Communities seeking post-pandemic strategies are called on to participate in Future Ways of Living III

MONTREAL, April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With the goal of demonstrating the power of innovation and collaboration through transdisciplinary problem-solving, Columbia Center for Public Research and Leadership, George Brown College – Institute without Boundaries (IwB), MEET Digital Culture Center and World Design Organization (WDO)® have jointly formed the FWoL III: City Solutions Lab – the consortium leading the third iteration of the Future Ways of Living (FWoL) project. Leveraging collective expertise, insights and connections FWoL III: City Solutions Lab aims to offer a unique process of engagement and solutioning to empower cities and communities in their COVID-19 recovery and reinvention plans through the use of Transdisciplinary Systems and Design Thinking strategies to emerge from the pandemic with better, more livable and equitably integrated futures for all.

“The Future Ways of Living initiative started in 2015 as a way to challenge thought leaders, students, professors, design professionals and corporate stakeholders around the world to imagine how we want to live in the future and how technology and design thinking could support and enhance our vision of that future,” stated Luigi Ferrara, Dean of Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology at George Brown College. “I am excited to launch this next phase of the Future Ways of Living project with our partners as a way to further connect with global cities and communities to investigate challenges and contribute to a better future for all.” 

The FWoL III: City Solutions Lab is seeking to partner with approximately eight host cities or communities eager to develop new visions for their futures. Harnessing multi-disciplinary design thinking, the initiative will enable cities or communities to reimagine systems and strategies, developing through a series of virtual interdisciplinary workshops, called ‘charrettes’. Themes explored as part of this edition may include: arts, culture and entertainment; education; environment and density reduction; food; health; housing; justice and security; and mobility. 

“As cities around the world emerge from the pandemic and look towards the future, they will require new tools and strategies to design impactful solutions to improve and safeguard the well-being of their communities,” stated WDO President, David Kusuma. “WDO was compelled to partner on such an important initiative to help craft new, more inclusive and resilient solutions for post-pandemic living, and we look forward to witnessing the meaningful outcomes that will no doubt emerge from this collaboration in the years to come.”

As noted by James S. Liebman, founder of the Columbia Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL), “cities and communities worldwide face existential problems like climate change, structural inequity, and the movement of peoples—that only well-led public institutions steered by communities they serve with access to transdisciplinary expertise can solve. Yet, cities and communities worldwide face a collapse of trust in public institutions. FWoL III makes an essential contribution to the revitalization of the strong, inclusive institutions the world needs.”

Building upon years of interdisciplinary research and experience, FWoL III: City Solutions Lab will aim to develop a series of innovative ideas and strategies that can then be integrated by any community around the world to address key challenges. Outcomes are expected to be showcased at Digifest 2023, GBC’s annual festival and conference highlighting digital culture, creativity and innovation, and as part of World Expo 2025 in Osaka (Japan).

The project is also currently seeking to identify both private and public partnership opportunities to help build a network of solution building participants. Those interested in becoming involved with the project should contact: Caitlin Plewes, Manager of Special Projects at the Institute without Boundaries: [email protected] 

To learn more about FWoL III, please visit futurewaysofliving.com.  

About Columbia Center for Public Research and Leadership

The Columbia Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) works to revitalize education and other public systems while reinventing professional education. Through its uniquely multi-disciplinary and inclusive leadership training program, CPRL uses high-impact consulting projects for public organizations to provide graduate students with the concepts, skills, and experience needed to lead transformative change. CPRL is a founding partner of the Transdisciplinary Professional Education Coalition (TPEC).

About Institute without Boundaries (IwB) 

The IwB is a Toronto-based design studio, think tank and academic program that focuses on collaborative design practice with the objectives of social, ecological and economic innovation through design research and strategy. The IwB’s interdisciplinary and collaborative values bring together diverse communities of researchers, designers, students, faculty, stakeholders and community members to deep dive into wide-ranging topics and tackle complex challenges. Central to the work of the IwB are real projects of public, local and global significance that are executed by students, faculty and industry experts either as part of the IwB’s academic curriculum, through research initiatives or creative projects. This extensive work has resulted in a body of knowledge and publications that can be used to shape policy recommendation and the design and development of spaces, products and services that are systemic in nature.

About MEET Digital Culture Center

MEET is the first Italian Digital Cultural Center created by Meet the Media Guru, with the fundamental support of Fondazione Cariplo. The first partner is the platform of thought, ideas and events focused on innovation and digital technology that art critic and digital culture expert Maria Grazia Mattei founded in 2005; the second partner is one of the world’s most philanthropic organizations whose aim is to help organizations to better serve their community and give ideas a future.

About World Design Organization

World Design Organization (WDO) ® is an international non-governmental organization and the international voice for industrial design. We advocate for Design for a Better World, promoting and sharing knowledge of industrial design-driven innovation that enhances the economic, social, cultural, and environmental quality of life. Today, WDO services over 170 member organizations, representing thousands of industrial designers around the world.

Media contacts: Andrea Clay, Director of Legal Strategy and Policy, [email protected], Center for Public Research and Leadership, Columbia University; Caitlin Plewes, Special Projects Manager, [email protected], Institute without Boundaries; Rosanna DiNuzzo, International Projects, [email protected], MEET Digital Cultural Centre; Andréa Springer, Programmes & Communications Director, [email protected], World Design Organization

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