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08 Oct

The EREK International Conference: What is the circular economy anyways?

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / October 8, 2019 / 0 Comments

Tossing the old ‘linear’ way of viewing the economy, the circular economyis a concept that seeks to maximize the value and use of products, material and resources within the economy for minimal generation of waste. This is done by encouraging the circulation of secondary raw materials for uptake by both businesses and consumers to honor the life of goods and their longevity on this planet.

The EREK International Conference Make it happen with Resource Efficiency! highlighted a number of different innovative models used by businesses and industries geared towards more resource efficient solutions, including those that focus on digitalisation and strengthening the circular and social economy.

With 33 countries and 253 participants on the attendance list ranging from the European Commission’s DG GROW and the United Nations Environment Programme to CEOs from Avaesen and university professors, it is unsurprising that some interesting ideas ‘circulated’ the room. A few themes put on the table for further debate included:

  • Boosting resource efficiency in the real economy
  • What does Game of Thrones, Tomorrowland and Carnival have in common? A waste management challenge
  • Social businesses and resource efficiency
  • Digitalisation and Industry 4.0.

 

 

Erek Conference 092019

Tackling the ‘throwaway’ culture mentality, Art Square Luxembourg ASBL participated in the session on social businesses & resource efficiency to help identify ways that actors within the social economy (cooperatives, associations, foundations and social enterprises) in sectors as far and wide as agriculture, manufacturing, social services and banking can improve resource efficiency. Supporting social enterprises to create strategies in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and bringing stakeholders together to orient policies towards sustainable production and consumption were some of the main takeaways.

Erek Conference 092019

​​So, who is behind the real dirty work on cleaning up the environment and contributing to a European Green Deal and climate-neutral continent? Support and partnerships between national and regional environmental agencies, European industry clusters working on environmental technologies, business support services providers, SMEs, academics, students, officials from the European Commission are the backbone of ensuring a cleaner future for Europe!

If you are interested in the topic of Social Economy and youth work, do not hesitate to contact us artsquare@gmail.com

Article was written by Kelsey Todter in the frame of the project ” The added value of social entrepreneurship in youth work” supported Erasmus Plus Programme. 

LOGO ANG European Commission

 

 

 

 

08 Aug

Book Review: Make Space

In Blog by Bianca Bressy / August 8, 2019 / 0 Comments

Book review of "Make Space"

Book review: Make Space

Demographics

Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2012
Pages: 271

Personality

Jam-packed · resourceful · hands-on

Bio

SCOTT DORLEY is the Creative Director at d.school and focuses on the intersection between physical context and digital media. SCOTT WITTHOFT is an engineer and teacher of human-centered design at Stanford University.

Goals (what’s inside)

Based on the d-school’s experience, this guidebook shows how changing your surroundings can spark creativity and innovation. There are tools – how to build furniture or treat walls – but also ready-made layouts for specific situations, insights, case studies, and a breakdown of how properties of a place can inspire new actions and attitudes. Because this book is about “creative spaces,” but ultimately it’s also about “creating spaces” for everyone’s inner innovator.

Values (why we love it)

Much like a cookbook, you can look for what you need – and the references at the end of each page guide you to what else can help you. Moreover, the book also teaches you how to build specific stuff for your space.

Needs (read if you…)

  • … want to understand how space interacts with your activities
  • … want quick ideas to change your environment and improve your work
06 Aug

Futures of Education, Educations for the Future

In Blog by Bianca Bressy / August 6, 2019 / 0 Comments

Education facebook post

A number of things happened on Wednesday, 24th July.

First of all, one of these was already happening before. Since Monday, actually. We were hosting 20 educators and youth workers, coming from all over Europe, for our Erasmus+ training course “Discover Design Thinking” – an opportunity not just to give them a new tool to create better services for their communities, but also to build trust in their own creative abilities.

