The inaugural Design Futures Public Interest Design (PID) Student Leadership Forum was held at the University of Texas at Austin from May 28 to June 1, 2013. A select group of multi-disciplinary students and recognized leaders in the PID field convened to explore the emergence of PID in history, its philosophical roots, and contemporary challenges around practicing PID. Student leaders also gained specific training in some of the core skill sets required for effective PID practice. Highlights include:
- 43 students participated, from multiple disciplines and 12 different colleges around the country.
- 27 speakers from backgrounds in academia, the non-profit sector, and for-profit sector volunteered their time to join this temporary faculty in PID.
- 9 innovative design proposals to address real community challenges generated by the Public Interest Design Forum Challenge.
We are delighted to showcase the winners of the Public Interest Design Forum Challenge. Click here to learn more about the Challenge and the winning proposals.
We are proud of the successes of the inaugural forum and look forward to the future. The 29 students and 12 speakers who participated in the post-forum survey indicated that they had a positive experience and would recommend the Design Futures Forum to their peers. Students shared testimonials like: "I feel that this forum will be the defining event in my future career in PID and as an activist in my community and in the world." Faculty reported enjoying networking and learning with likeminded faculty over the five-day forum. One speaker was particularly moved by "the exchange of values among students that demonstrate collective commitment to transformation-essentially watching students discover that they are part of a strong, self-organizing movement with deep cultural and professional roots." Thanks to thoughtful student and presenter feedback, we have identified strengths to build upon and new opportunities to strengthen the 2014 program.
Today's students are tomorrow's leaders and we look forward to helping provide a solid foundation around which to build a successful career path within this emergent field of design practice.