aspect of girls' lives.

Their site is for parents and non parents alike, and aims to gather support, promote discussion and ultimately to mobilize that support to influence marketeers and the media about the importance of promoting positive gender roles to girls.

"Research tells us that self-esteem amongst girls is at its lowest ever and we are asking WHY?

We believe that body image obsession is starting younger and younger, and that the seeds are sown during the pink stage, as young girls are taught the boundaries within which they will grow up, as well as narrow and damaging messages about what it is to be a girl."

Emma and Abi Moore behind PinkStinks,  were featured in the Guardian in December.- the campaign for real role models - challenging the culture of pink by focusing on brilliant women to inspire girls to achieve great things - PinkStinks aims to counteract the slurry of media obsession on women who are ‘famous’, ‘thin’ ‘rich’ or ‘married to famous men’, by celebrating those women that we see as inspirational, important, ground-breaking and motivating.

Read their blog and follow them on twitter.

Check out their sister site Cool To Be Me :

"We believe that the media gives narrow and damaging messages to girls, and celebrates unobtainable beauty ideals over real achievement. Pinkstinks has been highlighting the issues and starting the debate. Cooltobe.me is where we offer something different to kids and their parents. We believe that role models are important and it is here that we will be celebrating many of the fantastic women and their skills, ambitions and strengths which go beyond just looking pretty being thin and having money."

"I am nine years old and I think PinkStinks is my voice. Girls like me shouldn't be forced to like pink. Can you think of a good name for girls who don't want to be girly girls but aren't tomboys?"

"carry on and make it easier for girls like me to try different things without feeling like an outsider."

a young mother asked "Well done for raising this issue and giving us parents a focus for change, to raise our daughters to aspire to dignity, goodness and equality rather than big boobs and tiny waists!"

Absolutely brilliant.

A complex phenomenon

I am part of Generation Y. We Control, Co-create, Connect and Collaborate. We are fueling a new world of work. e3 Unlimited are re-thinking and re-inventing the way work works.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH8tW1lihtA]

"Ask Gen Y launched in October last year, a research-based initiative to help educate organisations on this new generation entering the workforce . Ask Gen Y believes organisations need to embrace the new world of work and do some very different thinking."

article

"We have been talked and written about, but so far it's been all noise and no action.

Born between 1978 - 1998 Generation Y have been brought up to expect everything, and settle for nothing.

Growing up in the most dynamic economy in history, we've been told we can change the world. We are optimistic, upbeat and filled with a sense of empowerment. But we are a complex phenomenon and full of contradictions: technology savvy but creative, environmentally conscious yet mobile. We expect instant rewards but also expect long term development. We think like entrepreneurs but value relationships over money.

We're a confusing bunch but we are the future.

Work these days naturally overlaps with life. Work used to be somewhere you'd go. Now it is something you do. Rather than focusing on balance alone, the new world of work is all about integration. It's about having the tools, structures, processes, policies and culture to work anywhere,anytime."

Digital Britain

The Department of Culture Media and Sport published its report Digital Britain, which has secured coverage in the media: "A successful Britain must be a digital Britain."picture-6

"The average British adult spends almost half of all their waking hours using the services of the communications sector."

This report shows how the government perceive instant connectedness and virtual communities.

There are huge opportunities for Service Design on every page; "the digital world gives individuals scope for a broader and richer range of public service content."

This is what interested me the most:

"A Public Service Delivery Plan: we commit to ensure that public services online are designed for ease of use by the widest range of citizens, taking advantage of the widespread uptake of broadband to offer an improved customer experience and encourage the shift to online channels in delivery and service support."

Thank you to Mike Press for sharing this.

6 Billion Others

Design is all about empathy and understanding people as real people. This project 6 Billion Others created by Yann Arthus-Bertrand tries to "draw a portrait of contemporary mankind by asking questions about universal values. What is happiness? What can we learn from life's values?"

This project aims to reveal each persons individuality. The project team carried out 6,000 interviews in 65 countries and filmed 4,500 hours of interview footage. The results are truly captivating and unlike anything I have ever seen before.

The interviews are filmed beautifully and extremely intimate. I am finding them very addictive. You can watch people from all over the world talk openly and honestly about their dreams, hopes, regrets and fears.

Simply beautiful.