We host curated events where practitioners share stories about their practice.

If you are interested in presenting let us know.

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Training : Trauma Informed Design Research

Design practice that helps not harms Trauma is common within society at large and is particularly prevalent amongst vulnerable populations, First Nations peoples and people with Lived Experience of mental health issues. Trauma informed practice is a strengths-based framework that supports responsiveness to the impact of trauma, enabling physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers …

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Decolonising Design in Practice

As practitioners who want to contribute to ethical, inclusive, equitable change, enabling futures that are non-oppressive, non anti-black, and trans-inclusive, it is critical that we examine our unquestioned assumptions about the nature of our praxis. To date, mainstream design has been dominated by a focus on Anglo-European ways of seeing, knowing, and acting in the world, with little …

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Participation & Collective Dreaming

  Join us for this special event where we will talk about participation and collective dreaming. Our speakers will share some creative participatory practices from their work engaging communities to help shape more sustainable and inclusive futures. Chris Jackson Chris Jackson is founder and partner of We Create Futures, a practice that works at the intersection of futures, strategy, insight and …

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Lets talk about Design Justice

What is the relationship between design, power, and social justice? “Design justice is a framework for analysis of how design distributes benefits and burdens between various groups of people. Design justice focuses explicitly on the ways design reproduces and/or challenges the matrix of domination (white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, settler colonialism, and other forms of …

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System Change Salon : 3 Horizons Meets 2 Loops

Join the journey… Social Design Sydney and the Systems Change Salon are committed to building social and systems change understanding and capacity.  This year, the System Change Salon and Social Design Sydney have been experimenting with Bill Sharp’s Three Horizon Framework and the Berkana Institute’s 2 Loops Model. These frameworks support thinking and discussion about change. Together with the Jeder Institute, The Systems Change Salon will be hosting three workshops during September …

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Codesign and Power

Social innovation is inescapably intertwined with power, yet the important topic of power and how it operates in relationships between people is often overlooked.

Systems Change Doing : Transitioning to Better Futures

Come join us to hear about the practices of three forward thinking Australian practitioners working to create systems change. Learn about their transdisciplinary practices that sit at the edges of Design, Systems Thinking, Futures Thinking, and Circular Economy.

Co-Design for Change Makers

Expand your capacity to make positive social change and spend time with like-minded change makers!
You will learn about some innovative participatory tools, frameworks and mindsets to design impactful interventions AND mobilise change.

How might we … support systemic social change?

Dr. Andrea Siodmok and Sanjan Sabherwal from the UK Policy Lab connected with the local design and change community to share their work using Data, Design and Innovation approaches and together consider this very important question with our community.

Following this presentation we heard from some diverse Sydney experts …

Designing with Community

How might Design practices function as inclusive strategies to support Community participation in design and development of community focussed initiatives?

Too often, people with little understanding of their contexts make decisions that affect people and communities. Three speakers will present projects where inclusive strategies have been used to support Community participation in design and development of place-based initiatives that affect them.

Designing our future: A conversation about the Anthropocene, Transition design and Sustainability

8th May, 2017

Humans are the first single species to have seriously disrupted the biosphere’s critical life support systems and are now the dominant force for Earth system change. How might we design a more sustainable future? Speakers include Cameron Tonkinwise (UNSW), Suzanne Benn (UTS), Oliver Dykes (Meld) and Abby Mellick Lopes (UWS).

Systems Change with Systemic Design

25th September, 2018

Systemic design is a recent initiative that combines systems thinking with human centred design to create wholistic solutions to complex problems. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer (UTS) and Tim Tomson (Axilo) discuss international and local design practices.


Designing with: Participatory approaches to build resilience

18th May, 2018

Our panel share their different approaches to designing for and with community. Yoko Akama (RMIT) discusses her ‘readiness’ approach to participatory design, and Dee Brooks (Jeder Institute) presents Asset Based Community Development (ABCD).

Designing with: People powered social change

Vivid – 4th June 2018

Learn about ‘Designing with’ people in very different scenarios, with case studies and research for participatory projects ranging from community to global initiatives.  Jax Wechsler (Sticky Design), Mathan Ratinam (World Bank) and Kerry Graham (Collaboration for Impact) present.

Is Co-design the Silver Bullet?

