At Echos, we believe that we have the power to design desirable futures. This idea isn’t based on a feeling; it is based on what we observe it’s happening in the design world. Our Designing Desirable Futures course comes from this notion: using a methodology that utilised design to create an inclusive, strategic and desirable future for corporations, governments, business and civil society.

To showcase the “Desirable Futures” approach, we brought you four examples of projects that are creating desirable futures around the world.

1. The Future of Gender Equality

Echos’ project, IRIS, use the “Designing Desirable Futures” approach to create a social movement in favour of gender equality and feminine freedom in Brazil. The project currently has a platform in which people from all over the country can sign up to participate in workshops where they learn the approach while the project leaders gather information and insight about the problem around the country. After this phase, the team leaders will draw a map that will guide the second phase of IRIS, finding solutions that will reach the project’s desired future. You can learn about Project IRIS here (in Portuguese only).

2. The Future of Singapore

Singapore’s National Design Centre comprised members representing the design industry, business, academia and government to create a  Singapore that “will be a thriving innovation-driven economy and a loveable city” by 2025. You can read the full report here.

3- The Future of Stockholm

To guarantee that its population continued to have the lifestyle and infrastructure they possess now, and taking into consideration Stockholm’s growing population, the government paired up with the design sector to create Stockholm urban development plan for the next 25 years. The criteria covers the environment, gender equality, accessibility, health and security. This plan will guide the government’s and the private organisation’s actions to come. You can read the complete plan here.

4- The Future of Disability

Enabling The Future is a global network of volunteers that use 3D printers to “give the world a helping hand”. From all around the world, people have donated their times and efforts to “collaborate on ways to help improve the open source 3D printable designs for hands and arms for those who were born missing fingers or who have lost them due to war, disease or natural disaster”. In the space of a year, they count with over 7,000 volunteers that have created – and donated – over 2,000 prosthetics to people in 45 different countries. You can read about this amazing project here.

*This article was translated, edited and adapted by Rani Ghazzaoui Luke.

If you are interested in learning more about this approach, visit Echos’ Designing Desirable Futures course page.

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Natália Figueiredo

Natália is a journalist, content producer and Echos’ collaborator. She has a post-graduate degree in Cultural Projects Management and is a Design Thinking specialist. Natália’s passions are music, education and social activism.

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