Secondly, we were hosting the last Meetup of the season – hurrah! These events are always a huge appointment on our calendar, but this time it was even more important for us, because our Luxembourg Design Thinking group had reached more than 1000 members. (Not a small feat here!)

And finally, we were going to present the first results of our research of education here, in this country. I say “first,” because as you already know from the process, the research stage is never truly finished. But what we had gathered in these months was already pointing in some interesting directions. That’s why we decided it was a good time to start sharing these directions with others, exchange views and further tune our compass for the next stage.

All together, these events conflated in two of the strangest and most exciting hours I’ve seen in a long time – in a World Cafè on “Futures of Education, Educations for the Future.”

Untitled design

Our event kicked off with a presentation of the work we’ve done so far on this topic. We shared with the participants (our educators from the course, plus around 20 between aficionados of our group and interest newcomers) the work done so far, starting from current changes in education to case studies of design thinking applied in the educational context and ending with our user interviews. As we explained, this was just a first step: more interviews and research would come, but at this point it was interesting to get this out and receive input from the outside. Then, we explained how our research had generated 14 themes to work on, from curriculum development to the identity of schools and teachers, and more than 40 “How Might We” questions. From those, we had already selected 12 which promised the most potential in terms of change, and we used them to start our discussion during the World Cafè.

The World Cafè is a way to have a great number of people exchange ideas and opinions on a variety of topics very quickly, and this is exactly what we saw happening during the event. For our European guests, it was an opportunity to hear the point of view of a local community; for our Meetup members, to discover stories and inspiration from other countries; for us, to see connections and insights thanks to a multidisciplinary group of people who all share the same interest in improving education.

Soon, we’ll start with the second stage and develop our first prototypes. In the meantime, we feel good: there is a community of people who care about the future of young people!

The event was support by the Erasmus+ programme.

25 Jul

Book review: How to Research Trends

In Blog by Bianca Bressy / July 25, 2019 / 0 Comments

Book review "How to Research Trends"

Book review: How to Research Trends

Demographics

Publisher: BIS Publishers
Year: 2017
Pages: 200

Personality

Pioneering · down to earth · illuminating

Bio

ELS DRAGT is a trend researcher with over fifteen years of experience in translating them into insights understandable to everyone. Now she works for agency MARE Research and teaches at Fontys International Lifestyle Studies.

Goals (what’s inside)

What are trends? Some may think about fashion, but actually trend research still looks like a mysterious work for many. In this book, Els Dragt doesn’t limit herself to giving us an insider look into this job. Instead, she puts into words what for many practitioners is “an art and a science,” the intersection of analytical approaches and methodology and the human factors of insight and intuition.

Values (why we love it)

The book details each step of the process of trend research – a true guide into a futuristic job! There are also lists of websites and other references you can use to kickstart your journey as a trend researcher!

Needs (read if you…)

  • … want to learn how to research and find signals of change
  • … want to use your curiosity to discover what’s changing around you
11 Jul

Book review: Universal Methods of Design

In Blog by Bianca Bressy / July 11, 2019 / 0 Comments

Book review "Universal Methods of Design"

Book review: Universal Methods of Design

Demographics

Publisher: Rockport
Year: 2012
Pages: 208

Personality

Technical · structured · in depth

Bio

BRUCE HANINGTON is associate professor and director in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania. BELLA MARTIn is a designer practitioner and independent consultant with a Master of Design from CMU.

Goals (what’s inside)

This handbook offers a list of 100 methods from all design phases, with characteristics and links to further reference. But the scope goes beyond that: as the authors state, it’s not “just” a list – it’s a tool to structure efficient and productive conversations in each phase of the design project, by providing a universal language for practitioners to easily communicate and co-create.

Values (why we love it)

The infographics & alphabetical order help quickly narrow down the most useful techniques for a project or session. No need to read from start to finish – you can “hop on or off” wherever you need!

Needs (read if you…)

  • … need a quick reference guide before a session
  • … want a range of options to choose from before planning your next design phase