Sydney Design Festival – 5th March, 2018

There’s a lot of talk about co-design in all sectors these days. But does co-design always lead to action? Jax Wechsler (Sticky Design), Emma Blomkamp (University of Melbourne), David Lilley (Holos Consulting) and Chris Vanstone (TACSI) present successes and failures.

Transition Design

6th December, 2017

Transition Design is an emerging field of design research, practice and study, which looks toward design-led societal transition toward more sustainable futures.  Professor Terry Irwin (Carnegie Melon University), Kees Dorst (UTS) and Sasha Abram (Westpac Bank) present.

Designing with Vulnerable People : Case study

23 October, 2017

An in depth view of a specific social design program; hear from the designers involved, the government client and the team responsible for evaluation/social impact assessment. Michelle Miller, Dr Tobias Andreasson and Aunty Vicky Charles (TACSI) and Anna Powell (Clear Horizon) present Designing with Aboriginal jobseekers.

Designing Systems Change

3 July, 2017

How might we (re-) build systems across sectors with people that help rather hinder them to move forward? Kerry Graham (Collaboration for Impact), Clare McKendrick (Consultant) and Melissa Edwards (UTS) discuss research and experiences with community, health outcomes and the circular economy.

Dr. Andrea Siodmok: Head of the UK Policy Lab

6th March, 2017

The UK Policy Lab is a creative and experimental space, designed to help the government get better at policy-making; open it up, make it quicker, more digital and more connected with the people who are affected by it. Panel discussion with Leisa Reichelt (Digital Transformation Agency) and Mieke ven der Bijl-Brouwer (UTS).

Designing with Community: A Conversation about Social Labs

7th Feb, 2017

A growing number of people are focusing their heads, hearts, and hands on addressing complex social challenges through Social Labs.  Three leaders in the this approach space talk about their experiences designing with communities; David Lilley (United Way Australia), Sam Rye (Roller Strategies) and Assoc Prof Amanda Third (UWS).

Designing with Young People

20 September, 2016

Three quite different projects using participatory approaches are presented; Participatory documentary with young people, Phillip Crawford, film-maker (Beyond Empathy); Designing with Young People in Practice, Natalie Rowland (social and design researcher) and Shaping participation in the Safe & Well online program, Teresa Swist and Philippa Collin (UWS)

Designing for Wellbeing 2

27 July, 2015

Daniel Mohr (InWithForward) discusses the Fifth Space Project and building design capability amongst non-designers. Jax Wecshler (Sticky Design Studio) presents a recent project completed for NSW Family and Community Services.

Designing for Well Being

23 July, 2014

A conversation, and global case studies discussing designing for wellbeing. Dominic Campbell (FutureGov), Danielle Madsen (TACSI) and Susan Wolfe (OE Strategy) present and discuss their projects: Patchwork, Casserole, Enabled by Design and Family by Family.

Susan Wolfe, who has been on the scene in Australia since 1995 (and now is also Principal of OE Strategy in San Francisco), has many years experience using design approaches for wicked problem solving.

Designing with people : Understanding people’s worlds

22 March, 2016

Conversation and case studies about design research in complex social contexts, and the moral and ethical responsibilities of social designers.
Speakers include John Murphy and Kate Goodwin (NSW Dept of Justice), Charmaine Jones (consultant anthropologist) and Denise Belling (Design consultant).

Designing Citizen-centric Policy & Services

3 June, 2014

Australian case studies discussing citizen involvement in the design of public policy and services at the state, local and federal government levels. Speakers include: Jane Treadwell (Jane Treadwell Consulting) – DesignGov; Selena Griffith (COFA, Social Innovation Sydney) – Pittwater Council; Rodger Watson, (UTS) – Designing Out Crime.

Designing With Older People

The rapidly growing ageing population presents real opportunities for design led innovation. Four designers present their experiences: Dr Catherine Bridge (UNSW) – co-design and the built environment, Lauren Tann (designer and author) – the Alzheimer 100 project; Jean Paul Bell (Arts Health Institute) – Play Up; Dr Bert Bongers (UTS) – interactive solutions for rehabilitation.

Designing With : Event

Designing With Event These case studies will include projects where design methods and co-design have been used in order to facilitate social outcomes. Tasman Munro will share his experiences co-designing with inmates and staff in NSW Corrective Services. Hear Social Designer Ingrid Burkett sharing her work with marginalised Australian communities and Alex Cheek and Dean Parkin discussing a project …

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