Minnie’s Study Tour Part 2: Design and Innovation in London

Minnie in front of a building in London Minnie meeting with the Design Council

Minnie continued her global study tour in London, where she had the pleasure of meeting some global thought leaders in the design and innovation space. It was one of those moments when the stars aligned, everything fell into place and connections made to last a lifetime.

She started by meeting with Nesta, an organization that invests in global social change initiatives. There she met with Inclusive Economy Lead and fellow New Zealander Kate Sutton, because Kiwis abroad always manage to find each other! The notion of an 'inclusive economy' aligns perfectly with Be.'s vision and entire reason for being. This places Be on the international stage as a social change agency that can influence global impact.

Minnie then met with the Design Council, an independent charity and the UK government’s advisor on design, whose purpose is to make life better by design. Their focus for 2018 has been about inclusive design specifically, which is perfect for the direction Be is taking. The Design Council’s vision "is a world where the role and value of design is recognized as a fundamental creator of value, enabling happier, healthier and safer lives for all”.

She sat with Lead Cities Advisor Victoria Lee and Programme Manager Emma Dickson and discussed the importance of accessible design and how accessible design can impact on the lives of the 1 billion people with access needs around the world.

Emma is currently managing 'Transform Ageing', a programme that is developing "people-centered solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of ageing communities". Victoria Lee works "closely and collaboratively with local authorities, property developers, design teams and consultants to address complex design issues in masterplanning, tall buildings, infrastructure, mixed use housing, public realm, sustainability and inclusion".

Minnie said, "for me, these meetings were about building a global network of people in organisations that are committed to advancing inclusive design in the 21st century."

She ended her London adventures at the "Without Walls: Disability and Innovation in Building Design" exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. How beautiful is that timing!