Rural social innovation

Sobole, Poland

2018

What is the future of the countryside? Is our future to be found outside the dense urban landscapes in rural environment? How future technologies might affect the lives of the 45% of world population who lives in the countryside?

The challenge we worked on

In 2018 we explored what are the challenges of rural Poland and what can we do about them. Together we brought expertise from different disciplines and focused on one thing: how can we make the life of those who live in the Polish Radzyń Podlaski County better. We worked with local businesses, civil organisations and the public sector. With the local agents of change. Together we looked for answers to the following questions.

How might we tell the story of Radzyn county so that it becomes attractive to visitors and young entrepreneurs?

How might we keep the food tradition of Radzyn alive?

How might we design from scratch, or hack existing, public spaces to bring people together?

How might we introduce behavioural change to the people in the countryside that supports wellbeing and that sticks long-term?

What are the results

From August 10th to 19th 2018, 24 participants — from 4 continents and 16 different countries and with backgrounds ranging from product and service design to psychology and coding — gathered on the grounds of the Sobole Foundation — a creative campus set up by the Polish studio Rygalik. There they conceived a series of creative & business proposals to reactivate the countryside and fight rural exodus.

During the 10 days of the workshop, the group — divided in 5 teams led by 5 international women professionals from various disciplines — worked closely with Holis’ local partners — cultural associations and small businesses — and came up with 5 projects. Among the five projects presented, Smaking has been received very positively and shall be implemented by Holis with the local partners in the upcoming months, thus confirming the institution’s tangible and impactful role.

The projects were delivered by people who cared

Organiser

Maxim Dedushkov

Interdisciplinary Designer

Maxim is kind of designer, kind of entreprenuer. He is the founder of Holis. He also founded many other things. Some of them are still running. That makes him happy. Waste makes him angry. He also works as a consultant in social innovation, design, collective intelligence and management in general.

Organiser

Eszter Bircsák

Co-founder and Food Curator

Eszter is a curator and cultural mediator who is interested in CEE regional creative industry and local movements. She is the co-founder of Holis and was part of the team until 2019.

Facilitator

Michala Lipkova

Product Designer, Assistant Professor at Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava

Michala is a designer working along boundaries of product and experience design. She leads commissioned research projects at the Institute of Design at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. Since 2013 she is a managing director of collaborative platform Flowers for Slovakia, focused on promotion of Slovak design abroad. In 2017 she has co-founded hardware startup Benjamin button.

Facilitator

Dana Olarescu

Dana is a performance artist and fashion designer. She is the co-founder of There There, a UK-based performance company whose practice explores contemporary immigration, national identity and exclusion. Their works reflect how governmental decisions affect minority groups, with particular focus on Eastern European nationals.

Facilitator

Cansu Deniz Bayrak

Cansu is an early stage investor for tech for good companies. As senior partner, her focus at BGV is building meaningful partnerships for their portfolio teams and the fund itself. She also supports fundraising efforts for their investment vehicles. She has been involved with early stage ventures as founder, operator, mentor and now investor throughout her career in tech.

Facilitator

Barbara Predan

Barbara is an assistant professor, theoretician, designer, author, and Design for Europe Ambassador. Co-founder and leader of the department of design theory at the Pekinpah Association, and director of the Ljubljana Institute of Design, an academic research organisation. Since 2010, with Petra Černe Oven, she has been co-editing Zbirka 42, a series of books on design, under the auspices of the Pekinpah Association.

Facilitator

Joana Braga

Joana is a researcher, architect and intermedial artist. She coordinates and curates Topias Urbanas (Urban Topias), an artistic and urban research project which, combining a processual, collaborative and relational ethos with a discursive and reflexive dimension generates experimental and interrogative cartographies of the multiple layers that compose urban space.

Expert

John Thackara

Writer, Advisor, Speaker

John Thackara is a philosopher, writer and advisor. He helps companies and cities design innovation platforms that benefit all life, not just human life. His most recent book (of 12) is How To Thrive In the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today. John curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years, first in Amsterdam, and later in cities throughout India.

Participants

Hover me!
User Experience Researcher at GE Transportation Lab
Archana Mani Srinivasan
Atlanta, USA
Furniture designer
Amira El Shawarby
Cairo, Egypt
Service Designer
Collyn Cooper
Düsseldorf, Germany
UI/UX Designer
Daniela Haas
Cologne, Germany
Design and Innovation consultant
Eliana Vargas
Quito, Ecuador
Project manager
Eszter Kalóz
Berlin, Germany
Customer Experience Designer at O.P. Holdings
Hitomi Tachikawa
Tokyo, Japan
Designer
Jeremiasz Rzenno
Glasgow, UK
Digital Storyteller Designer at Yello Strom GmbH
Miguel Lobato
Mexico City, Mexico
Innovation Consultant & Agile Coach
Jennifer Pauli
Leipzig, Germany
Innovation & Service design
Fei Feng
Beijing, China
Curatorial Practice
Kasia Zawada
Glasgow, UK
Experience Designer at Mirum Agency
Larasati Larasati
London, UK
Luca Elek
Budapest, Hungary
Ludmiła Lesisz
Warsaw, Poland
Design Engineer at Delft Hyperloop
Maciej Zawierucha
Delft, The Netherlands
Innovation & service design
Meijin Li
London, UK
Service designer at Globant
Silvia Romano Redondo
Madrid, Spain
Communication in Social and Economic Context
Vitalia Safronova
Berlin, Germany
PhD student
Zuzana Waszczuková
Bratislava, Slovakia
Designer
Maciej Budzisz
Lodz, Poland
Industrial design
Tamara Lašič Jurković
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Product designer at Frontíra
Zsófia Elek
Budapest, Hungary
Project manager
Zsófia Anna Rutkai
Budapest, Hungary

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