John Thackara is a world renowned speaker, giving inspiring lectures on such topics as climate change, financial crisis, peak oil, and technological innovation. He continues to speak to large businesses, students, and communities who seek an alternative, sustainable future. “I’m a kind of bee,” John explains: “I cross-pollinate ideas, people and place.
Topics for 2010From Doomsday Machine to Clean Growth Economy
Today’s growth-at-all coasts economy is like a doomsday machine: it compels us to launch a new product every three minutes into a biosphere whose carrying capacity is finite. The alternative is to move from an extraction economy to a restoration one and to innovate services that create value without destroying natural and human assets.
The green economy is not a future dream — it exists, at least in embryo. Social innovation is all around us in a million grassroots projects. The better known examples have names like post-carbon cities, or transition towns.Food: A ‘Wicked Problem,’ and Some Promising Approaches
Food systems are in crisis for complex reasons. Neither an individual, nor a single firm can tackle the challenges alone. Food is a ‘wicked problem.’ So what to do? This talk kick-starts conversations about complex issues in sustainable food systems and the economy in general.How to Travel LessWe would probably travel less and telecommunicate more if the sensation of “being there” were more engaging than it is now. Artists, theatre directors, fashion designers, psychologists, game designers and even philosophers could play a role in this developing field.
The Five Percent Solution
Public services are under severe pressure to reduce costs. But trying to deliver the same service for less money pleases nobody. A more radical solution is to change the question to which service is the answer. In Cuba, for example, health expenditure costs per person are five percent of the cost per US citizen — and yet health outcomes (i.e. life expectancy) are comparable. By changing the question, similar efficiency gains are possible in housing, transport and education.
Selected recent keynotes
Food Systems and Cities
Foodprinting the City, Stroom, The Hague, NLClean Growth
T-Mobile, Bonn, DEAnnual Innovation Awards
Cognis, Düsseldorf, DEMetrics for A New Economy
Forum d’Avignon, France
Quality Time At High Speeds
European High Speed Train Network, Breda, NLNew Geographies of Learning
University of Professional Education, Amsterdam, NLLow Entropy Urbanism
Norwegian NAtional Architecture Policy Forum, OsloOff-grid Water Systems (Design Clinic)
Stanford University, Palo Alto, USAInnovation at the Scale of the Bioregion
World Innovation Days, Poznan, PolandFrom Greenwashing to Clean Growth
Four Days, Halifax, Nova ScotiaDesign for Resilience
Design Forum; Zaragoza, SpainSustainable Daily Life Projects Clinic
The Planning Center, Los AngelesFashion, Ethics, and Sustainability
Colombo, Sri LankaCar Design After the Car
Fiat/Ambrosetti: Torino, ItalyResilient Regions: From Mindless Development to Ecological Urbanism
Agor Azur Congress Conseil General des Alpes-Maritimes, Nice, France
is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception
. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World
and Wouldn't It Be Great If….
From March 2002 to September 2010, John Thackara sent out a monthly email newsletter: Doors of Perception Report. The newsletter contained short, opinionated texts about social innovation and design.ARCHIVES >>
Does the world need a professional development program to support designers, architects and design professors making a fundamental transition to a new kind of design? To explore that question, Doors of Perception has launched an enquiry with the working title xskool
. An xskool encounter took place at West Lexham in the UK last weekend. It was a wonderful experience, but a question remains open: was last weekend's positive energy, attention, and mindfulness a happy fluke? Or could one reproduce the conditions that nurtured them? In which ways might xskool be an intentional part of 'the change we wish to see in the world'? A next discussion is in New York City on the morning [09-12h] of Wednesday 8 June. It's hosted by hosted by Cameron Tonkinwise at Parsons. If you would care to join us, email me at: john at doorsofperception dot com
Cycle Commerce As An Ecosystem
John Thackara reviews new products, services and ingredients needed to help a cycle commerce ecosystem flourish in India’s cities, towns and villages.
In the Bubble: Desiging in a Complex World
The MIT Press, 2005
More books by John Thackara >>
Design Observer Essays
Paranoid But Pretty
A review of Matthias Megyeri's new show at the German Architecture Center, and a review of the question the exhibition inspires: "Are we safer?"
A Roof, A Skill, A Market
The Nubian Vault Association has evolved a unique approach to housing in West Africa that creates three kinds of value within local economies: a roof, a skill and a market.
Big, Hairy, and Agile
The UK government’s digital services platform, gov.uk, has won the Design of the Year award.
The Ecozoic City
How humans are reintegrating their endeavours into a larger ecological consciousness.
Artefact as Campfire: Where People and Living Systems Meet
Overview of the August Doors of Perception workshop at the FuturePerfect Festival in Sweden.
DESIGN OBSERVER ESSAY ARCHIVE
Cycle Commerce: The Red Blood Cells of a Smart City
An Open Design School for India
Healing The Metabolic Rift
German Government Think-Tank Supports Fringe Change Agents
Venice: from Gated Lagoon to Bioregion
From Autobahn to Bioregion
How To Manage a Constellation
Top Down Nature
What Is, Or Is Not, a ‘Green Job’?
The Other Green Economy
Why Bill Gates Needs To Listen To More Gamelan Music
Love vs Power In Iceland
The Hidden Costs of Tiger Water
Why White Is Wicked
Who Is the Arne Jacobsen of Urban Food?
Istanbul: City of Seeds
'Beyond Good Intentions' – The Movie