Season II Episode 1 of the Design Influence Podcast features Charles Montgomery, author of the book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, and the founder of the consultancy of the same name.
We know cities are key economic drivers, often even outperforming their own countries in terms of growth. We also know that urbanization comes at a cost, particularly around transportation, affordable housing, and pollution but also around safety and access to public and green spaces.
How can we design cities where we live together better and create ways for people to be more included, empowered, and to have access to resources to transform their lives? How do we even define, let alone measure, the most important dimensions of human happiness to translate this knowledge into designing urban spaces that are inclusive, safe, resistant to shocks, and conducive to wellbeing?
J is for Joy. — “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” — Christopher McCandless
One of the things we love the most about being entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurial) is that it requires a constant shift in perspective. From humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness, from the desire to serve, come the realisation that we can expand our horizons. We want to learn and grow from engaging with others — people, cultures, living things.
I is for Impact. — Impact has become a buzzword of late. Everyone is trying to make it and everything we do has it. Of course, this has always held true — all living things are connected and therefore inter-dependent — but our decision to not quantify the social…
G is for Growth. — While working with a group of founders from the Middle East, we got to meet a woman with a promising business model and some sales traction. She had all that it takes to further grow her business, except for the desire to do just that.
E is for Ecosystem. — Usually, the ecosystem refers to a natural habitat of different organisms living together fully adapted to conditions and constraints of the environment.
In our case, the ecosystem refers to a startup or entrepreneurial ecosystem. As in nature, entrepreneurial ecosystems include different actors cohabitating in a specific environment whose actions are interrelated.
Our job as ecosystem builders is to help entrepreneurial ecosystems develop all the necessary elements (people, capital, networks, institutions, learning processes) to help businesses thrive.
D is for Design Thinking — Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. -Tim Brown, Executive Chair of Ideo
According to Teresa Amabile, creativity can be defined as “the production of novel, appropriate ideas in any realm of human activity, from science, to the arts, to education, to business, to everyday life.”
Three key ingredients make creativity possible: + mastery of a discipline — knowing your craft allows for…