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Full programme released for Design for Planet Festival 2022

17th October 2022

The full line up of speakers and workshops for the Design Council’s Design for Planet Festival, to be hosted by Northumbria University, has now been confirmed.

The aim of the festival is to harness the power of the UK’s design and business communities to create ways out of the climate crisis. Over 100 experts from the diverse disciplines of design, supply chains, energy, food waste, biodiversity and materials will play a part in the two-day event.

The 2022 hybrid festival will be streamed from Northumbria University on Tuesday 8 November and Wednesday 9 November, to coincide with COP27, providing a series of virtual events and live broadcasts. A full programme is now available here.

This year’s theme of action will help designers and businesses make their sustainability plans a reality, with free education for all at the forefront of the event. Invited guests will join some of the most influential people in design and business, not just to inspire, but to develop collective action through a series of practical workshops and panel talks.

As well as playing their part in events on the festival programme, Northumbria University staff and students will be running a carefully curated schedule of activities in parallel with the festival, to ensure their own researchers and creative minds can help inform the conversation.

Minnie Moll, Chief Executive, the Design Council said: “Even in the last few months we have witnessed more shocking impacts from the climate crisis - it is our responsibility to maintain urgency about the huge changes we need to make in the UK and beyond.

“Now is the time for action - the theme of this year's Design for Planet Festival. We urge businesses and the design community to participate in the Design for Planet Festival to share and gain new knowledge to improve our futures.

“We have an incredible line-up of speakers to challenge and inspire businesses and designers alike. In collaboration with Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Northumbria University, we are bringing climate education to the top of the agenda.”

The Design for Planet Festival will be hosted by biologist and wildlife film maker, Patrick Aryee who, after training in molecular and cellular biology, went on to work for the BBC’s Natural History Unit alongside Sir David Attenborough.

A selection of keynote speakers include: 

  • William McDonough, architect
  • Michael Pawlyn, architect and systems designer
  • Anab Jain, co-founder Superflux, Speculative Design Studio
  • Phoebe English, circular fashion designer
  • Sarah Ichioka, strategist, writer and curator
  • Daze Aghaji, youth climate justice activist
  • Sara Vaughan, innovator and podcaster
  • Nicola Matthews, from chocolate makers, Tony’s Chocolonely

Free workshops covering topics such as designing a green website and making your business carbon literate, will also be led by Microsoft and The Carbon Literacy Project.

Professor Steven Kyffin, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Business and Enterprise, at Northumbria University, said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to be hosting the 2022 Design for Planet festival at Northumbria University.

“This will enable even stronger connections and collaborations to be built between our research, innovation and educational ambitions and those of the wider industrial and civic contexts in the North-East. Our colleagues and students alike will be playing a pivotal role in ensuring its success. Their creativity, innovative and future-focused critical thinking is key to helping us shape a more positive future for us all.”

Dr Heather Robson, Head of Northumbria School of Design, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the University to align activities across the institution with the key themes of the festival. Northumbria academics and students are ready to play their part in developing actions to tackle climate change which can become reality.”

The Design for Planet Festival is part funded by Innovate UK. It is organised in partnership with Northumbria University, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The festival is free to designers, universities, students and businesses alike – with online registrations now open.

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