Catalysts: A Reach Network collaboration

In collaboration with partners from the Reach Network for Global Design Research we published: Catalysts, Thoughts on Design Research for Meaningful Change. The essays in the publication do not represent a monocultural view. Nor do they agree on a specific notion of design or research. They rather offer a surprising wide range of observations on the various ways that design and research are contributing to many different meaningful change processes.  

The co-authors of the various essays in this publication are all partners in the Reach Network. A global network of agencies specialised in human-centred design research and service innovation, working with businesses and non-profit organisations around the world. With this publication, we provide an inside look at how research and design practices are contributing to meaningful and positive change around the world. And in ways that the various partners from the Reach Network are expanding that mandate. 

There are countless books, sites and courses about tools and methods and guidelines, while there are far less resources about the underlying intent of the work. Purpose, process and skill are strongly related. They naturally feed into each other. Purpose is what keeps us going in the right direction, while process and skill  enable us to progress. However, in publications and conferences how we achieve our purpose often gets most of the attention.

So that is the challenge we set ourselves with this publication. What are the implicit narratives that would benefit from some more explicit musing, and what do we as catalysts for positive change feel that the most urgent topics and emerging practices are? The range of articles in this publication reflects the result of that questioning. We have tried to reflect on the water we swim in, rather than the types of fish we are and see around us. 

Catalysts: Thoughts on Design Research for Meaningful Change is available to buy here

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