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Why. In the knowledge society design helps to rethink and redesign knowledge innovation

The process of observation, design, manipulation, application and transformation of reality is typical of the mindset and design discipline. In the triangle of knowledge made of research, training, enterprise know-how, design methods and practices can contribute to the achievement of appreciable results in the innovation of knowledge and in its (re)continuous design. The contribution of the designer and of the project cultures of which he is the interpreter and bearer is therefore at least threefold in this area. It is expressed in the observation of the phenomenon translated into case studies, in the construction of their models of interpretation and in the manipulation of reality through design-oriented methods and processes. Methods and processes that influence and are increasingly influenced by the disciplines of anticipation and future sciences that design has incorporated into the cultures of the project. Manipulating and imagining future scenarios is an integral part of the role of the designer who has the task of identifying what is possible, probable and plausible. If “the effect of design processes is to introduce changes in human production”, this also applies to immaterial artifacts such as creation, transfer and development of knowledge and learning.

In virtue of its positioning at the crossroads of productive thinking and exposure to the productive world, the Advanced Design Unit intends to continue the organization of an international symposium entitled “Knowledge Innovation Design Symposium” with the aim of becoming a promoter and facilitator of an international debate on topical issues and relevance related to innovation in knowledge and organizational learning practices (so called “organizational learning”), where “organisation” means any social aggregate for the purpose of “production” of goods/services, relations, knowledge.

How. Anticipating and looking at the futures of knowledge

Knowledge Innovation Design Symposium is an international symposium of one-day duration that will take place on March 31st, 2021.

The main ambition of the initiative is to reflect in a concentrated way on the three levels of knowledge innovation: the first, wider, relating to the new boundaries and connotations of the “knowledge society”; the second on knowledge innovation processes and practices; the third specifically pertaining to a deep reflection on the contemporary and future contribution of design in the field of knowledge innovation.

The Symposium is highly characterized by a strong integration between global and local perspective. The mix between an international vision and the focus on the Emilia-Romagna reality has the aim of sharing knowledge, models and networks from macro to micro and scaling best practices from micro to macro.

The initiative will aim to present the results of a call launched in the previous months towards an international network balanced between the world of academia, entrepreneurship, social and player in the “learning & education” sector. The call will be structured beginning from the three corridors that constitute the fil rouge of the symposium (relation content-containers of the learning, enabling technologies and processes for the innovation of the acquaintance) with a mix of closed and open questions that will allow a qualitative-quantitative collection of the scope of investigation and a survey of the state of the art starting from direct/ indirect reporting of best practices.

What. Breakthrough questions and outcomes

The event will have the general objective to answer in modality hybrid and multidirectional to some “breakthrough questions” that the acceleration of the change observed in the last years – and more specifically in the last months with the emergency Covid-19 – have urgently brought to the fore:

  • What is and will be the relationship between space and learning?
  • Is the learning dimension an individual capability or a systemic feature of the organization?
  • How are formats transformed in the process of disintermediation between “trainer” and “format”?
  • How do enabling technologies change the learning experience?
  • How to use blockchain methods in the certification of training and learning?
  • How can design innovate current learning systems?
  • How will knowledge and training be drawn from now on?
  • How participatory design influences knowledge innovation?
  • How much will neuroscience and the “Brain Computer Interface” affect quality and learning processes?
  • How do the dynamics of consumption processes influence learning processes?
  • How to create a “continuous community” (observatory) in the hive of knowledge innovation that starts from Bologna and spreads on an international scale to aggregate research, experience, practices?

In answering these questions, the initiative aims to:

  • identify a significant number of experienced observatories around the world who are able to give us signals of the contemporary attempt to invest in knowledge innovation models and practices
  • surveying, scheduling, mapping and interpreting the remarkable cases of this phenomenon
  • linking past experience, present situation and future prospects
  • call together scholars and active witnesses who are making and leading some of these models around the world to tell us about their experience
  • leave a trace of this research and concretize this exchange in the form of a symposium to dialogue and open a collective reflection on the issue through an online, international, open observatory, permanent, agile, to aggregate the most important stimuli on the phenomenon and be constantly producers of a cutting-edge perspective in the field of knowledge innovation.

Where. Bologna as the city of knowledge to start the conversation

The city of Bologna is the ideal place to start, consolidate and bring into the future the debate on innovation of knowledge and learning and on the processes related to them. Starting from its original and original “city of knowledge” stretch three corridors of reflection that will characterize the whole day both in terms of testimonies and practices and experiential laboratories:

  • relationship between content and knowledge container
  • technologies enabling knowledge
  • processes supporting knowledge innovation

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