In November 2005 the UK Treasury published the Cox Review of Creativity in Business, addressing “a question that is vital to the UKâ€™s long-term economic successâ€”namely, how to exploit the nationâ€™s creative skills more fully” where the “emphasis is on the use made of creative skills by smaller businesses, with particular concern for manufacturing.”
This December the UK Design Council, of which report author Sir George Cox is Chairman, convened the Competitiveness Summit â€™06 in London to brief people on progress with implementation of the reportâ€™s recommendations and â€˜build momentumâ€™ around it. Specifically the Summit was intended to showcase the role of creativity and design in UK competitiveness, discuss how they may be further embedded, and examine future trends; consider threats and opportunities from abroad; and examine the role of education and its relationship to industry.
The Competitiveness Summit was probably the most serious and eminent design event in the UK in the last five years, though the balance of the audience was from the design and consultancy industries, government policy and funding, and education, rather than the ‘client side’ of the equation.
Some conference participants:
- Sir Terence Conran
- Rt. Hon Alistair Darling MP, UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
- Professor David Gann, Principal of Imperial College Londonâ€™s Tanaka Business School
- David Godber, Director of Nissan Design Europe
- Graham Hitchen, Project Director of the Cox-proposed International Centre for Design and Innovation
- David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council
- Geoff Kirk, Rolls-Royce Chief Design Engineer for Civil Aerospace
- Professor Stuart MacDonald, Head of the Aberdeen-based Grayâ€™s School of Art
- Bill Moggridge, co-founder of IDEO
- Professor Jeremy Myerson, Director of Innovation RCA at the Royal College of Art
- Bill Sermon, Vice President, Design at Nokia Multimedia
- John Thackara, Director of Doors of Perception
- Malcolm Wicks MP, UK Minister of State for Science and Innovation
Macdonald ends with serious critical reflections on the event that are worth a read and a thought.